What’s involved in choosing the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress? You might already have a systematic way of choosing which plugins make it into your WordPress installation.
That process may involve comparing the best plugins side-by-side and making a decision based off of that. Whatever your exact process, we assembled a list that’s reliable and informative to help you quickly get to the end.
In this post, we’ll talk about what you should look for in a Google Analytics plugin, consider eight of the top free and premium analytics plugins and help you evaluate them to arrive at a decision that you can look back on with a smile.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a powerful traffic analysis tool that provides real-time statistics and data on how users interact with your website content.
How many visitors are on your website right now? How did they get to know of your website? From which part of the globe are they coming from? Which pages on your website have they visited? What device are they using to browse? How long were they on your website?
All this information and more are available for free when you add your website to the Google Analytics platform.
How do you add your website to Google Analytics?
You start by creating a Google Analytics account. All you need for this is your Google account.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll find yourself on the Google Analytics dashboard.
To add your website, begin by clicking on Admin at the bottom left of your dashboard.
Then click on Create Account.
Now, without complicating matters too much, let’s just explain how Google Analytics account structure works.
You are allowed to create up to 100 properties under an account, and under each property, you can have up to 25 views.
Consider your website as a property. This means, under an account, you can have up to 100 websites.
The views can be considered as filters.
For instance, if you’d like to understand the number of visitors to your website, you’ll ideally like to remove the traffic coming from your own system. For this, you can create a filter that removes your IP address. This entire filter can be created as a single view.
Likewise, you can also create an additional view that eliminates traffic from your organization. You can also create multiple views based on your requirements.
Now that we have a basic understanding, let’s get back to creating our account.
Once you click on Create Account you’ll be directed to a page where you can set up your account.
Start by entering a name for your account. This is just for your reference and can be any name you like.
The rest of the options on the page can be left to its default values. Click Next once you are done.
Now comes the property setup section. Enter a name for your property.
Ideally, this can be the name of your website. You could also change the reporting time zone and currency to that of your preference. Click Next when you are done.
In the next section, you’ve got to provide some details regarding your business.
You could skip this section or choose to answer them if you wish to.
Once you’ve completed this step, click on Create. A window with the terms and conditions will popup. Accept the terms and conditions to proceed.
In the next step, you’ll have to set up your data stream.
Data stream is when you connect your website (or app) to Google Analytics and the actual website data gets tracked.
To proceed, select your platform. If you have a mobile app and want to track the number of downloads, its usage, among other metrics, you can track it too using Google Analytics.
In our case, let’s select Web.
In the following screen, enter your website URL and the name.
Under Enhanced measurement, you’ll notice some options against Measuring. These are the default metrics that Google Analytics tracks.
Want to enable or disable some of these metrics? Just click on the gear icon and toggle the options accordingly.
Click Create stream when you’re done.
Notice a window with the heading Web stream details? If you do, you are all but done creating and adding your website to Google Analytics.
All that is left is to copy the Global site tag, include it on your WordPress website, and allow Google Analytics to do the rest.
Once this is done, your website and Google Analytics starts communicating with each other and data starts showing up.
To get your code, click on the Global site tag tab.
How do you include this code in your WordPress website?
One such option is by installing the Astra Hooks WordPress plugin. Using this, you can easily include the code into the header of your website via the customizer.
Here’s a detailed explanation on how to add Google Analytics code with Astra theme.
Once that’s done, it’s time to see what Google Analytics can do for you.
If the code you’ve included is all good, you’ll start to see data on your Google Analytics dashboard.
For instance, you’ll get to see the number of active users currently on your website. You’ll also see data such as the number of users over a particular period (typically seven days by default), the total sessions, bounce rate, and session duration.
On the left-hand side, you’ll find various options under Reports. These individual reports, i.e., Realtime, Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour, and Conversions, tell you exactly how a user behaves on your website.
How are these reports different from each other? Let’s take a quick look.
The report shows you the exact number of users on your website right now.
Under Realtime > Overview, you get to see the number of current users, which device they’re using, top active pages, top keywords, the country they are from, and a lot more.
Hello! My name is Sujay and I’m CEO of Astra.
We’re on a mission to help small businesses grow online with affordable software products and the education you need to succeed.
