Unfortunately for WordPress beginners, Google Analytics is an important part of running a successful website. I say “unfortunately”, because the learning curve associated with using Google Analytics can be very steep for WordPress newbies.
Why do we need Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an amazing tool that gives you information detailing how many visitors you are getting to your site, where they are coming from, and how they are getting there. It will show you keyword statistics as well and what kind of organic traffic you are getting from web searches. It helps you determine if specific ad campaigns are working, and lets you know which social media outlets are working best for your site.
The problem with Google Analytics is that it can be very complicated to use. There are a ton of graphs and menu options, and let’s be honest, who actually knows what a cohort analysis is? Amiright?
So, for those new to WordPress, or even the more experienced person who wants to see a cleaner, easier to use analytics experience, what options do you have? What amazing pearl of wisdom am I going to impart to you that will alleviate all of your Google Analytics woes?
Enter Stage Left, MonsterInsights!
MonsterInsights is a leading WordPress plugin designed to give you an easier way to see the information provided by Google Analytics. It is very customizable and gives you the ability to see your site statistics in an easy to understand format. I will get into more details about all of that shortly. First let’s take a quick look into MonsterInsights and where they came from.
MonsterInsights was originally developed by Joost de Valk, the guy behind Yoast SEO. Its original name was Google Analytics by Yoast. As Yoast became more successful, they decided to focus on SEO exclusively. In 2016, Google Analytics by Yoast was purchased by Syed Balkhi, the founder of WPBeginner, and re-branded as MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights now focuses solely on Google Analytics and making it easy for beginners.
MonsterInsights is very easy to get setup. Your first step is to head over to the plugin area of the WordPress admin portal and install it. You can either search for MonsterInsights in the new plugins area or you can download the plug in here and upload it manually. After you have it installed, you should see an Insights section in the left hand menu that looks like this:
Once you locate this menu, go ahead and click on Settings. After clicking on Settings, you will see a blue button under the General tab that says Authenticate with your Google account. Click on this button and walk through the process of authenticating with which ever google account you use for Google Analytics.
After clicking the button you will be redirected to a standard Google authentication page asking you to choose the google account you want to use.
Once you have chosen your Google account, you will be asked to select a Google Analytics profile. If you only have one site configured in analytics under this account, you can leave it set to All Web Site Data, otherwise, choose the appropriate profile, and then click on Complete Authentication.
That’s it! You are done! MonsterInsights for Google Analytics is now setup on your site. There are other configurations that can be made to add more functionality to the MonsterInsights dashboard, but the simple configuration steps above will get you well on your way.
Why Should I Use MonsterInsights?
It’s Easy to Setup
You don’t want to spend a ton of time configuring a plugin to look at analytics. Your time is valuable and you don’t have any time to waste. As we demonstrated in the configuration section above, getting MonsterInsights linked to your WordPress site and Google Analytics is a very quick and simple process.
Ease of Use
MonsterInsights makes Google Analytics so much easier. From streamlined graphs and lists, to Search Console access, MonsterInsights gives you the information you need right at your finger tips.
Find the Reports You Want in Your Dashboard
With MonsterInsights you can see the Google Analytics reports you want right from your WordPress dashboard. You don’t have to log into Google Analytics to see them. This is convenient when there are as so many dashboards and web site logins for so many things. Having your analytics always within easy reach is well worth the cost of this product.
Additional Tracking Settings Available
- You can choose to ignore particular user roles so that Google Analytics tracks your TRUE traffic, without including all the times you visit your site.
- The ability to anonymize the IP address of your visitors so that Google Analytics can track user data from countries who restrict the collection of user data.
- Enhanced link attribution, which gives you the ability to A/B test identical call-to-action buttons (or links) on your site to determine which one is getting the most clicks.
- File download tracking, which is something that Google Analytics cannot do.
- Much more…
When you upgrade your MonsterInsights to the paid version you get more tools that let you take a deeper, yet still easy, dive into your site’s analytics. The obvious goal of analytics is to give you the information you need to understand what visitors are doing on your site so that you know what is working and what is not. These premium tools help you with that end goal in mind.
If you run Google Adsense adds on your site, Monsterinsights will help you take a deeper look at how your ads are doing. It will help you know how many clicks each banner ad is getting, which ads are not getting any attention, and it will help identify the most effective ad placements on your site.
Once your site starts gaining traction and the traffic starts rolling in, MonsterInsights allows you to adjust the sample rate and site speed sample rate to help you stay under the 10 million hits per month limit per property (web site). Above 10 million hits per month you will need to pay for Google Analytics.
The E-commerce add-on helps with analytics tracking on WooCommerce and East Digital Downloads.
Facebook Instant Articles
With the Facebook Instant Article add-on, you can see which posts and pages are the most popular on Facebook, which topics work best for your Facebook audience, and which content your audience does not like.
Google Analytics does not track AMP-enabled pages correctly. MonsterInsight fixes this issue so that your data remains as accurate as possible.
Google Analytics does not track form submissions, but with the MonsterInsights form tracking add-on you can do just that. You can track form views, submissions and conversions very easily.
Lastly, but certainly not the least is the Custom Dimensions add-on which allows you to create custom trackers. With Custom Dimensions there is no need to be limited by the data Google hands you. You can set your own custom tracking data dependent on what information is important to you.
With this add-on you can track:
1. An Author to see which posts generate the most traffic.
2. You can track which WordPress post types perform better.
3. You can add category tracking to see which areas of the site are doing better.
4. You can add SEO score tracking to see which blog SEO scores are the most popular.
5. You can add keyword tracking to see which of your content is doing well in search engines.
I hope that this review of MonsterInsights has give you a good look into this awesome tool to help you sort through all of the data that Google Analytics can give you. With this tool, you can see what you want, when you want without frustration or wasting time.
Interested in trying Monsterinsights?
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