How to Add and Use Google Analytics on WordPress

There’s a built-in separate analytics tool on WordPress, and Google Analytics complements it very well. You can use a WordPress tool to have a quick glance at stats, but it’s better to enable GA on your website and start collecting more detailed information about your stats.

Why you need Google Analytics for your WordPress site

In addition to WordPress.com analytics, Google Analytics has additional functionality. It allows you to measure how visitors accomplish certain activities, and funnel reports let you trace the journey visitors travel through your site (such as reaching a product page or contact form). You'll be able to see all of your metrics in one spot if you already use Google Analytics for other projects.

Here are the main advantages of GA:

  1. You’ll have an opportunity to know how many people leave without visiting other pages and clicking CTAs.
  2. You’ll see where most of the traffic comes from.
  3. You’ll learn about the amount of time people spend on particular web pages.
  4. And more!

Before you switch Analytics on your website, you’ll have to create an account there.

Before you begin: start account in Google Analytics

If you have a Google profile, you can proceed with the following steps to attach a new Analytics account and log in here.

Here’s what you have to do: 

  1. Head for Google Analytics and log in with your Google account. 
  2. Find ‘Admin’ at the bottom of your left sidebar. 
  3. See the left drop-down list and click ‘Create new account’. 
  4. After this, the setup page of your new Analytics account will appear. 
  5. Enter all the requested data and save the edits. 
  6. Done! You’ve successfully created a Google Analytics account! 

After that you’ll need to get a Universal Analytics tracking ID. 

How to get Google Analytics Tracking ID

  1. If you already have a Google account, click the ‘Admin’ tab, if you’re not logged in - do it. 
  2. Make sure you’ve chosen the correct ‘Property’ and ‘Account’. 
  3. After you’ve done it, go to the 'Tracking Info', select 'Tracking Code' and you’ll be able to see the Tracking ID of yours. 
  4. Copy it and paste it in the Google Analytics Account Number field. 
  5. Save the changes. 

Keep in mind that in certain cases it takes nearly 24 hours for your Wix statistics to add to Google Analytics. After it’s finished, you can proceed to using the analytics and getting useful data for your website statistics. 

At that point let’s check whether your event tracking works properly. 

How to check if Google Analytics event tracking is working

Sometimes, you can manually confirm. If you’ve noticed there are suspiciously few visitors on your website, go to the 'Real Time > Events' panel in the Analytics and double check if everything’s ok. 

In some cases it can be a fairly complicated mission. If you’re still doubtful if the setup of the event was carried out correctly or if your Wix website is actually in action, then identifying any positive effect of your alterations becomes an unachievable thing. Making sure that the event tracking is working on your website is an essential part of employing Google Analytics. And Google has an instrument to facilitate the search for errors and mistakes. This instrument is called Google Analytics Debugger. It is an extension for Chrome which you can effortlessly get on the Chrome online store. 

After installing it to your browser, go to the page where you have set up Google events. Then open the console by performing a right click -> inspect element, and after that click the console tab. Further, follow the guide below: 

  1. Hit the plugin icon in the taskbar. This will launch the plugin. 
  2. The page will refresh and the console will be filled with lots of stats. 
  3. If you’re seeing this, everything works fine. 
  4. Find the 'Clear Console' button in the top left corner and click it. This will give you a clean table. 

It’s better to spend some time on researching the console and its work as it will be of a really great help in understanding what data exactly is being sent to Analytics. 

How to identify the most popular pages on Google Analytics

After your Tracking ID has been found and the statistics on your WordPress website can be viewed, it's the perfect time to observe which pages receive the most views per year. First, find the 'Behaviour' section in the left sidebar. After clicking it, choose 'Site content' - 'All pages'. 

How to identify the most popular pages on Google Analytics on WordPress

There, you’ll see a report for all of your content and the total amount of page views that were obtained by your content. Bear in mind that a page view means the WordPress page has been loaded by a browser. It’s an initial way of evaluating your reputation, but it will help you to quickly reveal the superior pieces of content. All that is left for you to do is to glance through the list of the most popular pages on your website and choose the ones you’d like to feature. 

