You must have heard the term “Web Analytics” many times.
If you are a business owner, you may be using web analytics for your business.
If you are a novice or a beginner, you must have read or hear the “fuze” about web analytics.
So, what is the web analytics that everyone is talking? What is so important about this term and how this becomes an integral part of the modern corporate world?
Let me start with a simple definition of web analytics, and then I’ll compare the 2 most popular tools, WordPress Analytics vs Google Analytics.
What is Website Analytics?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Website Analytics?
- 2 Why Web Analytics Is Important for your business?
- 3 The Comparison between Google Analytics and WordPress Analytics
- 4 What is Google Analytics?
- 5 How to install Google Analytics
- 6 What is WordPress Analytics?
- 7 Comparing Google Analytics and WordPress Analytics:
- 8 Bottom Line:
Well web analytics or website analytics is a way of measuring and tracking what is happening on your website. This is everything from amount of visitors (unique visitors), sessions, total page views, bounce rate, conversion rate, conversion value, channel of traffic and much much more. There are 100’s of metrics to track and you can often customize the dashboard as you like.
Most businesses uses Google Analytics because it’s free, integrates with everything and is very precise and in-depth. No matter if you are a beginner or expert to analytics of a website you can use it and get value from it. Beginners can get a quick overview of their stats and performance, and more advanced users can get a deeper look into how their website is performing and how to optimise this further, for example for SEO.
Well, the idea behind web analytics is the same as the school project, but it is more complex than the project. In technical term, web analytics is all about the measurement and collection of web data. After collecting, you can analyse the data and generate a report as you like. The idea behind the process is to measure the web traffic, understand user’s behavior and optimize the web usages.
Why Web Analytics Is Important for your business?
Web analytics is one of the most powerful tools for deciding business strategies for many businesses, especially ecommerce business, SAAS and other online only businesses. It aids the higher conversion rate of the customers at the website and is helpful for market research.
Web Analytics Do an Array of Things for an Organization:
- Inspire a data-driven atmosphere for decision making
- Provide more than just the traffic report
- Deliver the insight of data of everything happening on your website
- Offer the demographical data for a wider understanding of the user’s behavior of the website
When people talk about which web analytics to use, Google analytics is the most preferred web analytics tool that webmasters trust. However, it is a fact that whether it’s a simple website to showcase a business, a blog website or an e-commerce site, people rely on the WordPress platform the most. According to the stats published by W3Techs, the percentage of WordPress powered websites is 33.6% of all the websites.
The Comparison between Google Analytics and WordPress Analytics
With the above information, it is understood that the two web analytics which are in competition are Google analytics and WordPress analytics.
Before comparing Google Analytics and WordPress Analytics, let me tell you about these two. By the name, you know that both help in analytics of data. But, do both works on the same platform? What is Google Analytics? How WordPress Analytics is different? Let’s dig some more before coming to the comparison between two.
What is Google Analytics?
Google analytics is a web analytics tool offered by Google. It is free and enables the users to get the real-time statistics and analysis of the interactions of users with the website. Through Google analytics, the owners of the website can analyze the visitor data. They further interpret the data and then optimize the website’s function accordingly.
The analytics track the digital media performance and refer to the upstreaming of web destination along with the integration of other Google products like a banner, e-mail, contextual advertising, etc.
A Simple Explanation of Google Analytics:
Let’s say you are a start-up company. You have to make your brand known to the users. You are also planning to generate your revenue through sales. However, in the era of the global market, your potential users are scattered to the whole world. Now, how can you decide where to sell the most? How can you determine your real customers and their demographical details? Here comes Google with its web analytics tool.
Google designs its analytical data exclusively for marketing and webmasters. Through the analysis, the marketers and webmasters can gauge the quality of traffic they are getting. They can also decide on the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
How to install Google Analytics
Feel free to watch the video below or read through are guide below, on how you can setup Google Analytics for your website in under 5 minutes, in just a few steps.
Creating a Google Analytics Account:
For a novice, Google Analytics is a splendid ocean of tasks where you can work and get expertise. To start working with Google Analytics, you need a Google account first. Let me guide you to open your own business account on Google Analytics:
How to Open an Account on Google Analytics:
- If you have a Google account like Gmail, you do not need to create a new account. Just sign in to your Google account. Only with your Google account, you can access Google Analytics.
If you do not have a Google account or you want a separate account for your business, you can create a new Google account.
- After creating your account on Google, sign in to that account. From there, you can go to Google Analytics to set up your new Google Analytics account.
For creating a new Google account, go to Google Analytics and sign in to Analytics. It is a free account.
- After click to “Sign in for analytics, a new dialogue box will open. Here you get the option to sign up.
- Click on the “Sign Up”. After clicking the button, a new page opens that will ask you to fill some details like your account name, website name, and URL.
- Here you can set up Google analytics for either your website or your mobile app. After filling all enquiry boxes, you can now configure your data sharing settings. Here is the insight of the page where you can set the needful.
- Now click on the blue button that says, “Get Tracking ID”. The next step is to agree on the Google terms and conditions before moving on to the next step.
Getting Tracking Id:
- After agreeing to the terms and condition, a new page will open. From here, you can click the admin tag. After clicking the tag, you need to go to the account column. You can choose your account here from the drop-down menu. Now go to the property column and look for Tracking Info> Tracking Code.
- You need to install the tracking codes on every page of your website that you want Google to track for you. The tracking code now gives you all the details about every page of your websites like user’s behavior or demographical details.
