Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you track your website performance and see how your visitors interact with it. Anyone with a Google account can set up a Google Analytics for his/her website by signing in right here https://www.google.com/analytics/ . It’s a valuable tool for website owners and bloggers, allowing them to track and analyze every single thing that takes place on their websites.
Over the recent years Google Analytics has evolved in a way that it now can be integrated on WordPress powered websites. There are actually two ways to do that. You can either do that by manually adding the tracking code of your account to your theme’s header PHP files. Or use a WordPress Google Analytics plugin ,which is a simpler way, especially if you’re not that into coding.
In this post I’ll walk you through the steps to add Google Analytics to your website by using Google Analytics WD plugin. Why Google Analytics WD? Because it’s the most easy to use, comprehensive and advanced analytics reporting plugin I’ve ever come across. It goes an extra mile in statistics reporting, by allowing you to get custom reports that Google Analytics doesn’t automatically track. It also lets you compare data from different periods, and comes with a super straightforward dashboard that makes it easy to customize the plugin and tracking features. the plugin is the officially certified member of the Google Analytics Technology Partners Program.
Here are the points we’re going to cover in this post:
- Plugin Installation and Setup
- Data Tracking
- Custom Dimensions
- Reports Overview
- Custom Reports
- Data Comparison
- Goal Management
- Data Filtering
- Alerts and Pushover Notifications
Installation and Setup
So, to get Google Analytics WD plugin up and running, you’ll first have to download it either from WordPress plugin directory, or from the plugin’s official page. Once your activate the plugin it will ask for the account authentication,which is basically the same as to allowing the plugin to connect to your Google account. For authentication, you just have to copy and paste the tracking code of your account into the relevant input field and you’re good to go.
After the plugin is activated it will take you to the plugin’s tracking page, where you can find tracking options and data exclusion.Here you can enable/disable functions for hiding the last block of user’s IP addresses, tracking multiple links with the same destination, outbound links tracking, and mailing and file downloading links.
Google Analytics WD allows you to set exclusions based on specific users and user types, the activities of which you don’t want to be included in the tracking reports. You can exclude users by roles, such as administrator, subscriber, author,editor, etc. The interactions from these users will be ignored during the data collection.
Right under the tracking options you’ll find custom dimensions. Google Analytics WD allows you to track dimensions, that Google Analytics does not automatically track. You can enable the data tracking for logged in users and specific post types, and track data based on post authors, categories, tags, published month and year. Using this feature, you can see which of your blog authors is more popular among your readers, or which post category is read the most.
Google Analytics WD gives you a quick overview of your site performance. Under the overview page you’ll find data about your site’s real time visitors, audience,browsers used while interacting on your site, and user locations by countries. So, if you just quickly want to get a glimpse of your recent stats this is the right place to check.
The plugin comes with a long list of built-in report types. It provides reports for:
- Real Time visitors
- User Interests
- User Behavior
- Custom Dimensions
- Traffic Source
- Site Content
- Site Speed
- Custom Report
As you can see the plugin, provides statistical data for almost everything happening on your site. For business websites or online stores, the plugin is a good finding. You can link your Adsense and AdWords accounts to Google Analytics and get relevant reports right from your site dashboard. Also, you can check sales statistics of your site by revenues, transactions, products and performance.
Google analytics WD goes beyond the built in reporting types, and lets you configure and get custom reports on any metric and dimension that you’re interested in. Apart from the above mentioned reports you can set your own reports and see the relevant stats in the plugin’s reporting page. To set a custom report, you have to go to the custom reports section of the plugin, specify the report name, and choose the metric and dimension you want to set a report for. For example you can choose Organic searches as the metric and Keyword as the dimension, and get a report of keywords, which visitors use to find your website with search engines.
The reports are displayed in colorful and easy to comprehend charts, and are possible to email, or export to PDF or CSV files.
With so many reporting types wouldn’t it be nice if you could also compare data from different periods to see when your site was performing better. Well, Google Analytics WD allows you to compare data related to your site audience based on two periods. You can select one of the available period ranges, such as previous year or period, or define a custom period using the datepicker.
Goals let you track user activities which you’re most interested in. You can set and manage goals from the goal management section of Google Analytics WD.The goals are set only to the domain on which the plugin is installed.
To configure a goal, you’ll have to select the view (which is apparently the site you want to set a goal for), specify goal name, and choose the goal type, whether it’s a destination, duration or a page/screen per session. For example, you can select visiting a specific page as a goal, and get notified whenever the goal is accomplished.
If there are any specific traffic sources you don’t want to track data from, Google Analytics WD lets you filter them out from the reports. You can exclude traffic from specific countries, regions, cities and IP addresses. Just provide relevant information about each source in the input field and data from those sources would not be included in the reports.
Alerts and Pushover notifications
Google Analytics WD allows you to set alerts and get notifications about the highest or lowest number of sessions, visitors, bounces or session durations on your website.The notifications can
be sent for different periods, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.You can also get notified via Pushover, if you provide your email address in the plugin settings.
Google Analytics works out of the box, and is a totally user-friendly plugin, suitable for both beginners and folks that are familiar with Google Analytics. The plugin comes with detailed user guide and has a dedicated support team ready to provide timely support for its users. Don’t forget to check the plugin demo to see how the plugin actually works.