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How to Track WordPress Category and Tag Analytics (Easy Way)

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Do you wish to track the WordPress category and tag analytics? By default, most website analytics solutions tell you about your most popular posts and pages, but very few show any information about your archive pages like categories and tags.

Category and tag pages can be an important source of traffic. This is why you need to track them properly, so you can better understand their impact.

In this article, we will show you how to easily track WordPress category and tag analytics.

Tracking categories and tags in WordPress

Why Track Category and Tag Analytics in WordPress

WordPress category and tags can be an important source of traffic when used properly.

Categories are your website’s main topics. For example, on a travel website, these could be food, tours, accommodation, etc.

On the other hand, tags are specific topics discussed inside an article. For example, coffee shops, free tours, budget hotels, etc.

To learn more, see our complete guide on category vs tags and SEO best practices to use them for maximum benefit.

By default, category and tag pages are indexed by search engines which brings you additional traffic. You will need to learn which category and tags are getting more traffic, and what you can do to improve them.

That being said, let’s take a look at how you can easily track categories and tags in WordPress.

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Setting up Google Analytics with MonsterInsights

For this guide, we will be using Google Analytics with MonsterInsights.

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to easily install Google Analytics and track your website traffic.

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.

MonsterInsights is a paid plugin. You’ll need at least their Pro plan to access custom dimensions addon which we will be using for this tutorial.

Next, you need to visit Insights » Settings and scroll down to click on the ‘Launch Setup Wizard’. This will start the MonsterInsights setup, and you just need to follow the on-screen instructions to connect your WordPress site to your Google Analytics account.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

After that, you need to go to Insights » Addons page and install the Dimensions addon.

Dimensions addon

MonsterInsights will install and activate the Dimensions addon.

You are now ready to setup category and tags tracking in WordPress.

Adding Custom Dimensions in MonsterInsights for Categories and Tags

MonsterInsights allows you to set dimensions. These are custom parameters that you can use to track different elements on your website using Google Analytics.

First, you need to visit Insights » Settings page and then switch to the ‘Conversions’ tab. Scroll down to the ‘Custom Dimensions’ section and click on the ‘Add New Custom Dimensions button.

Add dimensions in MonsterInsights

Next, you need to select ‘Tags’ and then click on the button again to add ‘Category’ custom dimension.

Click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the top to store your changes.

Adding Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

Now that you have set up custom dimensions in MonsterInsights, the next step is to do the same in Google Analytics.

Open your Google Analytics dashboard and switch to the All Website Data view.

From there, you need to click on the ‘Admin’ button at the bottom left corner of the screen and then select ‘Custom Definitions » Custom Dimensions’ under the Property column.

Google Analytics custom dimensions

Next, you need to click on the ‘+ New Custom Dimension’ button and add ‘Category’. Google will then show you a code example, but you can ignore it and click on the Done button. Repeat the process to add ‘Tags’ as well.

Category and Tags custom dimensions in Google Analytics

You also need to make sure that custom dimensions IDs and Index values match in Google Analytics and MonsterInsights.

Match IDs

That’s all you have set up category and tag tracking in Google Analytics using MonsterInsights.

Viewing Category and Tags Reports in WordPress

After your website has collected some traffic data, you can view your category and tags tracking reports inside the WordPress dashboard.

Simply go to Insights » Reporting page and switch to the Dimensions tab.

Category and tag reporting in MonsterInsights

You’ll see a list of your most popular categories and tag pages listed there.

How to Improve Your Category and Tag Pages in WordPress

Now that you have started tracking your category and tag pages, you would want to improve them, so that you can get even more traffic to your website.

Following are a few easy-to-implement tips that you can use to improve your category and tag archive pages.

1. Use Excerpts Instead of Full Posts

By default, WordPress displays full posts on your category and tag archive pages. Some WordPress themes provide a solution for that by allowing you to choose between full posts vs summary.

You can also do that on your own. Simply install and activate the Advanced Excerpt plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After that, go to Settings » Excerpt page and scroll down to Display on section. From here, you can select excerpt length and style options for your excerpts.

Excerpt settings

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

That’s all your WordPress categories and tag pages will now show excerpts instead of full posts.

2. Add Category and Tag Descriptions

Just like your posts and pages, you can also add descriptions for your category and tag archive pages. Simply go to Posts » Categories page and click on the Edit link below a category.

Editing a category in WordPress

This will open the category editor screen. From here, you can edit category name, slug, and provide a description of what kind of articles users will find under this category.

Adding category description

You can now save your changes and visit the category page to see the description in action.

Category page preview

Repeat the process to add descriptions for all your category and tag pages.

Note: All top SEO plugins will automatically use your category description as meta description for category pages.

3. Add Category and Tag Icon Images

By default, all categories and tag pages look quite similar to each other. You can add an image to your category tag page to make them stand apart and look more interesting.

See our tutorial on how to add taxonomy images in WordPress for detailed instructions.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily track WordPress category and tag analytics. You may also want to see our article on essential website marketing data you must track on all websites.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

24 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    Great instructions. I wanted to ask if Monstersight also provides a free trial version, or if it is possible to try the software for free for example for 14 days and then decide to buy?

  3. Bharat says

    if install site kit by google and connect to analytics account. not needed to install MonsterInsights plugin?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That would be an alternative plugin option but at the moment we recommend MonsterInsights


      • Bharat says

        Thank you for your reply
        I have another one question
        If the connected both, there will be no problem?

        • WPBeginner Support says

          You would only want to use one to prevent any conflicts between the plugins.

  4. jeff says

    im wanting some advise for google analytics.

    i have google site kit and the analytics is installed

    i also have woocommerce google analytics installed

    i have jet pack so have site verification and sitemaps

    i have rank math so have analytics, search console and site map

    am i using to many plugins that may conflict

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Yes, you would want only one plugin that adds analytics tracking to your site to prevent incorrect tracking


  5. Jeheen M Zaman says

    I loved the way you broke it down. Other blogs I checked have it too techy for my level. I’ll check out other tutorials on the site for an easier start on my seocnd site.

  6. Emma Hannay says

    This is super helpful! Thank you for sharing, definitely curious to try MonsterInsights now

  7. Destiny Alabi says

    This is good and will be very helpful to me in analyzing my most viewed categories.

    Thank you for this insight

  8. Radoslav Ivanov says

    All this time WPBeginner has been a life saver and yet another good tutorial which gave me knowledge to continue with my projects.Thank you !

  9. Vikas Disale says

    This is very easy method to track tags and categories. I have blog where most of the traffic comes on category pages, but never considered this. Will give it try. Thanks

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