“What is Google Analytics??” I have heard a lot of digital marketers putting that question up every time!!
Did you ever thought about “What is Google Analytics??”
Yesss…..?? But never got to know the exact details about the topic??
Well then welcome, you’ve come to the right place!! Yes, I am going to tell you everything about Google Analytics i.e. “What is Google Analytics?” “How Google Analytics Works?” and many other things related to this topic.
What is Google Analytics??
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that tracks and reports your website traffic, currently working as a platform under Google Marketing Brand.
Google introduced this service in November 2005.
Though we don’t consider Web Analytics as a very essential part of our digital presence but it’s a fact that all the big and famous online brands use Google Analytics oftenly to keep a track of their online presence and their brand visibility.
You must be aware of the fact that for most of the companies their strategies act as a center of all the digital traffic they get and you will also get it in the same way.
If you run any social media ads or search ad campaigns then the users watching your ad will most probably visit your website sooner or later.
Now, since your website is the center of all the digital presence and traffic you get therefore technically your website is the best way to give you an integrated view of how effective your campaigns are running.
That’s the reason why all the famous brands use Google Analytics as this free tool helps you track your digital effectiveness very easily.
To make it easier for you to understand What is Google Analytics, I would say that Google analytics is a freemium web analytics software that gives the website owners a privilege to keep a check on their visitors and their actions on the website.
It tracks all kinds of digital media, contextual advertisements, emails, and other social media campaigns and unites with all the other Google products.
How Google Analytics Works
Now since you know enough about “What is Google Analytics?” so it’s time we move forward and read about “How Google Analytics Works?”
Let me make it easy for you to understand, the working of Google Analytics is divided into three parts:
Collection of Data
Processing of Data
Generation of Results
Come on, let’s discuss about these three parts in detail.
Collection of data
Once it’s setup, Google Analytics will drop a cookie in the user’s browser for your website. It will help to track every interaction that the user performs on your site.
Now let me tell you about what Interactions are??
All the actions performed by your users on your website is known as the interactions.
These interactions can even be as simple as loading a page and as specific as clicking of a link.
As soon as a user makes any action on your website the Google Analytics tracking code sends the information about the interaction to Analytics about the user and their interest depending upon the type of interaction. Each time the information sent by the tracking code is called a hit, which is a URL string with parameters of useful information about your users is called a hit
This URL string shows some very useful information to Analytics about the user who activated the hit. The string provides the following information:
- The language of the browser the user is accessing
- Name of the web page they are viewing
- The device being used by the user
- The Analytics Id
Talking further about it, Google Analytics also widens the collected data using some additional resources like IP address, and other serving data since these pieces of information help Google Analytics to further understand things like the location, age, gender, medium, etc. of the users.
Processing of Data
Now since we know the first step i.e. tracking the code and collecting data so the next move is the processing of the collected data.
In this step, Google Analytics transforms the collected data using the configuration settings of our Analytics account.
The configurations present in the settings of Google Analytics help us keep our data in order and arrange them according to our convenience and business goals.
Google Analytics gives us a remote control in the form of the configuration settings and then processes all the collected data and gives the final report.
Therefore, if suppose someone wishes to filter out any of their member’s data from their Analytics account all they need to do is configure it and set up a filter to exclude the access of all the visitors visiting their website from the website’s IP address.
After doing this Google Analytics will filter out all the hits from that particular person and the report will not contain the data of that person.
There is one more feature possessed by Google Analytics which helps you import data directly from other Google products like Google AdWords, Adsense, webmaster, etc. into your reports.
We can ever configure Analytics to import non-Google data as well.
At, last Google Analytics merges all the data provided by us to create the reports we want.
While processing data on Analytics it organizes the collected hits into users and sessions, then the data collected from all the additional sources are also added using the tracking code, and sent for processing where Analytics modifies all your data as per your configuration rules. These configuration rules mainly command Google about what part of specific data should be included and excluded.
At last, this data gets processed, this process is also called aggregation, in which Analytics prepare data for analysis and organization.
Generation of Results
So, now the tracking code is in it’s place, we have also configured the account and selected the data which has to be processed, the hits are also packaged successfully and sent to Google servers, now finally comes the reporting part.
In these Google Analytics reports segment we can analyze the data which includes easy reporting tools and data visualizations.
We can even create a systematic report by customizing and extracting data directly into third-party reporting tools.
The best part about the reporting section of Google Analytics is that it allows us to optimize every data we want to see and arrange it according to our will.
All the reports and results by Google are created with different dimensions and metrics.
Google Analytics also gives us the privilege to extract data using an API (Application Programming Interface) into our custom applications like internal dashboards programmatically.
All these facilities customize the reporting process for your business and make it easy for you to understand the working and basics of the Google Analytics reporting system.