Want to gain insights into your website traffic? Insights such as if the traffic is coming in from first-time or returning visitors, your audience demographic (age and gender), their interests, language, and the devices they’re using.
For all this information, check out Audience > Overview.
Under the Audience tab, you’ll find various options.
For instance, under Audience > Behaviour, you get to see the ratio of new vs. returning visitors.
Similarly, under Audience > Technology, you also get to understand the browser and operating system being used.
Next is the Acquisition Report, which tells you how the visitor reached your website.
Did the visitor type the website URL in the browser (Direct Traffic)? Did they get directed from a paid search ad that you are running? Did they see one of your display ads?
Acquisition Report helps you with just that.
Your website traffic comes primarily from organic search, direct, referral, and social. The acquisition report tells you exactly what percentage of traffic comes from each of these sources.
Wouldn’t it be great to know how your users navigate your website and how each piece of content is performing? This is what the Behavior report does.
The Behavior report helps with detailed information such as the total number of page views, how many unique visitors are on a specific page, the average time spent on a page, the bounce rate, and a whole lot more.
Additionally, you also get insights into the top-performing pages of your website. This particularly helps if you’d like to use the top-performing page to drive traffic to the inner pages of your website or include a call to action.
The final report on our list is the Conversion report.
The reports and data you see here will be based on how well your website conversions are happening.
Conversions are not necessarily when there’s a successful transaction or a purchase. A conversion is when a visitor performs the action you want them to perform.
Let’s consider an example where you offer an ebook as a free download.
In this example, anyone downloading a free ebook is a successful conversion. While there’s no payment or transaction involved, this classifies as a conversion.
Likewise, someone subscribing to your email newsletter, downloading a video, or purchasing a product can all classify as conversions.
Creating goals is actually very straightforward.
Under Reports > Conversions > Goals, you’ll notice Goals and Ecommerce.
Google Analytics will start displaying data for every conversion once you create the criteria under Goals and Ecommerce.
A conversion report can be particularly beneficial if you are running an online store. The Ecommerce section displays metrics that can help you boost conversions.
What to Look For in WordPress Google Analytics Plugins
While most Google Analytics plugins allow you to connect your WordPress website to Google Analytics, some offer a little more.
So, what are those ‘must-have’ features in an ideal Google Analytics plugin?
Ease of use
Allowing you to connect your WordPress site easily with Google Analytics has to be on top of the list.
Once installed and activated, the plugin must seamlessly connect with your Google Analytics account. Most plugins allow you to do so without adding any code. However, it’s well worth a check before you install one.
Yes, you could log in to your Google Analytics account and view all the data. But, wouldn’t it be great to view all this from your WordPress dashboard? It just makes things easier when you have all that you need in one place.
Visual interpretation of data is easy to understand. At least we feel it does. So, does your plugin display data in visual representations, such as graphs and charts, or does it just throw out numbers?
For a beginner, all those numbers on the Google Analytics dashboard could get overwhelming. Data displayed visually helps us interpret those numbers easily.
Compatibility With WordPress
If you work with WordPress, you’ll be well aware of the constant updates that occur. Be it themes, plugins, or even the core WordPress, they all come up with periodic updates.
When you select a Google Analytics plugin, choose one that is compatible with the latest version of WordPress and is updated to keep up.
Integration With Other Plugins
When your analytics plugin allows you to connect with other third-party plugins, you get to see important data such as conversion rate, transactions, average order value, and so on.
Set Automatic Email Notifications
The last one on our list is email notifications. Some plugins allow you to create custom reports and have those sent to you as email notifications.
These reports could include general website stats or be specific to your pages and posts. It can be useful to get a summary of your website performance as an automated email notification.
Why Use Google Analytics for Your WordPress Site?
As you’ve seen in this article, using Google Analytics is pretty straightforward.
Simply register using your Gmail account, add your website, copy the tracking code, and insert it to your website. The WordPress Google Analytics plugin makes this process even simpler.
As a new website owner, you’ll probably want to focus more on the website content. You know, have all the correct information, ensure your CTA and opt-in forms are working correctly, create optimized blog posts, work on your product landing pages, and so on.