Tip: If the Analytics report contains any outdated content from your WordPress website, it’s a great idea to modify it for approaching use, for instance you can get rid of the outdated info and add new facts. Modernizing the existing content is a good idea as it doesn’t demand as much time as writing new materials. 

Now that you know the basics, let’s see how you can see whether Google Analytics works correctly on your site. 

How to check if Google Analytics is working

Setting up the Analytics on your WordPress site appropriately is crucial as it can’t gather stats correctly if something was done incorrectly. And the first thing you are to recheck is the tracking code - it must be active on your website. Here you’ll need Google Analytics Debugger. 

Users who have faced any issues with the work of Google Analytics on their websites, can use this tool to regulate their tracking code as well. 

Like we said before, the instruments can be discovered on Google Chrome Web Store. Install it if you still don’t have it and then follow this easy guide: 

  1. Open the site you need to test. 
  2. Click on the Debugger icon at the browser to turn it on. 
  3. Press 'Ctrl-Shift-J' to open the Chrome Javascript console. 
  4. Check whether your Analytics code contains any error messages in the ‘Console’ section. 

For other browsers there are also a bunch of plugins created, for example, Analytics Debugger or Ghostery. Install them to prevent your work from any inconveniences. 

After checking the work of Analytics, you can start tracking other advanced figures for your WordPress site. 

What is the bounce rate in Google Analytics and why you should track it

Bounce rate in GA stands for a condition when a user lands on a WordPress website page and then gets out without triggering other requests to Analytics, in particular clicking call-to-actions, opening other pages, etc. Therefore, if a user visits your website page from search, then browses the page, but does not click any internal links or interact with your website in any other considerable way, then this user is considered as a bounced one. 

Therefore, bounce rate is identified as the percentage of sessions that begin and end on a single page - sessions that end in bounce. Each page’s bounce rate impacts the site's total bounce rate. 

Tip: If you know that there’s a page on your WordPress website or a set of pages that you know may affect your overall percentages, you can remove them from your Analytics reports. 

Find info on bounce rates of your WordPress website on the Acquisition, Conversion, and Behavior tabs in the Google Analytics left sidebar. 

Are there any differences between bounce and escape rate in Google Analytics?

You may have noticed that some reports in Google Analytics contain the Escape rate metric. It differs from the Bounce rate and here’s how. 

Bounce rate is only reported in case a separate page session occurs on your WordPress site. In contrast, if a user lands on your ecommerce website page, then moves to the product page or to the shopping cart and exits, this exit influences Exit rate. 

Why should I track my website’s bounce rates?

Bounce rate is a fundamental metric for understanding how your site users some individual pages on your website. Knowing it, you can upgrade your marketing strategies by applying Analytics to motivate your users to interact with your WordPress website pages. 

Remember that in particular cases high bounce rates are not necessarily something bad. These are the reasons for it: 

  • It’s ok if your bounce rate is high if you have a single-page website. For instance, it can be a landing page, or if you have content that is meant for single-page sessions. 
  • High bounce rates are not good for sites that depend on users’ visiting more than one page - ecommerce first of all. 

After finding the best solution on working with bounce rates on your WordPress site, it’s time to see how you can use some other Analytics features. Such as URLs of tracking campaigns. 

How to to find tagged URL data in Google Analytics

Tagging URLs with UTM codes helps web managers identify some particular referral sources in Google Analytics for your WordPress website. With the help of this feature, you can isolate users referred to specific campaigns to get better comprehension of how they act and form more precise lists of audience. 

So, if you’ve decided to apply tagging URLs with UTMs across any of your marketing campaigns, you’ll need to know where to look in Analytics to see the data the tags are delivering. 

If everything is prepared properly, go to the Acquisition section in the left sidebar of the Google Analytics, then select Campaigns and go to All Campaigns: 

How to to find tagged URL data in Google Analytics for WordPress

All the info there will be parted by the campaign name. Bear in mind that if your marketing campaign has received zero clicks, this URL won’t be mentioned in the reports until it gets at least one click.