Setting up Google Analytics is a critical step to understanding how visitors are finding and interacting with a WordPress website. There are many other analytics solutions available besides just Google Analytics, but it’s a great free tool many can and should use when getting started with tracking website analytics.
All that’s needed to setup Google Analytics on a WordPress site is access to the backend of the WordPress site and a Google account. Once the initial setup is complete it’s easy to test to see if it’s properly tracking and proceed to setting up more advanced features in Google Analytics.
How to Setup Google Analytics with WordPress
The first step is to visit https://analytics.google.com and ensure you are logged into the account you want to setup as owner of the WordPress site in Google Analytics.
Once properly logged into the right Google account you want to use, in the bottom left corner you’ll see a gear icon for “Admin” and you’ll want to click that. Next, find a blue button that says “+Create Account” and begin the account and property setup process.
For the Account Name just input the name of the website, it’s not all that important. There are some other settings on that page but you can just hit “Next” and continue onto the next step.
For the Property Name just name it the same as above, it’s not all that important for a basic setup. Note the “advanced options” you may want to create a Universal Analytics property by turning that on if you want to associate this property with a Google Search Console property. Then go ahead and click “next” again.
The “About Your Business” is also not all that important. Usually just select the size of the business and check ALL the boxes. And click “Create” and accept the terms.
Now you want to setup the “Data Stream” which is basically the tracking code that feeds into the Google Analytics account. The Stream Name isn’t all that important either. This will give you the “Measurement ID” or your Google Site tag (gtag.js) that you want to add to your WordPress website.
How to add Google Analytics Tracking Code to WordPress
Where you add the Code is going to be different on every website. Sometimes in the theme options for the theme the site is using. Sometimes Appearance -> Theme Options. Or Sometimes you’ll want to add the Google Analytics tracking code via a plugin which you can search for on the plugin repository.
How to Test Google Analytics is Tracking Correctly
After installing a GA tracking code on a WordPress website, you’ll want to test to ensure it’s tracking visitors. This can be done by navigating to Reports -> Realtime in Google analytics. Then, open an “incognito” or “private” browser window and visit the WordPress site… After about a minute you should see the live traffic pop up in your realtime report. This means you’ve installed the tracking correctly.
That’s it! If you’d like to learn more Analytics items like this be sure to check out the WordPress Analytics Checklist we offer for free.