Soon, you will want to know which of your pages are performing well and which are not. You may require a break up of your traffic, such as where your visitors are located, the device they are using, their age, gender, interests, and a lot more.
Instead of assuming the answers to these, you get insights into the exact data you need to make informed decisions by using Google Analytics.
One look at the Google Analytics dashboard and you’ll find several metrics that are tracked. You get to know exactly how your website visitors are behaving.
With the right WordPress Google Analytics plugin, all this information is available for you within your WordPress dashboard.
Here are some of the features offered by Google Analytics.
This data provides the exact number of visitors on your website at this very moment. It further breaks down the data to the number of users visiting your website via desktop and mobile.
You get to access this data under Realtime > Overview.
Where is your website traffic coming from? Where are your visitors located? Check out Realtime > Locations to get a breakdown of your visitor’s location.
The location metric gives you an exact percentage of active users based on the location.
Pageviews, Session, Bounce Rate, and more
Under Audience > Overview, you get to see the number of users, the sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, and other useful metrics. You could filter this data based on day, week, or month.
Want to know the ratio of new users to returning visitors? That information is available too.
Want a ratio of female to male visitors? Head over to Audience > Demographics > Overview.
Not only do you get the female to male ratio, you also get a fair indication of their age. Helps when you are crafting your marketing strategies, doesn’t it?
Wouldn’t it be great to promote products and services to a targeted audience? For instance, promote holiday packages and travel equipment to those interested in travel? Similarly, display ads related to job opportunities to those looking out for employment?
When you know the interests of your visitors, you can have your content and promotions tailored for them. Head over to Audience > Interests to discover more about your visitors.
We’ve just scratched the surface as far as metrics in Google Analytics are concerned!
Here are some additional benefits and reasons why you should be using Google Analytics:
- Track and monitor your website’s performance
- Understand the demographics (age, gender, interests, device) of your website visitors
- Figure out from where your visitors are coming
- Understand how your website is being found
- Get real-time data
- Understand which pages and posts are performing best and which aren’t
- Check if your landing pages are converting as planned
- Monitor important metrics such as bounce rate, page views, sessions, and more
- Understand which social media platform is working best for your niche
- Set goals and optimize your website to boost conversions
The Best WordPress Google Analytics Plugins
Before we dig in, here’s a comparison of key features and pricing between all the plugins considered in this article.
|Plugin||Tracking Code||Analytics Dashboard||Install Wizard||Settings (Customize)||Pricing|
|GA Google Analytics||Yes||No||No||Yes||From $15.00|
|Site Kit by Google||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Free|
|WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration||Yes||No||No||Yes||Free|
|WP Google Analytics Events||Yes||No||No||Yes||From $79.00|
|Lara’s Google Analytics||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||From $14.99|
Google Analytics makes it possible to track and measure very many aspects of your website’s usage. That said, different plugins have a different focus and you’ll want to match that with your needs.
Let’s now consider eight of the top plugins we cherry-picked for you to choose from.
What Is MonsterInsights?
MonsterInsights is a popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It is a convenient way to turn data collected by Google Analytics into meaningful reports that can be used for real world action.
What’s Good About MonsterInsights?
MonsterInsights comes with a built-in Google Analytics Dashboard for your WordPress site, it’s easy to install and it shows you real time data. That’s difficult to beat!
Here are some features that come with:
- Audience Report
- Behavior Report
- Content Report
- Ecommerce Report
- Forms Report
- Search Console Report
Anything Not so Good About MonsterInsights?
MonsterInsights is really advanced, however, one of the most echoed opinions about the plugin is that the free version doesn’t do enough and that the pro version is overpriced. We’ll leave that up to you to decide.
The free version of MonsterInsights is available in the WordPress directory. You can also purchase a premium version of the plugin to unlock features such as events tracking, ecommerce tracking and more.
You can get MonsterInsights at the following price points:
- $199.00 for 1 site with 1-year support and updates.
- $399.00 for 5 sites with 1-year support and updates.
- $799.00 for 25 sites with 1-year support and updates.
What Is GA Google Analytics?
GA is a minimalist plugin that connects Google Analytics to WordPress. This lightweight plugin inserts the required Google Analytics tracking code in your posts and pages.
