Are you wondering if MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress?
MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin in the WordPress.org plugin repository.
In this MonsterInsights review, we’ll see whether it’s the best Google Analytics solution for WordPress.
What is MonsterInsights?
MonsterInsights is the best analytics plugin for WordPress that’s used by over 3 million professionals. It allows you to install Google Analytics on your WordPress website without writing a single line of code.
Knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success, and MonsterInsights shows this information directly in the WordPress dashboard.
MonsterInsights’ website stats dashboard shows your top traffic sources, top-ranking pages, average session duration, and other important metrics. You can use these metrics to do more of what’s working, so you can get even better results.
If you’re just getting started or have a limited budget, then there is a MonsterInsights Lite plugin that you can download for free.
This plugin offers all the basic features you’ll need to install Google Analytics in WordPress, and track many essential metrics. This includes your top-referring domains, the number of new and returning visitors, and your total pageviews.
However, if you want to track advanced metrics such as your WooCommerce and form conversion rates, or set up Google Ads conversion tracking, then you’ll need the premium MonsterInsights plugin.
MonsterInsights vs. Google Analytics – Is There a Difference?
When choosing the best Google Analytics solution to use on your WordPress website, it’s important to note that no solution completely replaces Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that helps you understand how people are finding your website and the actions they take once they arrive at your site.
Meanwhile, MonsterInsights is a powerful WordPress plugin that helps you connect your Google Analytics account to your WordPress website.
Without a plugin such as MonsterInsights, you may have to hire a WordPress developer, write code, or follow complicated tutorials to integrate Google Analytics and WordPress. You don’t have to worry about skewing your data by double-tracking Analytics.
Going one step further, MonsterInsights improves the Google Analytics experience by showing analytics inside your WordPress dashboard. This means you don’t have to log into a separate Google Analytics account in order to track visitors, user engagement, and other important metrics.
MonsterInsights also offers advanced tracking features that aren’t available in Google Analytics by default. For example, MonsterInsights can track your form conversion rates, affiliate links, and custom events.
With that said, let’s look at whether it’s worth investing in MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights Review: Why Use It in WordPress?
You can manually add Google Analytics to WordPress using code, but smart website owners save time by using a plugin.
With that in mind, let’s look at all the reasons why you should choose MonsterInsights as your Google Analytics plugin.
1. Easily Install Google Analytics
If you don’t use a plugin, then you’ll need to add a code snippet to your WordPress website in order to use Google Analytics. However, editing your website’s code directly can cause all sorts of common WordPress errors, or even make your site completely inaccessible.
Even misplacing the Google Analytics code can prevent it from tracking your users or even skewing your Analytics data.
Thankfully, MonsterInsights makes it easy to install Google Analytics. To get started, you simply need to install and activate MonsterInsights, just like any other WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, MonsterInsights’ user-friendly setup wizard will show you how to connect Google Analytics to WordPress.
Simply enter some basic information about your WordPress blog or website, and then type in your Google username and password.
MonsterInsights will then go ahead and install the Google Analytics code for you.
For more details, please see our guide on how to add Google Analytics to WordPress.
The default MonsterInsights settings should work well for most websites. However, there are some more advanced options that unlock additional features. For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer then you can start tracking your affiliate links.
If you share the WordPress dashboard with other people, then you can choose the WordPress user roles who’ll have access to your Google Analytics reports.
2. See Google Analytics Data Inside WordPress
Google Analytics collects lots of information about your website traffic, link clicks and button clicks, conversion rates, and more. However, all this data can make it difficult to find the exact information that matters to your business.
With MonsterInsights’ dashboard reports, you can see how well your site is performing without having to leave WordPress or look through complicated Google Analytics reports.
Instead, you can make informed decisions based on data that’s easily available inside your WordPress dashboard.
MonsterInsights also comes with lots of different reports, covering specific types of data and use cases. To start, you can get a quick overview of your top referral sites, so you can see how visitors are finding your site.
You can also learn more about your visitors, including the countries where they’re located, and the devices they’re using.
If you create landing pages, then you can also see your top-performing pages. You can then try re-using elements from these high-converting designs, to see whether you get the same results. For example, you might use the same layout or a similar call to action button.
If you’re building an Amazon affiliate store or affiliate marketing site, then you can see which links are getting the most engagement and include them more often or create more content around those products.
There are also reports that you can use to monitor your WordPress SEO, measure page load times, and much more.
3. Set Up Advanced Tracking in Google Analytics
With MonsterInsights, you can configure advanced tracking that Google Analytics either doesn’t support by default, or that’s difficult to set up.
For example, MonsterInsights’ eCommerce addon allows you to set up eCommerce tracking in just a few clicks.
You can see how many times customers added a particular product to their shopping cart, and how many customers removed that product from their cart.
This insight can help you find your most popular products, so you can feature them in your landing pages, online ads, email newsletters, and other campaigns.
You could even use this information to identify products that aren’t performing so well, and then create campaigns to promote those products. For example, you might add them to cross-sell or upsell campaigns, to try and get more sales or clear your inventory.
