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How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners

Do you want to install Google Analytics in WordPress? Knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success.

The best way to know your audience is through your traffic stats, and this is what Google Analytics provides for FREE.

In this article, we will share why Google Analytics is important, and how you can easily install Google Analytics in your WordPress website (step by step).

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

First, we will explain why Google Analytics is important and how it can help you grow your website.

After that, we will show you how to sign up for a Google Analytics account and different methods to install it on your WordPress site.

Finally, we will explain how to view your traffic reports in Google Analytics.

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article.

  • Why is Google Analytics Important
  • How to Sign up with Google Analytics
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using MonsterInsights (Recommended)
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using Insert Headers & Footers Plugin
  • How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme (Advanced)
  • Viewing Reports in Google Analytics
  • Making the Most out of Google Analytics
    • Ready let’s get started.

      Video Tutorial

      Subscribe to WPBeginner

      If you don’t want to watch the video tutorial, then you can continue reading the text version below:

      Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

      Once you start a blog, your #1 goal is to get more traffic and subscribers. Google Analytics help you make data-driven decisions by showing you the stats that matter. You can see:

      Who visits your website?

      This part of analytics answers what is the geographical location of your audience, which browser did the user use to visit your site and other important information such as screen resolution, JavaScript support, Flash support, language and more.

      This data is extremely useful, and it can help in numerous ways. When getting a custom design, you can use the user data to make sure that your site will be compatible with your audience.

      If most of your users don’t have Flash support, then you should avoid adding the flash element in your site. If most of your users are on 1280 screen resolutions, then make sure that your design is compatible with that resolution or smaller.

      What do people do when they are on your website?

      You can track where the users are going on your website, how long do they stay on your website, and what is the bounce rate (the percent of users exit your site on the first visit).

      By using this information, you can decrease the bounce rate and increase your pageviews.

      You can also find your most popular articles, articles that are not doing so well, and what kind of content your users are looking for.

      When do people visit your website?

      By looking at the hottest hours in the day for your site, you can pick the time when you publish your post. If that time zone is not compatible with yours, then you can schedule your post to meet that hour.

      How do people find your website?

      This section of the analytics shows you where did the users come from (for example: Search Engines, Direct Links, Referral links from another site).

      It also shows you what percentage of your visitors came from each of these sources. Google analytics gives you the breakdown of each of these categories. If it is the search engine category, then it shows you which search engine got you the most traffic, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

      The breakdown of referral sources shows you which sites you need to work with the most. If your top referral source is Facebook, then you need to have exclusive Facebook content to make your Facebook audience feel special.

      If your top referral source is an external website, then you might want to consider having a partnership with that website (guest post exchange or something else).

      How do people interact with your content?

      Google analytics shows how your users interact with your site’s content. It shows you what percent of the user clicked on which link on your site and much more.

      You can run A/B split tests by creating content experiments in Google Analytics to understand what works best to meet your goals.

      By seeing the user interactivity, you can work your content around your users. By seeing the answers to the questions above, you can focus on the strategies that work for your site and avoid strategies that don’t work.

      Simply put, eliminate the guesswork and focus on stats that matter, so you can make data driven-decisions.

      How to Signup with Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is available for free and all you need is a Google or Gmail account to sign up. The sign up process is quite simple, follow the step by step instructions below to create your Google Analytics account.

      Step 1: First you need to visit Google Analytics sign up.

      You will be asked to login with your Google account. If you already have a Google or Gmail account, then you can use that to sign-in. Otherwise, you can go ahead and create a Google account for yourself.

      Sign in with your Google account

      Step 2: Once you sign-in with your Gmail account, you will be prompted to a screen like the one below. This is where you will signup for Google analytics with your Gmail account.

      Sign up for Google Analytics

      After that, you will be asked to provide an account name. This name will be used internally so you can use anything like your business name.

      Enter account name

      Step 3: On the next screen, you will be given choice to choose between a web, apps, or apps and web. Make sure you select ‘Web’.

      Select web

      After that, you need to enter website name, website’s URL, country, and time zone.

      Provide website details

      Once you have entered this information, click on the Next button. You will be presented with Google Analytics terms and service which you must agree to, so click on ‘I Agree’ button.

      Step 4: Now you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code. You can copy this tracking code because you will need to enter it in your WordPress site depending on the method you use below.

      You cann also simply leave this browser tab open and switch back to copy the code when needed.

      Google Analytics tracking code

      We suggest leaving the analytics browser tab open as you may need to revisit it, once you have installed the code on your WordPress site.

      Now that you have setup a Google Analytics account, let’s take a look at how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

      How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

      There are a few different ways to setup Google Analytics in WordPress. We will show you three methods where the first option is the easiest and the last being the hardest.

