Analytics are a critical part of ensuring any WordPress website is performing optimally and knowing what’s working and what could be improved. There are lots of analytics solutions for WordPress and this checklist will help to ensure a base level analytics setup on any WordPress website. Which analytics solutions for WordPress are used is a matter of preference but analytics are the foundation of making any improvements data driven and must be setup properly.
Each checklist item is numbered in correspondence with the Master Checklist with a short summary and a link to more detailed information if available.
Master Checklist Table of Contents
- WordPress Website Analytics Setup Checklist [you are here]
- WordPress Website Security Audit Checklist
- WordPress Performance Site Speed Optimization Audit Checklist
- WordPress SEO Audit Checklist
WordPress Analytics Checklist
The most popular free analytics solution for WordPress is Google Analytics and is a great place to start tracking your website stats. Ensure Google Analytics is properly configured with any WordPress site and tracking correctly. Learn More
1.2 You’ve setup conversion ‘goals’ in Google Analytics to track when users have taken specific actions on your website.
Most WordPress websites have specific goals they drive the visitors to complete. Whether that’s filling out a contact form, purchasing a project, or opting in for a newsletter for example – You should be using “goal tracking” analytics features to understand the visitors journey to completing that desired action.
1.3 If your website is e-commerce (storefront) you’ve properly configured Google Analytics Conversion Tracking.
Building off the previous checklist item, if you are selling via e-commerce then Google Analytics has a specific feature for tracking conversions on any WordPress website. This enables you to segregate and better understand the traffic or visitors who are actually purchasing on a WordPress set and understand their buyers journey on your site.
1.4 You’ve reviewed the Internal Site Search data in GA to make sure it’s turned-on and configured for any insights about user intent based on searches.
This option in Google Analytics is toggled OFF by default, but if turned on and configured properly could provide great insights as to what users are searching for on any WordPress website.
1.5 You’ve setup a filter for your home and/or office IP Address to make sure those visits are not being tracked in GA.
Google Analytics will track all visitors, including you or those at your company, unless you tell it not to. Sometimes you don’t want to track your own actions or those of your colleagues, and rather only track outside visitors that your trying to target. This helps to keep your data clean and not have all the irrelevant internal traffic muck up any WordPress website stats. Google Analytics allows you to disregard traffic from a certain IP Address, which often are unique to any office building or can be requested from your internet service provider.
1.6 You are taking advantage of ‘Campaign Tracking’ in GA with the use of URL tagging.
Most marketers know about URL parameters but they can be confusing for the general WordPress website admin. Campaign tracking allows you more granular data about the acquistion sources and their behavior once they hit a WordPress website. These are commonly known as UTM (Urchin Traffic Monitor) but could more appropriately be described as a Unique Tracking Metric.
1.7 You’ve made sure you are tracking all your domains, including sub-domains in GA.
It’s important to realize that Google Analytics, and many other analytics platforms, often look at subdomains as separate websites. Do you have any subdomains working alongside a WordPress website? Consider how those are tracked in Google Analytics and if they should be included, excluded or separate.
1.8 You are tracking the correct non-www. or www. web address in GA.
Many WordPress site owers and managers don’t understand that www. or non-www. matters a lot. Perhaps less than it once did – but historically Google considered these two different sites. The important part is to be consistent and ensure you have setup your site either with or without the www. before the domain name.
1.9 You’ve reviewed all sections of GA reporting looking for any insightful analytics that could help or be hindering your site.
It’s one thing to have analytics properly setup on a WordPress website, but another thing to actually review the stats. Most analytics solutions have lots of data that can be viewed in lots of insightful ways. Ensure you take the time to learn the data by reviewing and researching so you can know what’s working and what is not to help you know where to focus your efforts.
1.10 You only have one instance of the GA tracking code in your site pages.
Often times WordPress websites accidentally include the tracking code for whatever analytics solution in multiple places. So when you look at that source code for any page you can see extra tacking codes. There are advanced ways to manage multiple tracking codes if you have them, but you mostly want to avoid duplicates that could result in duplicate data.
1.11 You’ve configured your analytics tracking info settings to collect all the data you need.
Many analytics solutions for WordPress allow you to control the data you collect on your website. It’s important to be aware of what is being collected and ensuring you are gathering the level of user detail you need. Doing this while ensuring you inform website visitors of the data you are collecting is an often overlooked element of a WordPress site.
1.12 You’ve considered setting up GA Alerts to monitor any significant changes in website traffic.
If a WordPress site is suddenly receiving a ton more traffic than normal, someone should be notified with an alert. It’s important to have analytics configured on your WordPress site to notify someone that the website is suddenly receiving irregular traffic quantities. This can be an opportunity to recognize new traffic sources or this can be a warning that your site might crash if the hosting server is not powerful enough to serve all the visitors.
1.13 You have setup a ‘filter’ or otherwise excluded or segmented tracking login areas and pages not desirable for your marketing data requirements.
Often WordPress website analytics contain content pages that are of no interest to the performance of your website. Using filters in analytics on a WordPress site can help to reduce the clutter that smears your view into the most relevant/actionable statistics.
1.14 You utilize the User flow and Goal Flow charts and data with Google Analytics segmented by source and medium.
These data visualizations are particularly useful with WordPress websites to understand a specific segments source and behavior. Overall, be familiar with all the the capabilities and visualizations offered by analytics solutions like Google Analytics. Gain a deeper understanding of where to attribute the success of your WordPress website.
1.15 You’ve setup a filter for /blog/ content only vs. primary site pages.
Since many WordPress websites utilize the blogging feature it’s often helpful to look at the performance of the blog vs. the rest of the site separately. Comparing the performance of blog posts, without the clutter of the rest of your site pages, and vice versa, can give you a clear picture on priorities. Be sure you have these filters configured especially as many WordPress sites don’t have a specific /blog/ directory all posts contain in their URL. For instance, if your permalinks are setup as /%postname%/ then you’ll need to do some special configuration to ensure you get this segregated blog data.
Got a WordPress Analytics checklist item that we didn’t cover here? Please leave a reply in the comments below.
Make sure to download the master checklist and audit all the other areas of any WordPress website.