How to add Google Analytics on your WordPress Website
Set Up Your Google Analytics Account
To add Google Analytics to your WordPress website you first need to sign up and make your Google Analytics account.
The process of signing up is an easy one, follow the steps mentioned below and set up your account at Google Analytics:
Visit Google Analytics signup page.
You will have to log in with your Google account if you already have one otherwise you will have to create one Google/Gmail account.
After signing in with your Gmail account, you will be redirected to a screen where you will have to signup for Google Analytics using your Gmail account.
Moving further on the next screen you will be given a chance to choose between a website or mobile app and make sure you choose the website.
Later, you will be required to enter your account name (the name of your Google Analytics profile), website’s URL and name, your country, and your time zone.
Now, after you’ve entered all these pieces of information click on the get Tracking ID button, and click on the “I Agree” button to accept the terms and conditions of Google Analytics.
Finally, you will be provided with your Google Analytics Tracking ID, and you must copy this code as you might need to enter it in your WordPress Site.
And, that’s it you are done with the first step that is set up your Google Analytics account successfully.
I would personally suggest you to leave the Analytics browser page open as you might need to revisit it.
Now, let’s move forward to installing Google Analytics to your WordPress website.
Install Google Analytics To Your WordPress Website
There are a number of ways of installing Google Analytics to your WordPress website but here I will be mainly discussing about two best ways of installing Google Analytics to your website:
1. Using Monsterinsights Plugin
Monsterinsights the most famous plugin of Google Analytics for WordPress is being used by over 1 million websites on a daily basis.
Monsterinsights is the easiest and best way of installing Google Analytics to your WordPress Website as of now, it is used by beginners as well as experts both.
It comes in both paid as well as free version but here I will be talking about free version as it is easy for everyone to access.
But if you want to use advanced features such as E-commerce tracking then you must go for the paid version.
And, don’t worry the process of setting both the versions is same so if you learn to use the free version then you will also be comfortable with the paid version.
Okay, so let’s start
The very first step is to install and activate the Monsterinsights plugin, after which you will get a new menu item added by the plugin to your WordPress admin menu named “Insights”, and clicking it will bring you the Monsterinsights setup panel.
In the setup wizard first, you will be asked to select the category of your website i.e a business website, blogging website, etc. and then you will click on the “Connect Monsterinsights” button.
After, clicking this button you will see a popup on your screen asking about your Google details.
Here you have to sign in or select a Google account and then allow Monsterinsights to access your Analytics account.
Lastly, all you need to do is select the profile you want to track, therefore select your website and click on the “Complete Authentication” button to continue further.
Now, Monsterinsights will install Google Analytics to your WordPress Website, and you will be asked to select the recommended setting for your website. Most of the times the default settings also work.
But, if you use an affiliate link plugin then you will be required to add the path you use to cloak affiliate links in Google Analytics and install WPForms plugin which is the best plugin WordPress contact from Plugin.
You can normally install it or skip it depending upon your wish.
With this we come to an end, you just successfully added Google Analytics to your WordPress Website.
2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin
To be very honest, this method is not as good and easy as Monsterinsights because in this you wouldn’t be able to perform the advanced tracking configuration and you will be unable to view your Google Analytics account’s data in your WordPress dashboard.
But still, this is also one of the most used ways of installing Google Analytics on your WordPress Website Footers plugin.
After activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footerspage. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics code that you copied in step 4 into the headers section.
Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.
That’s all you had to do in this your Google Analytics has been successfully installed in your WordPress Website.
Data that Google Analytics is Unable to Cover
1. It Cannot Track Individual User
The terms and conditions of Google Analytics strictly refuse to send Personally Identifiable Information, it rather allows you to send a unique user ID.
You can’t store any personal information like username or IP address of any individual user in any custom variable but you can keep their unique ID.
2. Process Historical Data
Google Analytics processes data only from the day you start tracking your site, it never processes any previous data that your website has before it got connected with it.
Though, you can use the feature of Data Import in Google Analytics to collect data from all the other sources and then combine to analyze them according to your business goals.
3. If The User Visited Your Competitor’s Website
Google Analytics tracks the users’ actions when the user lands on your page and keeps tracking their actions until the person stays on your website.
But, as soon as the user leaves your page it won’t track them leaving you unaware of your user’s present actions.
4. When A User Deletes His Browser Cookies
So, this was all about “What is Google Analytics” and “How Google Analytics works”!!
It may not sound that much important but trust me Google Analytics is one of the most important factors affecting your digital presence on a daily basis.
So, to make sure that your digital presence remains strong you must follow the steps mentioned above and learn to use Analytics properly.
Hope this article made it easier for you to understand the concept and need of using Analytics in the present time and solved all your queries regarding how to use Google Analytics!!!
Wish you very good luck!!