      You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

      Note: You need to use only one of these methods on your website to avoid double tracking of page views in your Google Analytics account.

      Method 1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

      MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Over 3 million websites use it including the likes of Bloomberg, PlayStation, Zillow, WPBeginner, and more.

      It is the easiest and by far the best way to add Google Analytics to WordPress (for all users beginners and experts alike).

      MonsterInsights is available as both, a paid premium plugin, and a free version. In this tutorial, we will be using the MonsterInsights free version.

      You can use the MonsterInsights Pro version if you want more advanced features like E-commerce tracking, Ads tracking, Author tracking, etc. The process of setting them up is the same.

      Let’s get started.

      The first thing you need to do is install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Insights’ to your WordPress admin menu. Clicking on it will bring the MonsterInsights setup wizard.

      MonsterInsights setup wizard

      First, you will be asked to choose a category for your website (a business website, blog, or online store). Select one and then click on ‘Save and Continue’ button.

      Next, you need to click on the ‘Connect MonsterInsights’ button.

      Connect MonsterInsights

      This will bring up a popup that will take you Google accounts where you will be asked to sign in or select a Google account if you are already signed in.

      Sign in or select a Google account to continue

      Next, you will be asked to allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account.

      Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account

      Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

      The final step is to select the profile you want to track. You need to select your website here and then click on the ‘Complete Connection’ button to continue.

      Select your website profile to compete setup

      MonsterInsights will now install Google Analytics on your website. After that, you will be asked to select the recommended settings for your website.

      Recommended settings for Google Analytics

      The default settings would work for most websites. If you use an affiliate link plugin, then you need to add the path you use to cloak affiliate links. This will allow you to track your affiliate links in Google Analytics.

      Click on the Save and Continue button to save your settings.

      Next, MonsterInsights will show you paid add-ons that you can access if you upgrade to PRO. You can simply click on the ‘Save and Continue’ button to skip this step.

      Upgrade to pro

      After that, you will be asked to install WPForms plugin, which is the best WordPress contact form plugin. You can install it or simply click on ‘Skip this Step’

      Recommended plugin

      That’s all you have successfully installed and setup Google Analytics on your WordPress site. Remember, it will take Google Analytics sometime before showing your stats.

      Google Analytics successfully installed using MonsterInsights

      The best part about MonsterInsights is that you can view your Google Analytics reports inside your WordPress dashboard. Simply visit Insights » Reports page to check out a quick overview of your analytics data.

      Your Google Analytics reports in WordPress dashboard

      It also comes with a Popular Posts addon that allows you to show your top performing content to boost your traffic & pageviews.

      MonsterInsights Popular Post Templates

      You can use it to automatically add inline popular posts links to boost engagement:

      MonsterInsights Inline Popular Posts

      Of if you’re using an online store, then it can also automatically add your top performing products at the end of each blog post to boost sales:

      Popular products after content

      Note: MonsterInsights was formerly known as Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast. WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, acquired the plugin in 2016 and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. Now it is part of our family of premium WordPress plugins.

      Method 2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

      This method is not as good as MonsterInsights because you will not be able to do advanced tracking configuration, and you will not be able to view Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.

      First, you will need to copy your Google Analytics tracking code that you copied earlier in Step 4 when signing up for Google Analytics account.

      Google Analytics tracking code

      Next, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics tracking code that you copied earlier into the ‘Scripts in headers’ section.

      Adding Google Analytics tracking code using Insert Headers and Footers plugin

      Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

      That’s all, you have successfully installed Google Analytics on your site.

      3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

      This method is for advanced users who are familiar with the code. It is somewhat unreliable because your code will disappear if you switch or update the theme. We almost never recommend using this method.

      If this is your first time adding code to your WordPress files, then you should check out our guide on how to copy paste code snippets in WordPress.

      First, you will need to copy your Google Analytics tracking code that you copied earlier in Step 4 when signing up for Google Analytics account.

      Google Analytics tracking code

      Now there are two common ways to add this code in your WordPress theme files. You can choose either one of them (not both).

      1. Add code in header.php file

      Simply edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and paste the Google Analytics tracking that code you copied earlier right after the <body> tag.

      Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

      Add via Functions File

      You can also add Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress functions file. It will then automatically add the tracking code to every page on your WordPress site.

      You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file.

      <?php
      add_action('wp_head', 'wpb_add_googleanalytics');
      function wpb_add_googleanalytics() { ?>
      
      // Paste your Google Analytics tracking code from Step 4 here
      
      <?php } ?>
      

      Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

      Google Analytics is capable of showing you a treasure of data collected from your stats. You can view this data by visiting your Google Analytics dashboard.

