The best way to Install Google Analytics on to a WordPress Website?

Adding Google Analytics to your WordPress site can help you track your website visitors. In this video, I will show you these 3 methods on how you can install GA to your WordPress site so you can choose which one to implement.

1. Use of Plugins
2. Install and hard code in the theme file
3. GTM deployment

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GTM for Beginners series:


Google Analytics


? Learn more from Measureschool:

? GTM Copy Paste

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In this video, I’m going to show you the best method on how to install Google Analytics on your WordPress website. All and more coming up.

Hey, there measuregeeks! Julian here back with another video teaching you the data-driven way of digital marketing. Now, today we want to talk about how to install Google Analytics on a WordPress website. And as always, there’s not just one way of doing things. So today, I’m going to show you actually three ways on how to install Google Analytics on to your WordPress website. And later on, you can pick which one suits you best. I will also give you my recommendation at the end of this video. Now, we’ve got lots to cover so let’s dive in.

All right, welcome to our demo software we want to install Google Analytics on. Now, in order to do this, we need to have two things in place already. First of all, we need to have access to the admin area which we can reach under our domain name slash WP admin login and now be able to install Google Analytics on your website. Be sure to have access to the back end. Second part would be to have an actual tracking ID. And this is what you can get at login with your Google account, and then navigate to the account that you want to install. If you don’t have an account set up, you will be greeted with setting up a new account. Let’s quickly go through this. First of all, we want to track a website. Let’s choose an account name. Normally, you would choose your company name, then you can give your web property or the web tracking code a name. So for example, for us, it would be our demo shop. And then you enter your website URL.

In our case would be right here. Now, be sure to not have the HTTP part up here at the beginning. You can choose if you’re on HTTP or SSL in this drop-down menu. And then you can choose your industry and also your reporting timezone. Now, this is very important because you want to ensure that the timezone matches up with the timezone on your website to be able to compare data later. So make sure that this is set correctly. And you can choose if you want to take part in some more data options that Google Analytics provides. I’ll just leave them tick for now. And we can now click on Get our tracking ID. We need to agree to the data processing terms. This might differ from where you are located at. And I’ll accept this. And now we should get our tracking code. We jump right into the section. Now if you already have an account set up, you can simply go here to the admin section. And then on the property section, you find the tracking info that you can open up and go to the tracking code.

So you get to the same place here. And here’s where we get our tracking ID that we will utilize to install Google Analytics on our website. Let’s get to installing it. And I’m going to show you three methods here. The first method is through a plugin. So we’ll go down here to our plugins section and add a new plugin. And we simply type in Google Analytics. There are different plugins out there that will help you to install Google Analytics or choose the most popular option which is the Google analytics dashboard plugin for WordPress by monster insights. So let’s install this and activated and will put us in this setup screen. And we simply follow along with our Setup Manager here will connect monster insights to our Google Analytics. It will authenticate us to Google, we allow the settings and then we can choose our account. In our case, we had our tracking ID already available here, just going to copy this. And we’ll find here our view that we want to connect. And we will complete the connection. We can choose different tracking options. I will leave them untouched for now. But this is really about the customization of your tracking code. And that should do it we exit our wizard. And we should have now Google Analytics installed as easy as that. How can we verify that this is actually working?

Well, one is an extension by Google that you can install to your Chrome browser which is the Google Tag assistant. And we see here that Google Analytics is installed, but there is no HTTP response. And this is because Google Analytics is actually blocked for people who are admins and logged in to WordPress at the moment. So let’s open up a private browsing mode here. And I’m just going to navigate to my page. And now we are not logged in. And we can see here, Google Analytics is now deployed. Now depending on if this green or blue, this doesn’t really matter. But it seems like Google Analytics has been deployed correctly. We can also test this by going into our Google Analytics here. And here we see the status. And what we can do is test our implementation by going into the real-time traffic reports through this link. And here you can see that a page view was just generated. So this means that the user that is right now on the website which is us has generated a page view. So if we would go to the next page here should have another page view enter the picture. So Google Analytics is correctly installed. And this is our first method of how we can install Google Analytics via a plugin. I’d recommend this for everyone who doesn’t want to get technical and install Google Analytics in a very easy way. But the downsides might be that you have to install an additional plugin. This can potentially bog down your WordPress installation and slow down your page. So I want to show you another method of how you can install Google Analytics on your website. And this is through the installation in the theme files directly. So let’s head back into our WordPress back end. And I’m going to deactivate our plugin.

And now let’s go ahead and install Google Analytics again through the theme files. For that will go over to appearance, then theme editor. Now as it says here, it’s recommended that you have a child theme already set up that will let you install these codes into your child theme so that don’t get overwritten next time your theme updates. So definitely have a child theme set up first, then we can go ahead and proceed here. Click on I understand, select your child theme. And then find the header.php. Now, this needs to be set up in your child theme in order to edit this. So we’re going to click on it. And now we have access to the theme that governs our website, and especially the header of that theme. Now, we go back to Google Analytics and click back into our tracking information to get our tracking code. And here we have the global site tag, we can just simply copy. And it says here that we should install this in the head section. So with our theme open right here, we can add our information.