The plugin is rather well maintained and negative feedback about it is almost non existent.
What’s Good About GA Google Analytics?
GA is lightweight and places a lot of emphasis on performance. At the same time it lets you easily customize your tracking code along with some fairly advanced options.
Making it ideal for new users as well as WordPress experts. Anyone looking to add analytics to a WordPress site in a few easy steps.
Here is a partial feature list:
- Includes tracking code in header or footer
- Includes tracking code on all WordPress web pages
- Includes option to add your own custom markup
- Sleek plugin Settings page with toggling panels
- Option to disable tracking of admin-level users
- Option to enable page tracking in the Admin Area
- Easy to customize the tracking code
Anything Not so Good About GA Google Analytics?
The plugin doesn’t come with a dashboard. This means that you’ll need to visit your Google Analytics account in order to view your site statistics.
Additionally, both the free and pro versions of GA don’t offer enough of the advanced tracking features available in other freemium alternatives.
GA Google Analytics Pricing
If you like the free plugin enough, you can upgrade at the following prices:
- $15 for 1 site with lifetime basic support and updates.
- $30 for 3 sites with lifetime basic support and updates.
- $60 for 10 sites with lifetime basic support and updates.
- $120 for unlimited sites with lifetime basic support and updates.
What Is Site Kit?
Google’s official plugin for insights on how people find and use your site is called Site Kit. Site Kit pulls up-to-date insights from multiple Google products, including Analytics directly on the WordPress dashboard.
What’s Good About Site Kit?
The plugin provides stats that are easily accessible and displayed in a way that is easy to understand, making the plugin a hit amongst most in the WordPress community.
Here are some features you can expect to get:
- Easy-to-understand stats
- Official stats from multiple Google tools
- Quick setup for multiple Google tools
- Metrics for the entire site and for individual posts
- Easy-to-manage permissions
Anything Not so Good About Site Kit?
Site Kit is great, but it’s a newcomer on the WordPress analytics scene. As such, there have been quite a few reports about bugs and things not working as expected.
While Google continues to improve the plugin, it’s only reasonable to assume that there will be more of such issues experienced in the foreseeable future. This isn’t unusual for relatively new plugins.
Site Kit Pricing
Google Site Kit is 100% free and open source. You can download it directly from the plugin directory.
What Is Analytify?
From a Google Analytics Premium Partner, Analytify is a plugin that does more than insert tracking code in your website, it presents statistics under posts, pages and even custom post types
What’s Good About Analytify?
Wielding an impressive 1-Click Authentication process to add Google analytics tracking code to your website, Analytify is definitely a good option if you’re looking for a ‘codeless’ (painless) approach.
What’s more, as a technology partner of Google you can be confident that they must have some idea about what they’re doing
What you get in the way of features:
- See traffic data for individual blog posts and pages
- Bounce rate of top pages: What’s happening when users come to your site
- List of top Countries
- List of top Cities
- Social Media Statistics
- List of top Referrers Browsers
- List of top Referrers
- Mobile device Statistics
Anything Not so Good About Analytify?
If you like to look at things only visually this may break your heart, but graphs are only for pro users, same goes for real-time statistics. So if these are fairly important to you, it may be necessary to consider upgrading or looking elsewhere.
You can either get the free version of Analytify from WordPress.org or get the pro version by choosing one of four basic pricing plans on their website. They also have bundled offers to purchase different addon combinations together.
- $39 for 1 site with 1-year support and updates.
- $69 for 3 sites with 1-year support and updates.
- $99 for 10 sites with 1-year support and updates.
- $199 for 100 sites with 1-year support and updates.
What Is WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration?
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration provides the desired link between WooCommerce and Google Analytics. This means that if you’re a store owner looking to track things like sales in your analytics (and why wouldn’t you), you can!
What’s Good About WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration?
Since the WooCommerce 2.1 release, the Google Analytics integration for WooCommerce is no longer part of the WooCommerce plugin. This has resulted in a much improved plugin with more accurate stats.
The features you’ll get:
- Adding tracking code to your site
- Set Google Analytics code to support Display Advertising
- Use Universal Analytics instead of Classic Google Analytics
- Anonymize IP Addresses (Comply with certain privacy laws)
- Add eCommerce tracking to your Thank You page
- Add event tracking code for Add to Cart actions
Anything Not so Good About WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration?