MonsterInsights also shows the percentage of abandoned cart sales, the percentage of new customers compared to returning customers, and more.
Without MonsterInsights, most online store owners would need to set up the Google Tag Manager or hire a specialist developer in order to properly use eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics.
If you sell digital products, then MonsterInsights makes it easy to track file downloads. By default, MonsterInsights shows the total downloads for doc, pdf, ppt, zip, xls, docx, pptx, and xlsx files.
However, it’s easy to add more extensions if you sell different types of files.
Once again, this can help you identify the top-performing products, so you can feature them more heavily in your email marketing, online ads, and other campaigns.
It can also help you find products that are under-performing. You can then either promote these digital products more heavily, or stop creating that kind of content.
If you use forms to generate leads and conversions, then it’s important to track how well each form is performing.
The MonsterInsights Forms addon allows you to easily track your form views and conversions.
MonsterInsights will even show this information inside the WordPress dashboard, so it’s always within easy reach.
If you create videos, then you can use the Media addon to track your YouTube videos and Vimeo videos.
This addon allows you to see exactly how many views these videos are getting on your WordPress website, compared to the third-party platform where the video is hosted, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
For more on this topic, please see our guide on how to easily embed videos in WordPress.
4. Integrates Seamlessly with Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s web analytics platform. It comes with a ton of new reporting features and insights, allowing you to track websites and apps from the same account.
With MonsterInsights, it’s easy to set up a GA4 property and start benefiting from the latest reports, tracking, and advanced features.
To get started with Google Analytics 4, please see our ultimate guide to GA4 in WordPress.
5. GDPR Compliance
In 2018, the European Union (EU) introduced a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law that affects many websites and online businesses.
According to GDPR, you must obtain explicit consent before collecting or processing any personal information of an EU resident or citizen. This means visitors must give you permission to collect their data.
With that in mind, Google Analytics is not GDPR compliant by default.
If you break GDPR then you may get a fine, or possibly even jail time. With that said, it’s important to make your WordPress website GDPR compliant.
If you purchase a premium MonsterInsights license then you’ll get access to the EU Compliance Addon for MonsterInsights. This addon can anonymize user information and make your website GDPR-compliant.
In this way, you can collect personally-identifiable information without breaking GDPR, and risking a big fine.
It’s also worth noting that MonsterInsights integrates seamlessly with other GDPR-compliant plugins. For example, you can use WPForms to create GDPR complaint forms, and then track your form conversion rates in MonsterInsights with the GDPR addon.
6. Check Your Website Speed Inside WordPress Dashboard
There are many factors that can impact your WordPress SEO, including your website’s speed and performance.
If your site is slow to load, then search engines such as Google may show your content lower in the search results. By boosting your WordPress speed and performance, you can often improve your search engine rankings.
Your site’s speed also has a big impact on the user experience. In fact, according to our web design industry statistics, pages that load within 2 seconds have an average 9% bounce rate. If your page takes 6 seconds to load, then that bounce rate goes up to 46%.
To help track your site’s performance, MonsterInsights comes with a Site Speed report that measures loading times for mobile and desktop.
The report shows an overall score so you can see how well your site is performing at a glance.
MonsterInsights also creates an actionable ‘How to improve’ checklist.
Simply follow these recommendations to improve your Site Speed score.
7. Display Popular Posts and Products Anywhere on Your Site
MonsterInsights has widgets that can show your site’s best content to visitors. In this way, you can often increase pageviews and reduce bounce rate in WordPress.
If you run a WooCommerce store, then MonsterInsights comes with a Popular Products widget. This widget allows you to display popular WooCommerce products on any page, post, or widget-ready area.
The widget is fully-customizable, so you can specify how many products to show, any products or categories you want to exclude, change the text color, and more.
There’s even an ‘Automatic Placement’ setting that will automatically add the widget to all your WooCommerce product pages.
Similarly, if you write articles then MonsterInsights can display your most popular posts.
Once again, you can customize the built-in Popular Posts widget by changing the background color, excluding post categories, and more.
There are lots of templates you can choose from, too.
You can also automatically embed this widget in your posts using the ‘Automatic Placement’ feature, or add it to your site using the provided block or shortcode.
For more information, please see our guide on how to add a shortcode in WordPress.
8. Scroll Depth Tracking
MonsterInsights offers scroll depth tracking, so you can track how far visitors scroll on each page. This information helps you see if people are actually scrolling all the way through your posts, and identify any points where your audience tends to lose interest.
You can use this insight to optimize your content for more engagement and conversions. For example, you may shorten your posts, or place different content above the ‘fold,’ which is the area visitors see before they start scrolling.
You can even use MonsterInsights’ scroll tracking to perform A/B split testing. By trying different lengths and then analyzing the results, you can continuously optimize your website for more engagement, conversions, and sales.
9. Outbound Link Tracking
Outbound links take visitors away from your website. These might be links to affiliate products, social media networks, or sources that you quoted in a blog post.
MonsterInsights can show the outgoing links that customers click most often, so you can see which URLs are performing the best.
