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
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.
- Sign into the Google Account you will use to manage your Google Analytics
- Visit the Google Analytics website and Sign up
- Enter an Account Name, Website Name, and Website URL
- Choose the Industry Category for your website, the Reporting Time Zone for your location, and uncheck all Data Sharing options
- Click Get Tracking ID
- Accept the terms
- 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.
- Within Google Analytics, click on the Home icon, and find the Active Users right now box
- 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.
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).
- With Google Analytics pulled up, click on the Admin icon from the main menu.
- In the far right column, choose Filters.
- Click Add Filter, and name the filter Include US Only.
- For the Filter Type, choose Custom, and click the Include radio button.
- For the Filter Field, choose Country.
- In the Filter Pattern box, enter United States.
- 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.
- Click Add Filter, and name the filter Exclude Home IPs.
- For the Filter Type, choose Predefined.
- For Select Filter Type choose Exclude.
- For Select source or destination choose traffic from the IP addresses.
- 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.).
- For Select Expression choose that are equal to.
- Click Save.
- 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 OptimizationLet’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.
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