If you want to grow your website and reach more audiences, you’ll need to pay attention to the data. In practice, it means monitoring various metrics from how many visitors you’re getting, how they are reaching your website, where they’re coming from, and much more. All these metrics are tagged under the term data analytics.
WordPress, one of the world’s most popular CMS, doesn’t have an out-of-the-box analytics solution. However, you can use services like Google Analytics, a free tool for analyzing and visualizing your website’s data.
This article will tell you the importance of analytics for your WordPress site and show you how to add Google Analytics to your WP website. Next, we’ll also introduce you to five Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress templates for getting the most out of your data.
Table of Contents
- Working knowledge of WordPress and plugin installation
- Understanding of working with Google Analytics
Introduction to WordPress
WordPress is an open-source, self-hosted blogging tool being used by millions of websites. It powers over 40.0% of all the websites on the Internet. WordPress is an excellent platform for building a variety of websites without the knowledge of coding languages. You can use WordPress to build portfolios, business websites, eCommerce stores, news portals, and more.
Big businesses, individuals, and everyone in between can use WordPress to build a website with ease. Even if you are not a developer, you can modify a WordPress website with both free and premium themes and plugins to accomplish your website modification tasks.
Introduction to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a web traffic analysis suite that helps companies in understanding and analyzing web traffic. Over 50 million websites around the world use it.
You can learn more about the geographical information of your audience, how they spend their time on the site, which pages they interact with, when they are coming by, and how they are finding your site.
By analyzing data with Google Analytics, you can optimize your traffic sources, improve content strategy, track marketing campaigns, find pages with the highest bounce rates, and adjust the website to better serve your audience.
Understanding the Importance of Analytics for WordPress Sites
Visitor’s Point of Origin
Peak Visiting Hours
Linking Google Analytics to WordPress will help you find the peak active hours on your website. With this data, you can better schedule the publishing of new posts, deals, and campaigns. This, in turn, will ensure your content gets the most engagement after going live.
When someone visits your site, Google Analytics informs you about what pages they are visiting, how long they are staying on each of those pages, which pages have high bounce rates, etc. This data can help you improve pages with low engagement and high bounce rates.
You must have clarity over which design elements and content attract more visitors. With Google Analytics, you can do A/B testing to pinpoint which CTAs and landing pages encourage them to take determined action.
Website Traffic Sources
Visitors can reach your website from Google search, a paid Google ad, via a social media network, from another website, etc. Thus, with statistics on traffic sources, you can concentrate on sources that play an essential role in bringing traffic to your site.
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Steps to Connect Google Analytics with WordPress
You can either use plugins to add Google Analytics to your website or manually add a code to your theme. Here, we will show you how to do both.
The WordPress plugin library has several Google Analytics plugin options such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, MonsterInsights, WooCommerce for Google Analytics, etc. The setup will vary slightly depending on the plugin you choose.
For this blog, we will review how to set up Google Analytics for the WordPress website with MonsterInsights. However, the process is relatively straightforward and similar to most plugins.
Step 1: Sign up for Google Analytics
You’ll need a Google account because that’s the only way you can use Google Analytics. Create an account if you don’t have one.
Next, head to Google Analytics sign-up page and click on Sign up. As you can track multiple sites under a single Google Analytics account, create a property for the site(s) you want to follow.
Step 2: Install, activate, and connect the plugin (MonsterInsights)
Install MonsterInsights WordPress plugin on your WP website and activate it. You’ll have to now connect Google Analytics to MonsterInsight by following the setup wizard.
Step 3: Start tracking
Once you’ve connected your WordPress site with Google Analytics, it’ll start showing all the essential metrics on the Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress. You can view bounce rate, top posts/page, unique customers, number of sessions, page views, and average session duration.
For Google Analytics to track visitor activity on your site, the tracking code should be present on every page of your site. Here’s how you can achieve that manually without using a plugin.
Option A: header.php
One of the principal ways to add a Google Analytics tracking code to your site is to insert it into your header. It will ensure that the tag loads on every page.
Most standard themes in WordPress have a header.php file. Consequently, you can simply insert the Google Analytics code in the header.php file. However, always make changes to the child theme rather than the main files. Otherwise, you risk losing it while updating your central theme. Also, don’t forget to back up your WordPress site before you edit it.