And I’d suggest to put this right under the meta tags right here. Just paste this in. The earlier the Google Analytics code will fire, the more likely it is to send data of so even if the user navigates on before the site has ended loading, you’ll be able to capture information. So now that we have this setup, let’s update our file and head back to our page. Now, we should see in our tag assistant, the global site tag is installed and Google Analytics so it’s already sending data over. Let’s look into our real-time reporting inside of Google Analytics. And here, we also see that there are page views already generated. If we go on to another page here, we should again see data coming in right here we see a new page view. So Google Analytics is installed correctly for our page. And this was also an easy method to install. If you are comfortable with copy-pasting code into your theme file if you have a child theme set up and don’t want to use a plugin to install your Google Analytics on your page. Now let’s go on to the last method that I want to show you. And this is installing Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager. Now Google Tag Manager is a tag management tool. So it manages all your tracking in one central place. And this is a Google Tag Manager container. To get started with Google Tag Manager, head over to and create a new account, you can follow the steps as we’ve done before in our Google Analytics set up. So we had your company here, and then your website.

You’re going to go with web, and create this and then we’re entering our Google Tag Manager container. Now the first thing that we need to do, we also need to install a container snippet onto our page into our theme files just like we did before. So let’s get go ahead and follow again the steps that we just did earlier, I’m going to copy the first code that needs to be in the head section. We’re going to go into to our theme settings and our theme editor, choose our child theme here, go into our theme header PHP. And this time, I’m going to get rid of our global site tag that we have installed right here. Instead, paste our code of Google Tag Manager. Then there is a second code that we need to place beneath the opening body tag. So we’re going to look for the body where it starts right here. And right underneath going to post our Google Tag Manager, no script tag. Let’s update this file.

Now we can head back to our page, reload that. And in our tagging system, we see that we have Google Tag Manager now installed. But Google Analytics is actually not yet part of this implementation. We will need to deploy Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager. How do you do this? Well, in Google Tag Manager now, you have access to the website itself through that central snippet that we’ve installed on all the pages. We just need to deploy the tracking tool that we want to install through this Management Console. And you do this by going into Google Tag Manager and clicking on new tag and give this all a name. So we’ll be able to recognize this later. And then when we click on tag configurations, we can see all the different tools that you can install through Google Tag Manager onto your page. Now, we are interested in Google Analytics, which is right on the top right here. So I’m going to click on that. And we want to set over a page view, Now, we need to specify the account which we can do by setting up a new Google Analytics settings variable.

Here, we need to implement our tracking ID. Go over to Google Analytics, go into our tracking information and copy the tracking ID right here. Go back to Google Tag Manager, paste it in here. I’ll also take this as a name here. So I will be able to recognize this later. Let’s save this. And this is really what we would need, we just need to define a trigger right here. And there’s already one available which is the all pages trigger. So it will be deployed on all the pages. Let me fix this typo up here. And we are good to go. Let’s save this. And now we have implemented one tag into our tag manager. We can try this all out by going into the preview mode. This will put our browser into a special mode. So we will be able on our page when we reload our page to see a debug console down here which will show us which tag have fired on our page. Very practical to see if your tracking is actually deployed. And he will see our Google Analytics is deployed, we can also cross check this in our tag assistant. Here we go. The tag assistant shows that Google Analytics is deployed. And also in our real-time reporting. There’s one user right now. And here we go our page was sent and received by Google Analytics.

Now be aware once we’re in the preview mode, this is actually only deployed for you on your browser. This is not yet live on your website. In order to push this live to the website, we will need to submit a version. This is what this big Submit button is for click on here and we can give our version a name. So you’ll be able to see all the changes we have done to our container later on. Let’s publish this and it’s should be now live on our website. So if I go back here and leave the preview mode, reload our page, you now see Google Analytics is installed and Google Tag Manager. Now, don’t worry if those are not green. This just means that it’s a nonstandard implementation since you have done it through Google Tag Manager. But your data is still safely sent and received by Google Analytics.

Now you have seen that we have gone through quite some steps in order to set this up with Google Tag Manager. The big advantage to this setup is that you will be more flexible once you want to do customization and really get into advanced tracking techniques. Because not only can you deploy easily Google Analytics, but also your facebook pixel, Google Ads tracking, conversion tracking, or even set up certain triggers that trigger on interactions such as a button click or when something comes into view, or form Submit. So very versatile when it comes to expanding your tracking beyond the scope of just deploying a tracking code like Google Analytics onto your page. It also decouples what you set up in your WordPress installation. So if you ever wonder what tracking code is firing where you would be able to look this up in your central tracking tool which is in this case, Google Tag Manager. So for me, setting up Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager is the best way to set up Google Analytics as it brings a lot of advantages of expanding our tracking later on.

All right, so there you have it. This is how you can install Google Analytics onto your WordPress website. I showed you three ways. One is the plugin. One is to install and hard code, essentially, the code onto your theme file, and then the deployment through Google Tag Manager. Now, I made it already clear that I prefer the more hard way of doing things, which is the deployment through Google Tag Manager just because it makes me more flexible later on. If I want to install the Facebook pixel or Google Ads tracking later on, then I’d be able to do this seamlessly through Google Tag Manager. There are a lot of advantages. And if you want to find out more about Google Tag Manager, we actually have a Google Tag Manager for beginners course up right here that you can view and learn more about now. I’d love to hear from you. Which implementation method did you pick? Or will you change your implementation method right now onto your WordPress website? Let me know in the comments down below. And as always, if you liked this video, why not give us a thumbs up and also subscribe to our channel right over there because we bring you new videos just like this one every week. Now, my name is Julian till next time.


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