Google Analytics (GA) is a must-have for any site. There are no doubt multiple plugins, paid or not, that provide analytic services, and I’m sure they have their pluses, but GA more than suits my needs and the clients I serve.
Using WordPress and the Monster Insights plugin – which is what I do exclusively – it’s a very simple process. There are 2 sides to it: setting up the GA side and configuring the plugin.
The way I do it is as follows:
Create an account or login to Google Analytics using a gmail address. If you don’t have a Gmail address take a few minutes to set up a Google profile. This will be integral to your business so do it properly and keep your personal information accurate. You might be on the phone to Google My Business support verifying your flagship store one day and you’ll want to know your details.
You’re allowed 50 or so websites under one Google profile. I have a Google Account for my business, and it’s this account that I use for analytics, adwords and so on.
What makes it confusing for me is that for my business G+, I used my personal account as that is what was recommended by Google. But thinking long term about SEO, if I want Google to fully recognise the interconnectedness perhaps making sure my Google Brand and My Business originate from the same address, using the URL of my site, is the safe way to go.
Anyway, now we are logged into GA. Our goal is to get a WordPress site connected. Click the ADMIN tab. In the ACCOUNT box, choose an account or create a new one. In general, create a new one for every website you set up. Creating a new account is pretty straight forward. You can put the Website name here for both the Account and the Website name. There is a lot more detailed setup if you manage multiple accounts, but don’t let that stop you getting started.
Copy and paste your website URL after it’s loaded in your browser. Whether you prefer it with www or not is fine, put here what you prefer, and you can later specify your preference properly in Search Console if you haven’t already. I’ll write a post about how to do that soon and link it from here.
Industry Category can be tricky. Just choose the best possible – don’t let it paralyze you that there isn’t anything suitable. You can always chose “Other”. I work with a lot of tourism companies – specifically Tour Operators – adventure tourism, ski schools, tour guides and so on. I contacted Google support and they recommended the Travel category, which also covers hotels and motels etc. Pretty broad.
Set your time zone, tick the boxes or not (I tick them all), and click Get Tracking ID. You’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions – select your country, read and accept. You’ll see from the left navigation that you are now in the Tracking code section. You are not going to worry too much about the code, as we’re using a plugin to do the work for us. All we need is the Tracking ID, also called a UA code since they start with UA.
Leave this tab open and in another tab login to your WordPress account. Go the Plugins > Add New. Search for Google Analytics by Monster Insights. Add the plugin, activate it, and check your website by reloading the browser. 99.9% of the time there’ll be no problem. If there is and the site doesn’t load, deactivate the plugin and leave a comment if you want me to edit this and talk about options.
Once the plugin is activated you’ll see the Monster icon in the left toolbar. In my site it’s above Cornerstone and below Wordfence. The first thing to do is go the settings. You’ll see a section right away in the General tab that opens called Google profile: with a button to authenticate with your Google account. Even though you can just manually enter the UA code, it’s better to do it through Google as you get more functionality. And it’s quick. You’re still logged into Google (through analytics earlier), so just click the button, choose the right Google account (if you have more than one saved in your browser), and click Allow. You’ll get a code – copy it, go back to your WordPress tab, and paste it in right where it is asking for an authentification code.
You’ll then be sent back to your settings. Choose the right Analytics Profile if you have more than one, leave the default settings for now, and save. Your site will now be connected with Google analytics. You can open a separate browser (so you’re not logged into the site as an admin), or a new private window in Chrome, click throught a couple of the pages, then go into Analytics -> Reporting -> Real Time -> Overview and watch yourself viewing it using Google Analytics live view.
Form here it is also a good idea to connect to Search Console. I will write a separate post about that.
That’s it! Sorry about the lack of images and video – I promise to add on this post and make it the best ever. Hassle me if you’re reading this and I still haven’t done it!