Would you like to know nearly everything about what’s going on in your store, this integration doesn’t make that possible. While the plugin is greatly improved, it doesn’t track some events to get you more advanced data.
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration Pricing
The WooCommerce integration is open source and available for free in the plugin directory, therefore you can get some of that much needed ecommerce data into your analytics.
What Is WP Google Analytics Events?
WP Google Analytics Events allows you to fire events whenever someone interacts or views elements on your website. Events can be created for each time a visitor scrolls down, views your pricing table, and more.
What’s Good About WP Google Analytics Events?
Events tracking isn’t the easiest thing to wrap one’s head around, and so it makes a major difference when there’s a solution that’s easy to use and well supported by staff. That’s exactly what you can expect from this plugin.
What you get:
- No need for code
- Compare performance of calls to action
- Track Links
- Tracking contact form submissions
- Understand what percentage read article to the end
- Extensive Documentation
Anything Not so Good About WP Google Analytics Events?
To get everything you need out of events you may need to upgrade to the pro version which can be somewhat of a challenge on a tight budget
WP Google Analytics Events Pricing
You can download the plugin for free or download the pro version on their website.
- $79 for 1 site with 1-year support and updates.
- $149 for 5 sites with 1-year support and updates.
- $199 for 20 sites with 1-year support and updates.
What Is Lara’s Google Analytics?
Lara’s Google Analytics is a plugin that saves you a trip to the Google Analytics website by introducing a full width Google Analytics dashboard widget into your admin area.
What’s Good About Lara’s Google Analytics?
For those that like to keep things centralized, this plugin is for you. Not only does Lara’s Google Analytics insert the latest Google Analytics tracking code to all your pages, it also adds a full width Google Analytics dashboard widget for WordPress admin interface.
Enjoy the following features:
- Enjoy Beautiful Graphs At Full Width
- See Pages visited in your site
- See Browsers used to view your website
- View Languages spoken by your website visitors
- Know the Operating Systems used by your website visitors
- Know the Device Types used by your website visitors
Anything Not so Good About Lara’s Google Analytics?
The plugin’s documentation isn’t exactly moving, so you’ll mostly have to figure out your way around the plugin on your own.
Lara’s Google Analytics Pricing
Available for free and at the following prices:
- $14.99 for 1 site with 1-year support and updates.
- $49.99 for unlimited installations owned by you or your company only (one time)
- $99.99 for unlimited installations owned by you or your clients (one time)
What Is Analytics Cat?
Analytics Cat is a neat WordPress plugin that inserts Google Analytics code on your website without all the unnecessary settings and extra code.
What’s Good About Analytics Cat?
This plugin absolutely delivers on its promise, which is what? To be “a simple, reliable Google Analytics plugin”.
Make no mistake! This plugin is a great option. Especially if you’re looking to avoid the complex stuff and stick to the basics.
- Easily Add the Google Analytics tracking code
- Hide your Google Analytics tracking code from logged-in users
Anything Not so Good About Analytics Cat?
Not exactly a deal-breaker, but Analytics cat doesn’t have a setup or installation wizard. So you’ll have to go into Google Analytics, find your code, and paste it into the settings.
To find out how to do that and more Google Analytics setup related information, be sure to visit our Complete Guide to WordPress Google Analytics.
Analytics Cat Pricing
Analytics Cat is entirely free on the plugin directory. And there are many exciting improvements and feature additions planned for this plugin, whether those changes will come with a pro version remains to be seen.
Conclusion – What Is the Best Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress?
Choosing the best analytics plugin for WordPress is now easier than ever. We gathered the top analytics plugins and put them side by side for you to compare.
As we alluded to earlier, each of these has a different focus (performance, eCommerce, etc) and you’ll want to keep that in mind as you decide a plugin to move forward with.
After that, you might like to check out a light-weight theme that has a focus on being easy to use, customize, and is SEO-friendly.
With these and more features, Astra isn’t just good, it’s the best!
But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself: Join 1,000,000 + users who build awesome websites with Astra.