by Juan Robin II
How much do you know about your website?
It may sound like a simple question, but you’d be surprised how many people aren’t able to answer it. Sure, you probably know everything about the layout, design, content, and navigation on your site. But I’m referring to your website’s performance.
Here’s the thing: Unless you’re bombarded with sales, signups, or comments on a daily basis, it’s difficult to know what’s happening on your website. For those of you who have a new website, you’re probably wondering if your site is even working.
Now, let’s get back to the initial question about how much you know, though this time I’ll be more specific.
- How much traffic does your website have?
- Where are these visitors coming from?
- How long do they stay on your site?
- Which online campaigns drive the most traffic and conversions?
- What’s your top performing content?
- Which pages aren’t performing well?
- What are people searching for on your website?
- What’s stopping your customers from converting?
As you can see, these questions are a bit more in-depth. The knowledge required to answer these goes far beyond being able to regurgitate the titles of your last few blog posts.
But this isn’t something you can track or measure by hand. You’ll need to take advantage of online tools and resources. That’s why you need to set up a Google Analytics account.
If you’re using WordPress, you can integrate Google Analytics with your site to view all of these insights without having to leave your WordPress administrative dashboard. The solution? Plugins.
It doesn’t matter if you’re website is new or old. It doesn’t matter if you have an ecommerce site or blog. Every website can benefit from Google Analytics plugins. So check out my list to determine which plugin is best for your situation. I took the time to research and identify the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress.
1. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Formally known as GADWP, the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics is definitely one of the most popular options. This plugin has more than one million active installations.
With the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, you’ll be able to use the latest Google Analytics tracking code to monitor your WordPress site. This is great for those of you who don’t want to manually insert the tracking code. Once installed, you’ll be able to view all of your Google Analytics statistics from the WordPress dashboard. This makes things much easier for you.
You’ll be able to track key stats in real-time, such as:
- Real-time visitors
- Real-time acquisition channels
- Real-time sources of traffic
The plugin also helps you track specific events on your site. Some of these include emails, downloads, page scrolling depth, and affiliate links. You can even create notated HTML elements that allow you to track custom events and actions.
One of the key features of this plugin is the front-end viewing option. As an administrator, you can set up your reports on the front-end of any page on your site. You can also allow these front-end viewing permissions for other people who work on the website like editors, authors, and contributors.
Some of the most popular reports you can view with the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP include:
- Page views
- Bounce rates
- Traffic channels and mediums
- Operating systems
- Screen resolutions
- Social networks
- 404 errors
Why is this information so important? The data allows you to learn more about the browsing behavior of people on your website. You can use these insights to create a customer persona that improves conversion rates.
Just like Google Analytics, the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin is also free. So it’s a great option for those of you are looking for a free Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Overall, it’s a top option for any website.
More than two million WordPress websites are using the MonsterInsights plugin. I love this plugin because it’s so easy to install and use. You can get the plugin configured in just minutes.
This is much simpler than having to manually add your Google Analytics code, set up your event tracking, configure your ecommerce tracking (if applicable), and deal with the learning curve of Google Analytics.
MonsterInsights simplifies everything for you, directly from your WordPress dashboard. You can enable specific Google Analytics features with just one click. There is no coding required.
The plugin provides you with extensive reports about your website. I’ll go through each one briefly and list the benefits.
- Age breakdown
- Device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
You could learn that the majority of your traffic is coming from men in the United States between the ages of 25 and 34. These users are browsing from mobile devices.
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate
- Search terms
- Outbound links
If you identify specific outbound links on your website that are very popular, you can use that as a potential partnership opportunity. You’ll also be able to focus on referral channels that are driving the most traffic.
The content report shows you the top performing landing pages. You’ll see the visits, average duration and bounce rate for each page. Based on these results, you can optimize those pages to drive conversions.
Obviously, this report is specifically for ecommerce websites. It’s useful information that will help you increase conversions and revenue.
You can’t go wrong by installing the MonsterInsights plugin. The only catch is that it’s not free. Pricing starts at $99.50 per year. But if you have an ecommerce site, you’ll want to go with the pro version that’s $199.50 annually. MonsterInsights even has a plan for agencies and developers, which costs $499.50. That’s not bad considering you can use it on 25 sites.