      Google Analytics reporting

      You will see the built-in Google Analytics reports in the left column. Each section is divided into different tabs and clicking on a tab will expand it to show more options.

      • Real-time This report will show you a real time view of your traffic.
      • Audience tab will show reports to help you understand your users.
      • Acquisition reports explore where your users came from.
      • Behavior reports summarize what your users do after they arrive on your site.
      • Conversion reports show how well you’re doing against your goals.

      Making the Most out of Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool with tons of awesome features. Some of them are quite obvious and easy to use, others require some additional setup.

      Here are some of the resources that will help you make the most out of Google Analytics reports.

      Google Analytics works best with Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). It allows you to see how your website is doing in search results. See our complete Google Search Console guide to learn how to use it to grow your website.

      If you want to improve your website SEO rankings and get more traffic, then we recommend using AIOSEO plugin for WordPress which is an all in one SEO toolkit.

      We hope this article helped you learn how to install Google Analytics in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate guide to increasing your blog traffic and our comparison of the best email marketing services.

      If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Reader Interactions

812 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I am new to google analytics. Today I got the code and just wanted to paste in correct place. I was wondering whether to keep in end of head section or body section. because as per google analytics instruction it was mentioned to keep in the end of head section. I am now able to successfully install google analytics. Thanks for your help.

  2. Seems like the easiest way is to insert the script into the footer. Just did that, now I’ll wait 12-24 hours. Hope it works!

  3. Can you set this up if WordPress hosts your blog? Do you have specific directions for that scenario?

  4. I Am having a problem with Google Analytics, the first time i installed it i was getting correct updates, then i changed my address from http://www.green-van.com/test

    to http://www.green-van.com and made a new step 6. but since then the same statistics, 3 visits and never any new ones. i am using google analitycs wp plug in now, and in my footer.php i have this

    Cufon.now();

    i don’t know if that is interfering with anything.

    maybe i should not use the wp-plugin and do the code directly inside the footer?

    can i send the footer.php or the functions.php to see if things are in the correct order?

    kind regards,

    Giannis

  5. @ardegas The code above works perfectly fine because all it is doing is adding an action in wp_footer to add google analytics…. the only reason why it would not work is if you paste the code in a manner which is not semantically right. Shoot over an email with your functions.php file code using pastebin or similar service… will evaluate and let you know what is wrong.

  6. @wpbeginner I’m using a child theme, and functions.php is almost blank. The only function I have now is an empty function: <code><?php function twentyten_posted_on() { } ?></code>. I use this function to remove some metadata from my theme. Without the php tags this function won’t work. So it looks I’m using the right semantics. I’m pulling my hairs right now.

  7. @ardegas You need to make sure that you are using the write semantics… For example you probably do not need the first <?php code because often functions.php files are already in php… So make sure that you are not opening the php tag if it is already open or closing it when it should be opened….

  8. I tried to insert the Analytics code using functions.php, but it gave me this error:

    <i>Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent…</i>. I couldn’t even log in after. I ended removing this offending code from the file manager. It was bad. It’s a pity, because this snippet of code looks beautiful. I tried to remove any offending white space, but it was of no use, and now I’m afraid to even touch the functions.php file again.

  9. The dashboard will not save the snippet. I have tried placing it just about </body> and also above the wp_footer tag (the note says you shouldn’tt seperate this from the close body tag) Still NOT saving the code.

  10. @martinfarr1 The footer.php is located in your theme’s folder which can be found /wp-content/themes/your-theme-name/

    If you really don’t have a clue, then try one of the Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

  11. where do i find footer.php? Have been trying to do this for days but am a total beginner I’m afraid!

  12. @BrianBraker That is because you pasted the other PHP codes without opening the php tag.<?php add_action(‘wp_footer’, ‘add_googleanalytics’); function add_googleanalytics() { ?> <script type=”text/javascript”> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-24076071-1’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); </script> <?php }

    //Here you can paste all the other codes

    ?>

  13. Did not work. Completely screwed up the function.php file so site did not load. Uploaded back up file.There is a bunch of other code in function.php file

    Here it is:

    <?php add_action(‘wp_footer’, ‘add_googleanalytics’); function add_googleanalytics() { ?> <script type=”text/javascript”> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-24076071-1’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); </script> require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/epanel/custom_functions.php’); require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/includes/functions/comments.php’); require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/includes/functions/sidebars.php’); load_theme_textdomain(‘StudioBlue’,get_template_directory().’/lang’); require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/epanel/options_studioblue.php’); require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/epanel/core_functions.php’); require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/epanel/post_thumbnails_studioblue.php’); $wp_ver = substr($GLOBALS[‘wp_version’],0,3); if ($wp_ver >= 2.8) include(TEMPLATEPATH . ‘/includes/widgets.php’); global $shortname; if (get_option($shortname.’_enable_dropdowns’) <> ‘false’) { update_option($shortname.’_enable_dropdowns’,’false’); }; ?>

  14. Hi there,

    Is a method or a plugin how to show the data delivered by Google Anlalytic directly on wordpress, without going to Google Analytics webpage ?

