Hello friends,

Do you want to keep track of all visits on your website? Then you should use a system like Google Analytics. And do you use WordPress and wonder how to integrate the analytics tracking code to your website?

In this post I will show you one extremely easy to use, yet quite powerful solution. This is the Google Analytics plugin by Yoast.

Google Analytics by Yoast

What it does?

Its first and most important functionality is to add the tracking coder for Google Analytics into your website in order to start getting insights about visits, page views, audience information, bounce rate, acquisition, etc right into your Google Analytics account.

So before you begin, please make sure that you have created one and added the information about your website correctly. Then you can start using the plugin.

How to use Google Analytics by Yoast?

First of all you need to search for the plugin into your WordPress “Add new” plugins section. That is one way to get it. The other is to download it from the official wordpress.org page (click here to do this) and then upload it manually and install it.

No matter which option you’d choose you have to activate the plugin when installed in order to start using it. So far so good (and easy, right?) – now you need to make some minor settings and you are basically done.

How to adjust the plugin?

After its successful installation and activation Google Analytics by Yoast creates a stand-alone menu in your WordPress dashboard called “Analytics”. Go to its “Settings” sub menu and then under the General tab you need to either authenticate with Google Analytics (i.e. to allow the plugin to get the needed info automatically) or to enter your UA code manually.

Google Analytics by Yoast settings

My personal favorite is the second option but both of them work flawlessly. However you should be aware that if you enter the code manually you won’t be able to use the dashboards of the plugin.

Google Analytics by Yoast

So here you need to make up your mind and decide whether you only need to have the tracking code integrated into your WordPress website or you want to see useful information in its dashboard as well.

If you only need option 1 then you need to paste your UA code and that’s it for now. Next you need to choose whether to track outbound clicks and downloads (you’d want this option as it improves the time tracking of Google Analytics by adding events).

Then you need to decide if you want to help Yoast improve their plugin by providing them with anonymous data collection or not.

After that you can choose to anonymize IP’s and you can even set the WordPress user roles that won’t get tracked when logged in to WordPress. This is absolutely awesome because you don’t want to mix your statistics data with visits that are generated by yourself. In the past the only possible way to do this was by adding a filter to Google Analytics telling it not to track visits from your home or office IP. But when you had to visit your website from another IP your visits were tracked once again. And it was frustrating but now this bad experience is gone for good. All you have to do is to add the user roles that you don’t want to get tracked and you are done. Just keep logged in whenever you use your website and that is it!

Last on the General tab is the option to disable completely the analytics dashboard.

The next tab is the Universal tab and there you can enable Google Analytics universal tracking and different reports.

Pay special attention to the Advanced tab.

There you need to define how the downloads on your WordPress website will be tracked. You can choose between events or pageview but I’d use Events if I were you. Again – the idea is to improve the time tracking results for Google Analytics.

Define the extensions of the files that you want to track as downloads. By default the values are set for:

  • Doc
  • Exe
  • Js
  • Pdf
  • Ppt
  • Tgz
  • Zip
  • Xls

Add as many as you need. Then decide how to track the outbound clicks. You can choose to track only the domain or the full URL link.

Then decide how to track subdomains and you can also set path for internal links that you want to track as outbound links. Next is a field that allows you to set a label for those links. You can also tag links in RSS feed with campaign variables, allow anchor, add custom code and add _setAllowLinker.

Now this tab might be confusing for beginners so you can skip it if not sure what to do. The default values are good enough.

Google Analytics by Yoast - Advanced tab

If you want to track custom dimensions you have to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin. Under the Debug mode tab you can enable/disable debugging.

And that’s it friends! Your tracking code is integrated and you can start tracking your website visits using Google Analytics.

So let’s summarize what this plugin does:

  • Simply adds Google Analytics tracking code to your website;
  • Tracks 404 error pages and user searches instantly;
  • Provides you with easy dashboards directly into your WordPress dashboard;
  • Allows you to set up specific reports for all sorts of actions;

And now it’s up to you friends. Would you use this plugin? Share in the comments below.

See you soon!

*The images are embedded from the WordPress.org page of the plugin