Like the other plugins we’ve seen, Analytify also eliminates the need for you to manually add your Google Analytics tracking code to your site. All you need to do is install the plugin and authenticate it with one click to automatically add the code. This is a relief for those of you who are hesitant to add code to your WordPress site. Without any coding experience, even a simple copy and paste can be a bit intimidating.
Analytify has all of the standard Google Analytics reports and statistics. You can view all of them from your WordPress dashboard. What makes this plugin stand apart from other options are the extras. They offer premium add-ons for things like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads integrations.
Depending on the type of website you have, you may want to show website visitors your statistics as well. For example, let’s say you have a business directory site. The companies that are listed on your site would want to know certain metrics. So you can enable front-end viewing reports.
The Analytify WordPress plugin is great for ecommerce businesses. They have enhanced ecommerce tracking. You’ll know how many visitors added items to their shopping cart and also gain insights for when people are leaving the cart. This information will help you reduce shopping cart abandonment by optimizing your checkout process.
You’ll also see things like:
- Average order value
- Product checkouts
- Unique purchases
- Product clicks
- Product detail views
Another reason why I recommend this plugin is because it provides you with automated email reports. You can gain deeper insights for specific campaigns, posts, and pages.
The shortcodes offered by Analytify allow you to integrate your data into custom templates.
Furthermore, you can manage your UTM campaigns with Analytify as well. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this or want to learn more, refer to my guide on how to track your leads with UTM parameters. It’s nice knowing that you can monitor those campaigns directly from this WordPress plugin.
Pricing for Analytify starts at $39 for one site. Add-ons are purchased separately. Those all fall within the $19 to $49 range. Analytify also offers an all-in-one bundle for $129 per year that includes your Analytify install and every add-on. This is the most cost-effective deal if you’re planning to purchase add-ons.
4. WP Google Analytics Events
Google Analytics already offers insights for event tracking that allow you to monitor specific user interactions with content on your website. Think: clicks, downloads, flash element or AJAX embedded element interactions, video plays, and gadgets. Events are made to help you monitor custom metrics that aren’t based on something simple, like page views. Just because someone navigated to your homepage, it doesn’t tell you if they scrolled to view your pricing table.
The only problem is these events can be tough to manually set up and configure with Google Analytics.
Without a plugin, you’ll have to some extra work based on the type of event that you want to track:
Then you’ll have to write commands. When it’s done, it will look something like this:
Here’s another example:
Again, it’s complicated. Even the Google Analytics developer page with these instructions says, “tracking outbound links and forms can be tricky.”
The WP Google Analytics Events plugin simplifies this process. You can do all of this without having to worry about any coding.
So if you want more detailed information with how users are interacting with specific pages on your website, you’ll want to install this plugin. It’s much easier and less complex than the standard coding process for event tracking. You can download and install the WP Google Analytics Events plugin to your WordPress site for free.
5. Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce
In case the name didn’t give it away, the Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce is designed specifically for ecommerce sites. Google Analytics recently launched a new feature for enhanced ecommerce statistics. That’s what this plugin focuses on.
I like this plugin because it’s so fast and easy to install. Once you install it, you’ll be able to track the behavior of your website visitors across your entire ecommerce site. You’ll learn about everything they do from the home page to the product views, all the way to the thank you pages.
These are some of the detailed reports you’ll get:
- Shopping behavior report
- Checkout behavior report
- Product performance report
- Sales performance report
The plugin tracks product impresses, clicks, and add-to-cart rates on every page. If you don’t want to bounce back and forth between your WordPress dashboard and Google Analytics dashboard, this plugin will let you view everything from one place.
Every website can benefit from Google Analytics. (You’ve already installed, right? If not, do it now. Right now. Go. Install it now.)
But you can simplify your insights by getting all of your reports and information directly from your WordPress dashboard. All you need to do is install a plugin. So what’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress?
For those of you who want a free all in one plugin, you should consider Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. If you’re a developer, have an agency, or want added reports for an annual premium, you should look into MonsterInsights.
Ecommerce websites would benefit from plugins like Analytify or the Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce.
Maybe you don’t want all of these features, and you’d rather focus on something specific, like event tracking. If that’s the case, WP Google Analytics Events will be your best bet.
No matter what type of website you have, I know there’s a Google Analytics plugin for you on this list.