Creating Google Analytics account and adding GA to your Wordpress site

22 March 2020
There will be no fancy introduction to this blog post. Instead, I will go straight to the point.

After reading this article, you will be able to perform the account registration, add the Google Analytics Tracking ID to your site, as well as test if it is working in less than 10 minutes.

So, turn on your timer and let's start!

How to set up a Google Analytics account

Below you may find a step-by-step instruction. Just complete one step at a time and move on to the next one.
1
Log in to your Google Account (Gmail) that you want to use for your future Google Analytics account.
2
Navigate to https://analytics.google.com/

  • Check that you are using the right Google Account. Just hover over the icon in the top right corner to see which account you are currently logged in.

  • Then click Set up for free button. If you are interested to find out how much GA will cost you in the future, you can get the answer to the question: Is Google Analytics free or not?
3
A window will open and you will be required to enter an Account Name.

  • When coming up with the name, please remember that you will be able to access your Google Analytics View under the Property which belongs to this Account. Both the View and the Property will get automatically created along with your Analytics Account. And the Account has the highest rank in the Google Analytics hierarchy (except for the Organization). At some point, it would be worth reading about the Google Analytics Account Structure.
5
After that you will see the Account Data Sharing settings. By default, Google ticked off for you all these checkboxes. And I did not change these configurations. Click Next.
6
In the next step Google asks me "What do you want to measure?". I picked Web because I have a test website https://forvideos.wordpress.com/ that I will be using for this tutorial. You may choose App - if you have a mobile app (iOS or Android) that you want to track digital analytics on, or Apps and Web - if you want to measure traffic across web and app.
7
Then you will move to the Property setup section, where you need to provide your Website Name and Website URL.

  • Make sure that you choose the right URL protocol (http:// or https:// when adding your website URL).

  • Select your industry category - in my case I picked "Jobs and Education".

  • As for the Reporting Time Zone - make sure that you remember which Time Zone you have chosen here to make sure you use the same one across other Google digital marketing products, like: Google Tag Manager, Google Ads, etc. Doing so will help you read your analytics across different platforms with ease, since the time and dates of events will perfectly coincide. Click Create.
8
After that a window will pop up and ask you to read through and agree to the Terms of Service Agreement and to the Google Measurement Controller Data Terms. Here my only recommendation would be to actually read those documents and only then press I agree.
9
Once the "I agree" button is clicked, a new Tracking Code Page will open where you will see:

  • Status which will say: No data is received in the past 48 hours (which is true since you have just created an account).

  • Your unique Tracking ID. In my case it is UA-XXXXXXXXX-1
10
Your unique Global Site Tag (gtag.js) - is a piece of JavaScript code that in usual circumstances you would need to add to every page on your site (but not in case of a Wordpress site). I suggest you to read my article about How Google Analytics works in order to understand the meaning and importance of this tag.

  • And after scrolling down a bit - you will see information about Google Tag Manager, which I promise to tell you more about in the future articles.
At this stage, to be able to understand what to do next, let's figure out what the Tracking ID is.

What is the Google Analytics Tracking ID?

The Tracking ID is a unique code that helps Google Analytics understand which Account and Property it should pass, the collected on a certain website, mobile or other application, data to.

The ID has the following format UA-XXXXXXXXX-1, where

  • UA - is a fixed part of the code, followed by
  • XXXXXXXXX - a unique numeric combination of nine numbers, followed by
  • 1 - a number that defines the subsequent order number of a Property of a particular account. So, in my case, it's 1 and it is clear that this Tracking ID belongs to the first Property that was automatically created with my Google Analytics account.
Note: each Property has its own unique Google Analytics Tracking ID.

Where can I find the Google Analytics Tracking ID?

You can always find the Tracking ID by going to Admin in the left bottom corner,
navigate to the Property column, then pick Property settings, Tracking Info, Tracking Code.

How to set up Google Analytics on Wordpress?

Before you start, please note that you should pick one of the paid plans to be able to connect Google Analytics to your Wordpress site. I had a free account, and had to upgrade just to draft this article.
So, you have created your Google Analytics account and now it's time to set it up on your Wordpress site.

Follow the steps below to complete this configuration:
1
Navigate to My Site => My Home. Then click on Tools, and in the drop down list, choose Marketing.
2
In the upper menu of the Marketing page, pick Traffic.
3
Then scroll down a bit until you see the following Google Analytics Tracking ID section. Paste the Tracking ID here and click Save settings.
Note: to find your Google Analytics Tracking ID, go to Google Analytics Admin => Property => Property settings => Tracking Info => Tracking Code.

How to test if Google Analytics is working?

There are several ways you can test whether Google Analytics was correctly configured on your site.

Approach #1:
1
Navigate to the Admin => Property => Tracking Info => Tracking code.
2
Press the button "Send test traffic" (located under the Status section, as shown on the screen below).
3
Google Analytics will send a hit to your web resource and open it in a small pop-up window.
4
If the configuration went well, the number of active users on site will change from "0" to "1". If you expect more than one visitor to be active on your site at the moment of testing, then I would recommend paying special attention to the information provided in brackets, that should state "including 1 from test traffic" (this information can be found above the "Send test traffic" button).
Approach #2

This way of testing whether Google Analytics was properly set up on your site has the same logic, but provides another route you can use to access this information:
1
Open the Google Analytics Real-time Overview report.
2
Open your website in the next tab of your browser.
3
Go back to Google Analytics and see whether it captured your activity on the site.
4
In my case, there is only one active user who entered the web resource from my geographical zone.

Wrapping up

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed reading this article. In the next blog posts, I will give more information about Google Tag Manager and how we can set it up for your site.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below!
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