How to Setup Google Analytics Dashboard
Your website’s performance is an important metric to keep track of. Sadly, many website owners don’t really know how well or poorly their website is performing. When you track your site’s performance, you can optimize to get more traffic and attract the kind of audience that you want.
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track a number of key pieces of information about your website traffic. This includes the number of people visiting your website in a given time period, where they came from (through organic search, direct, social networks etc) and what pages they visited. Given this information, you can easily see areas that you need to optimize so that you attract even more of this kind of traffic.
Connecting Google Analytics and WordPress website is a breeze. In this article we’ll first create a Google Analytics account. Next, we’ll connect this account to your WordPress website through the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin. At the end you’ll have Google Analytics installed on your website and within days you’ll be able to tell a lot about your website’s performance.
Setting Up Google Analytics
To set up Google Analytics, you’ll need to sign up for a Google account. If you have a Gmail account then you’re good to go. Next, you’ll need to visit Google Analytics website and sign in.
On the following page, click on the blue Create Account button. A new page opens up and here you’ll enter an account name, website name and URL then agree to terms of service and use.
At this point we’ll go back to WordPress admin to complete integration. Go to your WordPress admin and log in.
Head over to Plugins -> Add New so we can add the Google Analytics plugin that will help us connect to the new account. In the search box on the top right, type in the name of the plugin: Google Analytics Dashboard.
Plugin search results will display. Look for the plugin item and click the install button then Activate it. A new menu item appears on your admin navigation to the left of the WordPress dashboard.
Connecting Google Analytics
The first step to integrating Google Analytics is to connect your website to the Google Analytics account. Go to Google Analytics tab -> General Settings. Click on the Authorize Plugin button so that you can authorize this plugin to access your Google Analytics account.
On the next page, click on the link in red to get a one-time-use access code. This will open up a Google screen where you’ll select your account and when you do Google will generate an access code.
Copy the access code and paste it on the last screen we were on. Click on Save Access Code button. The window closes and you should be back in the General Settings page. At this point your website and the Google Analytics account are linked.
Backend and Frontend Settings
This section will allow you to customize admin-related settings. Here’s a brief description of these settings:
- Permissions – set permissions as to who is able to see the analytics information on the admin dashboard,
- Real-Time Settings – enter the maximum number of pages to display on real-time tab,
- Location Settings – enter the country code you want to display on the geo map and optionally a maps API key,
- 404 Errors Report – choose how to identify broken links by the title of the page.
For the frontend settings you only have permission settings, and this is the same as for the backend.
Errors & Debug
We’re done setting up Google Analytics but I wanted to mention this section as it may help you if you’re experiencing issues. If you experience any issues loading data you may want to check here because the system will report any errors here.
Google Analytics Dashboard Final Look
After Google Analytics Dashboard is finalized it takes 1-2 days to go into effect. After this time period you’ll be able to see the results within the Dashboard tab in WordPress. Here is a quick example of what it might look like for a newer site.
How to Setup Google Analytics Dashboard: Conclusion
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides important information about your website. We have not covered the underlying details of how it works, but I strongly recommend that you look up more information about this tool.
By now you should be equipped with the knowledge to set up a Google Analytics account and link it to your website. Again, after you set up Google Analytics give it at least 24 hours before you start seeing analytics data displayed on your site.