  15. hello,

    I am using the free wordpress version. Where do I find this part – “theme’s footer.php right above the tag”, so that I can simply copy and paste?

    Thank you!

  16. You can use the same code for the meta robots? in this way:

    add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘insert_meta_robots’);
    function insert_meta_robots() {
    ?>

    <?php
    }

  17. This is somewhat of a disaster! I added the code and now I can’t access my blog, it’s completely whited out

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end in /home3/sulukuc1/public_html/wp-content/themes/constructor/functions.php on line 344

    I saw this error message after I pasted the code in my funtions.php:

    Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter – headers already sent (output started at /home3/sulukuc1/public_html/wp-content/themes/constructor/functions.php:21) in /home3/sulukuc1/public_html/wp-content/themes/constructor/libs/Constructor/Admin.php on line 31

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home3/sulukuc1/public_html/wp-content/themes/constructor/functions.php:21) in /home3/sulukuc1/public_html/wp-admin/theme-editor.php on line 89

    Please help!!!!!!!

  18. I’ve read in the Thesis forums that the new GA code is asynchronous and needs to go in the header to work properly. It also doesn’t affect page load like the old code.

  19. Hello,

    When I put the Google Analtyics code in the footer.php and in the functions.php my whole blog dissapeared! Total white-out! What happened? What can I do to get it back?

  20. Hello,
    Almost, but not quite there, I would like the first option of copy and pasting the code- but, I cannot find the “theme’s footer.php right above the tag” – not in tools, settings, themes, general, etc etc. Sorry to ask its probably simple! I added it to the normal ‘text’ widget works for all else but this.

  21. Great compilation of what a beginner needs to know about Google Analytics and WordPress! I scheduled 1 hour to find out how to setup Analytics for my new site, I was done in 5 minutes… – Thank you!

  22. Magnificent tutorial, thanks. I’m in the 12 – 24 waiting period to see if it works but I already appreciate you instructions and your willingness to reply to comments. I actually found what I was looking for in one of your responses to a poster.

  23. Great, clear description – even for someone is a codaphobe. Thanks. I am wondering tho, if when google activates this if the stats will appear in the wordpress dashboard like my other stats package did (the wordpress.com stats) which seems to be broken as of today. Thanks!

    • There are some advanced Google Analytics plugin that does that, but we recommend that you check on Google Analytics site, to get the full report. Because no plugin gives full integration.

      Admin

  24. I am not able to figure out still, how do you edit the footer (or header for that matter) of the theme of the webpage?
    can you please give instructions where can I find way to edit my footer?

    I have tried ‘Edit CSS’, ‘Extras’, and also some other options in the ‘Theme’ menu. Couldn’t get it done. :(

    Please help.

  25. I’m thinking about going the plugin route – do I need to use both plugins or one or the other?

    I know that the “Google Analytics for WordPress” asks me where I want to embed it but then then “Google Analyticar” doesn’t ask anything about embedding so I’m wondering if it does it or if I have to do something manually…

    Thanks for this walk through!!!

      • I am attempting to use the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin to add the code to my wordpress site. It gives an option for installing the code in the header. When I look at my header file after activating and authenticating the plugin, I see no added code in my header file. Is there somewhere else the code is installed besides the header for my theme?

        • It should add it in the area, but it will not modify your theme. If the code is not showing in your theme, then it can mean that your theme does not have a wp_head(); hook in the header.php.

    • Google has not changed anything… All companies would like to have their scripts added in the header << But it is not wise for the webmaster. Any smart webmaster / developer would keep scripts like analytics in the footer to speed up the load time…

      WPBeginner has the codes in the footer. Twitter.com has the code in the footer and many other sites as well.

      Admin

      • Ok… apparently the commenting system doesn’t like angle brackets. That second paragraph should have said:

        If you want more accurate analytics you will use the new snippet version and you will put it in the head. If you are paranoid about page load times you will put it just before the close body tag.

        • How does the placement reflect accuracy? Whether you put the script in the head, or at the end…. upon the full page load, it will still count one user…

  26. Would love to know your thoughts on which method you recommend for installation. Such as are there advantages to placing the code by hand vs. using a plugin?

  27. This is one of the few features I did use a plugin for, even though it can definitely be achieved manually be pasting the code as you explained, thanks for sharing.

  28. Great tips for a newbie like me i will certainly try it now. The beauty of WPress is that it has a very little limitation.

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