Google Analytics for Beginners

Guide Overview:

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service that provides valuable insights to help website owners shape a successful strategy for their business. It’s important to know what content is driving engagement, where visitors are coming from, and what devices they are using to view the content. Even if website owners are not going to look at their analytics from day 1, we highly recommend setting up Google Analytics right away.

Google Analytics Account Setup
Integrate Google Analytics with WordPress
Verify Tracking
Google Analytics Filters
Analytics-Based Optimization
Implement Google Tag Manager with WordPress
Grant Team Access

Google Analytics Account Setup

The steps in this section should be followed if all you need to track is simple website traffic. If you need to track additional entities such as Ads, please refer to the Google Tag Manager section.

  1. Sign into the Google Account you will use to manage your Google Analytics
  2. Visit the Google Analytics website and Sign up
  3. Enter an Account NameWebsite Name, and Website URL
  4. Choose the Industry Category for your website, the Reporting Time Zone for your location, and uncheck all Data Sharing options
  5. Click Get Tracking ID
  6. Accept the terms
  7. Copy the entire script from the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) box

Integrate Google Analytics with WordPress

Theme (Option 1)

While it may be desirable in some cases, here we want to do the job without adding another plugin into the mix. If your WordPress theme has an area that allows for the insertion of custom code, paste in the entire script that you copied from the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) box.

Note: If you’re unsure, check with a website professional and/or your theme developer to ensure the proper location for the script insertion.

Plugin (Option 2)

If you choose not to use your theme or simply would like to use a plugin, here are some recommended options.
  • SEOPress (If you already use SEOPress, this is a good option, as it prevents you from having to install yet another plugin.)
  • MonsterInsights

Verify Tracking

  1. Within Google Analytics, click on the Home icon, and find the Active Users right now box
  2. Open a different browser (ex. Chrome Incognito) where you are not logged into the website, and browse around the website

At this point, if things are set up correctly, you should see the Active Users right now change from 0 users to 1 user.

Google Analytics Filters

With Google Analytics now set up, we want to further configure some settings to fine-tune the tracking results.

Country Filter

For this example, we will configure a filter will only show us traffic from a particular region, which in this case is a country (United States).

  1. With Google Analytics pulled up, click on the Admin icon from the main menu.
  2. In the far right column, choose Filters.
  3. Click Add Filter, and name the filter Include US Only.
  4. For the Filter Type, choose Custom, and click the Include radio button.
  5. For the Filter Field, choose Country.
  6. In the Filter Pattern box, enter United States.
  7. Click Save.

IP Address Filter

For this example, we will configure a filter to exclude the traffic that we ourselves generate by viewing our own websites.

  1. Click Add Filter, and name the filter Exclude Home IPs.
  2. For the Filter Type, choose Predefined.
  3. For  Select Filter Type choose Exclude.
  4. For Select source or destination choose traffic from the IP addresses.
  5. In the IP address box, enter the IP address for your home network. (Note: You can quickly find your IP address by visiting the IP Chicken website.).
  6. For Select Expression choose that are equal to.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Repeat the steps above for any location (network) that you’ll be viewing your website and has a more predictable IP address, such as corporate offices.

Analytics-Based Optimization

Let’s say you discover that a large majority of your website visitors are using mobile devices. While you should be optimizing your website for mobile already, learning this information should light a fire under you to ensure your website is delivered quickly, and beautifully over mobile devices. Check out our WordPress Optimization tutorial for ways to help with things like faster delivery on mobile devices. Another example would be if you learn that certain posts/pages are not getting the views that you would have hoped or that people are quickly bouncing out of your content. This could mean that the value is just not there for these particular assets and the content either needs to be enhanced or possibly rolled into other existing content. We offer Google Analytics consulting, as part of our Online Presence Services.

Implement Google Tag Manager with WordPress

If you would like to track multiple tag entities like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, please check out our Google Tag Manager for Beginners guide.

Grant Team Access

  1. While logged into Google Analytics, click on the Admin menu link (bottom left).
  2. Under the Account column, click User Management.
  3. Click the plus icon (upper right).
  4. Choose Add users.
  5. Enter the team member’s email address.
  6. Check the Notify new users by email box.
  7. Choose desired level of permissions. (Note: You’ll typically want to grant Edit permissions here, especially when you need to allow management/maintenance, of your GA account.).
  8. Click Add.

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