Track Your Success: Adding Google Analytics


Monitor site performance with analytics


1. Importance of Tracking Website Performance

“Knowing is half the battle,” goes the saying. And when it comes to your website, knowing how it’s performing is crucial for success. Just like a doctor needs to monitor your health to keep you well, you need to track your website’s performance to keep it thriving. Google Analytics is like a stethoscope for your website, giving you a detailed checkup on its health and helping you identify areas for improvement.

How to add Google Analytics on WordPress

© Photographer Anastasia Shuraeva

Section Two: Creating a Google Analytics Account

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up an Account

Creating a Google Analytics account is as easy as pie! Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Head to the Google Analytics website: Just type “Google Analytics” into your browser’s search bar and click on the first result.
  2. Click on “Start measuring”: This big blue button will take you to the account creation page.
  3. Enter your website’s URL: Type in the address of your website in the provided field.
  4. Choose an account name: This is the name that will appear in your Google Analytics dashboard.
  5. Click on “Create”: And voila! Your Google Analytics account is ready to roll.

“Tracking your website’s performance is like having a superpower. You can see what’s working, what’s not, and make changes to improve your website’s success.”


3. Understanding the Different Code Formats

Google Analytics provides two main code formats: the asynchronous code and the synchronous code. The asynchronous code is recommended as it loads asynchronously, meaning it doesn’t block the loading of other page elements. The synchronous code, on the other hand, loads synchronously, which can slow down page loading.

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences between the two code formats:

Code Format Loading Impact on Page Loading
Asynchronous Loads asynchronously Minimal impact
Synchronous Loads synchronously Can slow down page loading

In most cases, it’s best to use the asynchronous code. However, if you need to track page views for a single page application (SPA), you may need to use the synchronous code.

Adding the Tracking Code to WordPress

4. Using a Plugin or Manual Insertion

There are two main ways to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site: using a plugin or manually inserting the code.

Using a plugin is the easier option, as it doesn’t require any technical knowledge. There are several free and paid plugins available that will add the tracking code to your site for you.

If you prefer to manually insert the code, you’ll need to add it to the header of your WordPress theme. To do this, go to Appearance > Editor and select the header.php file. Then, paste the tracking code into the header, just before the tag.

Once you’ve added the tracking code to your site, you’ll need to verify that it’s working properly. You can do this by going to Google Analytics and checking the Real-Time Reporting feature. If you see data coming in, then the tracking code is working properly.

Verifying Your Installation 🔎

5. Check Google Analytics Real-Time Reporting 📈

Once you’ve added the tracking code to your WordPress site, it’s time to verify that it’s working. Head over to your Google Analytics dashboard and click on “Real-Time” in the left-hand menu. This will show you a live stream of activity on your website. If you see visitors coming and going, you know your tracking code is working! 🎉


Understanding Basic Analytics Reports 📊

6. Interpreting Data to Gain Insights 💡

Google Analytics provides a wealth of data, but the real value lies in interpreting it to gain actionable insights. Key metrics like sessions, users, and pageviews offer a snapshot of your website’s performance. Sessions represent individual visits, while users refer to unique visitors. Pageviews indicate the number of times a specific page has been viewed.

By analyzing these metrics over time, you can identify trends and patterns. For example, a sudden drop in sessions could indicate a technical issue or a change in marketing strategy. Conversely, a spike in pageviews on a particular page suggests that the content is resonating with your audience.

Remember, data is not just a collection of numbers; it’s a story waiting to be told. By understanding the context behind the numbers, you can make informed decisions to improve your website’s performance and achieve your business goals.

Customizing Analytics Settings 🌐

Setting Up Goals and Tracking Conversions 🎯

Google Analytics lets you customize your reports to meet your specific business needs. One crucial feature is setting up goals, which are specific actions you want visitors to take on your website. By tracking conversions, you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions to improve them.

Imagine you own an e-commerce store. You can set up a goal to track how many visitors add items to their shopping cart or complete a purchase. This information helps you understand how your website influences customer behavior and identify areas for improvement.

Setting up goals is like having a roadmap for your website. It allows you to see what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. It’s like having a GPS for your online success! 🚗

Using Google Analytics Plugins 🔌

Google Analytics plugins are like turbochargers for your website’s performance monitoring. They add extra features and functionality to the basic Analytics setup, making it even easier to track and understand your website’s performance. 📈

Think of it like this: Google Analytics is the engine, and plugins are the high-performance parts that give you more power and control. With plugins, you can:

  • Track specific events: Monitor user interactions like button clicks, form submissions, and video plays.
  • Create custom reports: Design reports tailored to your specific business needs.
  • Integrate with other tools: Connect Analytics with other services like email marketing or CRM systems.

If you’re serious about getting the most out of Google Analytics, plugins are a must-have. They’re like the secret sauce that makes your website data sing! 🎶


The Power of Analytics

Tracking your website’s performance is like having a superpower! Google Analytics is your secret weapon, giving you insights into who’s visiting your site, what they’re doing, and how you can make it better.

Don’t be a superhero without a cape! Embrace the power of Google Analytics. It’s like having a crystal ball for your website, showing you the path to success. So, go forth, conquer the digital world, and let Analytics be your guide!


About David Damstra

Business Leader and Business Developer, Project Manager and Full Stack Developer & Designer Creative Director, Brand Guardian, Minister of Company Culture Co-Author of Professional WordPress. Currently in Third Edition. Seasoned web developer using practical technology to rapidly create standards compliant dynamic websites. Experienced with web development, software development and systems and network management and consulting.