Google Analytics is a suite of tools that allows you to track your website traffic. Supported by Google, Analytics is widely trusted and extremely popular. It helps you to gather various types of significant information, such as number of visitors, page views, traffic origin, technical and geological user details, and more. When properly analyzed this data can be used as a significant base for marketing and advertisement strategies, improving website design, functionalities, and content.
WordPress users are really fortunate, as the process of integrating Google Analytics had been simplified as much as possible for the sake of their convenience. It can be added by a plugin, which eliminates the need for performing code changes.
There are several plugins that allow you to add Google Analytics. In this tutorial, we will be focused on the Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights plugin, which is by far the most popular one with over 2 million active installations. It is worth to mention, that it will allow you to monitor the insights directly through your WordPress Admin Dashboard. It is a free plugin, as well as available as a commercial distribution with some advanced features.
We have also reviewed two of the other plugins in separate tutorials:
Before you step into the actual configuration, you first need to set up your Google Analytics account. This is a free service, and all you need is a Google account. If you have not done that yet, please find detailed instructions in our guide on How to set up your Google Analytics account.
When your Google Analytics account is set up, you can step into installing the plugin from your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
The installation is as simple as any other standard WordPress plugin. In case you have not installed a plugin yet, please find step-by-step instructions in our guide on What is a WordPress Plugin and how to install a new Plugin.
Upon installing and activating the plugin, you will be presented with a new interface, welcoming you to launch the setup Wizard. It will walk you through the setup process within a few simple steps.
To begin, please click on the "Launch the Wizard!" button.
In the first step, you have to select the type of website you are running by clicking on the corresponding radio button.
When ready, please hit the "Save and Continue" button.
In the second step, you will be prompted to enter your License Key in case you are using the paid plugin version. Otherwise, please click on the "Connect MonsterInsights" button to proceed further.
In the next step, you will have to select the Gmail account you have used to set up Google Analytics. If you have not done that yet, please refer to the tutorial we have previously mentioned.
Next, you will need to agree to allows access to MonsterInsights to your Google account. To do so, please click on the "Allow" button.
In the last step, you will be presented with the website URL you have configured during the Google Analytics account setup. Note that if you have several websites being managed within your Google Analytics account, you will need to choose the desired one from the dropdown menu.
To finalize the setup, please click on the "Complete Connection" button.
After a brief loading period, Google Analytics will be connected to your WordPress website. When the process is completed, you will be presented with the recommended MonsterInsights settings. If needed, you may alter them based on your preferences.
You are allowed to track the downloads of your website files. If required, you can customize the file types included by removing/adding the desired file formats into the "File Download Tracking" field.
Underneath, you can add an affiliate tracking path, in case you would like to track your affiliate links.
Right below, you can control which user roles to have access to the Google Analytics dashboard that will be integrated by the plugin in your WordPress backend.
You can also enable automatic plugin updates, as well as allow MonsterInstigts to collect information from your website.
When you are ready, please click on the "Save and continue" button.
Next, you will be prompted with advanced tools included in their commercial edition. If you are not planning to upgrade, please click on the "Save and continue" button.
The following step is also advertisement oriented. You will be welcomed to install the WPForms plugin. In case it is not needed, please click on the "Skip this step" link on the right.
Lastly, please click on the "Finish Setup & Exit Wizard" button.
Upon doing that, you will be directly promoted to the MonsterInsights administration interface. You will notice a new "Insights" module added to the left-hand side navigation menu.
As we previously pointed, the plugin allows you to monitor the Google Analytics reports directly through your WordPress Admin Dashboard. To do that, please navigate through the left menu to Insights > Reports.
Within this section, you will find an overview of all key analytics, such as page views, sessions, bounce rates, new versus existing visitors rates, top pages, top countries, and top referrals.
Congratulations! In this tutorial, you have learned how to integrate Google Analytics to your WordPress based website using the MonsterInsights plugin. Now you can enjoy the convenience of monitoring your website traffic directly through your WordPress Admin Dashboard. We hope this information was useful to you, and our guide helped you to complete this task with ease. In case you have experienced any difficulties with the plugin installation, please do not hesitate to contact our Technical Support team.
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