For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer then you can see which products perform better with your audience.
You can then find similar affiliate products and add them to your website.
You can even generate new content ideas by tracking outbound links. If lots of visitors click to view content on another site, then it’s smart to create similar content for your own website.
For more on this topic, please see our guide on how to track outbound links in WordPress.
10. Track Logged In Users and WooCommerce Customers
If you allow user registration on your WordPress site, then MonsterInsights can track individual users. This allows you to monitor the customer or user journey across multiple sessions, including the devices they use, how they access your site, their revenue, and more.
In this way, you can see the actions that users take before they convert, or identify anything that makes visitors lose interest in your site.
For eCommerce sites, MonsterInsights can help you spot patterns in shopper behavior. You can then use this insight to improve the customer experience and create a high-converting sales funnel to get more conversions.
For detailed step-by-step instructions, please see our guide on how to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce with Google Analytics.
11. Publish Time Tracking
You can see how many visitors you get immediately after publishing or promoting a blog post, in MonsterInsights’ Realtime report.
This helps you find the best time to publish a WordPress blog post.
When testing different publishing times, it often helps to record your findings. You can add annotations directly to your MonsterInsights reports using the Site Notes feature.
For example, you can add an annotation every time you publish new content, so everyone can see the exact publication time, post category, and other important information.
For more details, see this guide on how to get GA4 site annotations in WordPress.
12. Focus Keyword Tracking
Keywords are the phrases users type into search engines to find content such as blog posts and articles. By monitoring the keywords that bring visitors to your website, you can plan more content that targets these keywords. This can increase your blog traffic.
However, you can also use MonsterInsights to track your keywords from the WordPress dashboard, including the clicks, impressions, and average position. For more on this topic, please see our guide on how to see the keywords people use to find your WordPress site.
13. Community and Professional Support
MonsterInsights is designed to help you add Google Analytics to WordPress, without any complicated setup or coding. However, sometimes you may still need some extra help.
If you prefer to find answers yourself, then MonsterInsights has detailed online documentation that you can access no matter whether you’re using MonsterInsights Lite or the premium MonsterInsights plugin.
There’s also a MonsterInsights blog where you’ll find guides on how to use the plugin’s specific features.
MonsterInsights also publishes a ton of best practices, industry news, and advice on how to get the most out of Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
If you buy a MonsterInsights license, then you’ll get access to professional support.
Simply raise a ticket and the MonsterInsights team will aim to respond within 24 hours, Monday-Friday.
No matter whether you’re running a personal blog or a corporate website, analytics are essential for growing your audience.
With that in mind, the free MonsterInsights Lite plugin allows you to install Google Analytics in WordPress, no matter what your budget. You can then track important metrics, learn more about your audience, and set your Google Analytics goals.
If you want to unlock additional analytics reports, track your eCommerce or form conversion rates, or use MonsterInsights with popular plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, then you’ll need to buy a premium license.
MonsterInsights has three different licenses that are designed for different businesses, and use cases:
- Plus. $99.50 per year, for 1 website. This premium plan gives you access to the EU Compliance addon, plus all the standard reports and tracking. This includes media tracking, events tracking, and Google AMP tracking. If you run a single website or blog, then we highly recommend MonsterInsights Plus.
- Pro. $199.50 per year, for 5 websites. Designed for online businesses, MonsterInsights Pro adds eCommerce, form, and coupon tracking. It also integrates with more plugins, including MemberPress, GiveWP, and WooCommerce. If you need help, then all MonsterInsights Pro users are entitled to priority support, so you’ll receive responses faster compared to users on other plans. With that being said, MonsterInsights Pro is perfect for online store owners, membership websites, and other online businesses.
- Agency. Designed with marketing and web development agencies in mind, this license allows you to use MonsterInsights on 25 websites for $399.50 per year. It also adds advanced access control, client license management, and WordPress multisite support.
Conclusion: Is MonsterInsights the Best Google Analytics Solution?
After looking at all the features, we’re confident that MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin. It walks you through the process of installing Google Analytics in WordPress, so you don’t need to hire a developer or learn how to code.
After setting up MonsterInsights, you’ll get detailed Google Analytics data inside the WordPress dashboard. To help you find the information you need, MonsterInsights organizes this information into themed reports, such as Site Speed, Media, and eCommerce.
MonsterInsights also has everything you need to track your WooCommerce conversions, eCommerce conversions, form conversions, affiliate links, and events.
If you have a single website or blog, then the MonsterInsights Plus plan should have everything you need to grow your audience.
If you run an online store, digital product marketplace, or some other online business, then we recommend MonsterInsights Pro due to its eCommerce and form-tracking features.
Finally, if you’re a marketer or web development agency then MonsterInsights Agency represents great value for money. You can buy a single license, and then use MonsterInsights’ advanced tracking and analytics on up to 25 client websites.
We hope this MonsterInsights review helped you decide whether it’s the best Google Analytics solution for your WordPress website. You may also want to see our guide on how to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress, or see our expert pick of the must have WordPress plugins for business websites.