Analyzing your website’s traffic is crucial if you want to improve its usability and performance, and the easiest way to access all the data you need is with Google Analytics.
But much like installing WordPress yourself can be confusing if you’re not that tech-savvy (that’s why name.com created RapidPress!), getting Google Analytics up and running can be a little intimidating if you’re hot familiar with HTML. You need to fill out a form at the Google Analytics website (the easy part) and then add a Tracking ID to the code in your site header (the not-so-easy part).
But since we’re working with WordPress, there’s a plugin that’ll automate the installation process: Google Analytics for WordPress. Today I’ll install the plugin on bearglecorn.com and get Google Analytics up and running.
Step 1: Create a Google Analytics account
This is pretty easy. Just navigate to the Google Analytics login/sign up page, and sign up for analytics using your Google account (or create a new one). You’ll proceed to a form where you tell Google which website you’d like to track. Fill out this form, click the “Get Tracking ID” button at the bottom of the page, and you’re done with this step. You’ll be taken to your Google Analytics dashboard and the tracking code for your website will be displayed, but instead just head back to your WordPress dashboard to finish the installation.
Step 2: Connecting to Google Analytics
You can download the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin here. Once it’s installed, you’ll find a new Google Analytics menu by navigating to Settings –> Google Analytics. At that menu, click on the “Click here to authenticate with Google” button. You’ll automatically be taken to a screen where you can give the plugin permission to access your Google Analytics account.
Once access is granted, you’ll return to the Google Analytics for WordPress settings in your WordPress Dashboard. Now just click on the “Profile” drop-down menu to select your Google Analytics profile, click the “Update Settings” button at the bottom of the window, and setup is complete.
Step 3: Check your traffic!
Navigate back to Google Analytics at any time to see your site data. Since I just completed the installation there’s no data to be viewed, and since bearglecorn.com is just a sandbox for tutorials, there will never be a ton of traffic anyway. However, if you have your website open in another tab/browser, you should at least be able to verify that Google Analytics is working by going to the “Real Time” section. I had the bearglecorn.com open on both my computer and my iPhone, and sure enough Google showed that two people were on the site.