*Update: As of April 2, 2019, Google+ will no longer exist. Learn more.
Unlock the Power of Google Analytics with a Simple Setup
Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to monitor the success and opportunities of your online marketing. With Google Analytics you can measure the amount of traffic you are getting to your site, where it is coming from, and what the traffic does when it gets to your site. You can also watch for completion of goals and conversions which are a very helpful way to identify whether or not your site is accomplishing your marketing goals. There will be more posts coming in the near future that will focus on some of the capabilities that you can unlock in Google Analytics, but today I would like to focus on how to set up Google Analytics. More specifically how to set up Google Analytics on a WordPress site with the Genesis Framework.
Step 1: Your Google Account
If you have signed up for Gmail, Google+, or any other Google product, you already have a login that will work for Google Analytics. (Google takes pride in the fact that you can use all of their products with just one login). However, if this Analytics setup is for a business, it’s best not to use your personal Gmail or Google login. Doing so could cause issues down the road, such as Google products syncing your business up with your personal contact information. Also, whatever login you establish Google Analytics with now will become the primary account owner, so it’s best if this login doesn’t belong to just one individual. (It’s now possible to transfer ownership down the road if needed but this wasn’t always the case, and it still requires you to have the full cooperation of the account owner, so just save yourself any future headache and ensure you’re using a login that multiple people can access.)
It’s easy to sign up for Google Analytics. Just go to www.google.com/analytics/analytics and click the green button in the top right hand corner of the site that says, “Sign Up for Free.” If you already have a Google account, click on “Sign In”, then “Analytics”. The process for creating a Google account is pretty painless so I’ll leave that part up to you guys and we will skip right ahead to setting up the account.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Account
After you have logged in you will see a page that says, “Start analyzing your site’s traffic in 3 steps.” Click the silver button on the far right side that says, “sign up.” After that you will see a page full of options. I’ll write about them here but feel free to click on the thumbnail image to the right and see an annotated version of this page.
What Are You Tracking?
The first question you will be asked is whether you would like to track a Web Site or a Mobile App. For the purposes of this post we are tracking a Website. Make sure that you have “Website” selected.
With “Website” selected as what you’re tracking, the tracking method will be using Universal Analytics. With this method, a tracking code will need to be implemented into your site to complete your setup. We will touch on this later in the post.
Setting Up Your Account
In Google Analytics it is very important to understand the difference between an Account, Property, and Profile. The account is what you log into. You can monitor many websites from one account. The Account Name is what we are going to set first.
You can name your account almost anything that you want. If you are setting up an account for an agency and tracking multiple properties you could use the agency name. If you are tracking your Cat Blog you can name your account Cat Blog. Really you can name your account whatever you’d like.
Setting Up Your Property
A Property is a website that you are monitoring. A Profile is how you view the data (will get into more on that later in another post… if you have questions about Google Analytics definitions please review this post).
In this step you are setting up your property (the website you are tracking). Here you will give the name of your site, the site URL, and industry category and the time zone you would like to use for reporting the data.
Finally, Google will ask you some data sharing questions. You can leave all of these boxes checked. The “Google Products & Services” checkbox allows your Analytics acocunt to share data with Google only to help improve Google’s services. The next checkbox, “Benchmarking”, allows your GA data to be anonlymously shared to help you and others understand data trends. “Tehcnical Support” allows support representatives to access your Analytics account to provide you with technical assistance when you need it. The last box, “Account Specialists” gives Googles Account Specialists permission to review your Google Analytics. They can provide you with optimization tips when you request it. This is helpful if you are using Google AdWords.
Click the Blue Button
Click the Button that says, “Get Tracking ID.”
Step 3: Your Google Account
Method 1 – Install WPMU Google Analytics + Plugin (Preferred)
Once you’re logged into your WordPress admin area, hover over “WPMU Dev”. Then, click “Plugins”. Find the “Google Analytics +” plugin and click “Install”. After the plugin is installed, hover over “Settings” then click “Google Analytics”. Click “Login with Google and get access code”. Login to your account with which you created your new Analytics property. After you’ve logged in, choose the appropriate site property from the drop-down. If the tracking code doesn’t automatically populate the “Site Tracking Code” field above it, grab your tracking ID and paste it into this field. Scroll down to “Minimum role or capability to view GoogleAnalytics Statistics inside WordPress Dashboard” and change the minimum role to “Editor”. Hit “Save”. Your Analytics tracking code has now been successfully added to your site!
Method 2 – Add Code Directly to Genesis Theme Settings
If you do not have WPMU Dev installed on your site, there is another way to add your tracking code. This is a very simple copy and paste job.
- Copy the Google Analytics “Global Site Tag” listed under the “Website Tracking” headline
- Log into your WordPress Dashboard
- Click on Genesis, then click on “Theme Settings”
Scroll to the bottom of the page
Paste the code into the first box under the title
“Header and Footer Scripts”