Go to Appearance > Theme editor. Next, copy and paste the tracking code from Google Analytics into header.php right after the opening <head> tag. Also, don’t forget to wrap the code in <script>…</script> brackets so the browsers can recognize it.
Option B: functions.php
Another way of adding Google Analytics to WordPress is to use the functions.php file. The process is the same as it was for the header.php file. However, the difference is that instead of adding the tracking code to header.php directly, you insert it via a function into the header section. You can do it by simply editing your child theme’s functions.php file and add the code. Add the tracking code right before closing the </head> tab in the functions.php file.
Building a Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress
You need knowledge of two things before building a Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress: key metrics and types of dashboards.
Key Metrics to Track
Here are the metrics you can select to track with the Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress:
- Audience: Tells who your visitors are, their demographics, preferred language, and their interests. You can also find how they navigate to and from different pages on your website.
- Acquisition: Understand the number of users and unique visitors are coming to your website and where they are coming from. Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress also tracks which sources send them to your website. You can use this information to optimize marketing platforms that send you the most visitors.
- Conversion: You’ll have to set up goals in Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress to compare and track conversion rates. You can learn more about which CTAs and landing pages on your site successfully keep your visitors engaged.
- Monetization: If you offer products on your site or run ads, this will provide details about ad clicks, revenue, popular products, and other financial information.
- Real-Time Stats: With Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress, you can review what’s happening on your website in real-time. Some of these stats are the current number of visitors on your website and active users over time.
- Behavior: You can also know what your visitors do when they arrive on your website, where they end up going on your site, and how they interact with the distinct website elements with the help of a Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress.
Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress Templates
1. Page Tracking Dashboard
A page tracking Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress will evaluate the quality of the generated website traffic. How long are your visitors staying on pages? Which pages have a slow load time and high bounce rates? With these metrics, you can predict the conversion rate. With decreasing bounce rate, longer engagement time, and an increasing number of pages per session, you can expect an increase in conversions.
This Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress will track bounce rate, the number of pages per session (pages/sessions), time (spent) on-page, and average page load time. You can also track bounce rate by browser and average time spent on each page.
2. Organic vs. Paid Traffic Dashboard
This Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress focuses on organic and paid search traffic coming from Google Search Engine. For a comparison, you can use the number of sessions, the bounce rate, the number of new users (organic vs. paid), the conversion rate, the average session duration, and the most common organic and paid search queries. However, you’ll have to connect your Google Ads and Google Search Console account with Google Analytics to collect this data.
3. Audience Dashboard
With an Audience Dashboard, you can take a closer look at the audience’s specific characteristics and interests. Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress can show you demographic data and interest reports of your audience so that you can refine your ideal buyer persona and provide personalized content to them. You can see sessions by continent as a geomap, users by gender, age groups, and bounce rate and page/session for each age ground and gender.
4. Website Content Dashboard
A Content Dashboard will give you a detailed overview of your website’s content performance. Such an overview is essential for the content and SEO team. This Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress provides a quick summary of the number of page visitors, the page views and unique page views, %new visits on landing pages, the bounce rate by page title, and average session duration on each page. You can also check pageviews by countries and top cities.
A detailed overview of the pages with unique page views, bounce rates, session durations, and the time spent helps you identify the most relevant pages or contents. You’ll be able to find pages and content that your audience finds attractive and work on improving those sections further.
5. Social Media Dashboard
Social media dashboard is an essential Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress tool to monitor your social media presence and campaign performance. You can track traffic on all your active social media accounts, bounce rate, engagement, and most shared content. These KPIs will help you improve future decisions about campaigns. You can also check what percentage of your overall visitors come from social. If you are planning on advertising on social media, this dashboard can provide insights about which social network is helping you achieve goals.
This blog covers the basics of Google Analytics and WordPress before touching upon the importance of analytics in a WordPress site. It then covers the steps you can use to connect Google Analytics to WordPress along with the key metrics and WordPress Dashboard templates that you can leverage for your use case.
Everyone must use a Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress tool to gather insights about their audience’s behavior and interests. Without a tool like Google Analytics to improve your marketing decision, you are essentially flying blind. Analytics helps you navigate substantial data sets to find precise information about your visitors’ behavior, where they come from, how they interact with your website, and whether your current marketing strategies and SEO efforts are working.
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Share your experience of understanding Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress in the comments section below!