Google Analytics tells a plethora of things about your website and each page where you have installed the tracking code. You can see the number of views on each page per second. You can also get the analytics report based on the demographic. Not only that but you can attach the filter to pages where you get the specific data only related to the filter you applied.
What is WordPress Analytics?
WordPress Analytics provides stats module with the help of Jetpack’s WordPress plugin. Jetpack is an array of tools that gives analytics of your WordPress website. You can check these analytics in your WP dashboard.
At the start, you get the automatic analytics that is only basic. The auto-analytics attached to your free WordPress account gives you only the analytics on page views per days.
But, WordPress also offers assorted analytics plugins designed by individuals or WordPress. These plugins are either free or paid. You can add plugins to your WordPress account and get the detailed analytics reports as per your need.
Setting up WordPress Analytics:
To set up a WordPress analytics, you first need a WordPress account. You can create a website or blog or business portal on WordPress according to your need. WordPress offers you free and paid accounts along with various facilities.
Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Analytics:
Here, I have compiled my 5 favorite WordPress plugins for analytics. These are all-superb and help you to gain a detailed analytical insight into your blog or website. Let us have a look at these.
This is my personal favorite. It does everything for a novice or beginner WordPress users who do not have knowledge of analytics. It helps in managing the user’s subscription and automatically link related posts. It allows sharing on social media and provides website monitoring services.
You can also optimize services on mobile and can get the comments of people not having WordPress accounts on your website. It is not an exaggeration to say that Jetpack is the best assistant for a WordPress webmaster.
Features of JetPack:
- What could be the best feature than a free service? JetPack is free and default service with a WordPress account.
- Since it is a default feature of WordPress, you do not need any additional setup other than installing the main plugin. That gives you easy access to data every time.
- It displays stats on your dashboard when you include the option for the same. It shows viewer count, top searches and the most popular post.
- It allows you to decide access to statistical reports.
- You get more insights like the number of views per country, clicks, peak hours of visitors, posting trends, referrers and the information about the search engine that has driven the highest traffic to your website.
- You can also get the miniature chart that talks about the visitor’s activities on the last two days in detail.
- You can add a feature alert by adding a smiling face to the bottom of your page.
Do you know that MonsterInsights plugin has more than two million WordPress website users? This is enough to say why this plugin is my number two in the list. This is one of the easiest plugins to install other than WordPress owned plugin. You can install this in a minute and can start work without hassle.
Features of MonsterInsights:
- Did I tell you, MonsterInsights allows you to use Google Analytics on WordPress? That means you get all the facilities of Google Analytics on your WordPress website easily.
- You get everything on your WordPress dashboard along with extensive reports of each analytics.
- You get the audience report like the gender of viewers and the age breakdown. It also tells you about the device the users were using while visiting your website.
- You can check the location of users and categories the report.
- MonsterInsights also tells you about the behavior report like sessions, page view, bounce rate, search terms, average session duration, and outbound links.
- You also get the performance of the landing pages including the content report.
- MonsterInsights also enables you to get the e-commerce report like conversion rate, revenue, transactions, top conversion sources, and the average order value.
- But, every good thing comes with a price. MonsterInsights is not a free plugin. It costs ranges from $99.50 to $499.50 depending on the uses.
With over a million installations, Google analytics dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics is quite popular among webmasters. The best part of the plugin is that it is free. That means webmasters need not pay a single penny to use the plugin. As the name suggests, it is an easy plugin that enables the features of Google analytics on WordPress.
Other features of Google Analytics dashboard for WP:
- It gives you overall stats regarding every activity for your entire site.
- You can check the basic analytics by clicking the button in the Posts or Pages.
- You can also turn on and check outbound link tracking
- You can apply a filter and excludes certain activities of users from tracking.
- You can also create tailored dimensions
- If you are using AMP, you can include Google analytics to the AMP pages.
- You can include the Google Tag Manager code.
- Although the interface is less captivating compared to MonsterInsights, the free service covers one negative point.
- It is user-friendly and easy to use.
Matomo, earlier Piwik is one of the premier open source analytic software on WordPress. It allows you to track user behavior and interaction on the website. The best part about the plugin is that it comes with all the latest features of analytics. You can include events or check heat maps. You can also add goals and include e-commerce. Not only this, you can check logged in users and do a/b testing that further helps you in optimizing your page.
Features of Matomo:
- It comes with the self-hosted version.
- It also comes with the cloud-hosted version.
- You can easily track user-interaction on your website.
- You can install Matomo on your server.
- The self-hosted version of Matomo is free so you can do free website tracking anywhere easily.
- The cloud-hosted version comes with a certain cost. You can start with $7.50 per month and look for 50,000 page views on 5 websites.
What is better than having Google analytic tracking code in your WordPress blog? “Share This” allows Google analytics plugin to attach with your website. You just need to log in to Google from WordPress admin dashboard and you can attach a link to any of your website. The plugin also gives you a plethora of facilities like you can filter GA tracking or can check GA reports in your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin has a special feature known as Trending Content. Through this feature, you can know which contents are performing better than average. You can further resonate this with your audience and customize the contents.
Features of Google Analytics (Share This):
- The Google Analytics by “Share This” is free. You do not have to pay a single penny to install the plugin.
- The setup is easy to install and you can add this to every page.
- You don’t need to use account linking.
- You get the detailed visitor trends on your dashboard like page views or page per session.
- You can check the bounce rate for the last 7 days and can compare that to the previous 7 days.
- You get to see the trending content and the 5 traffic source
Comparing Google Analytics and WordPress Analytics:
Now we have checked the Google analytics and WordPress analytics. It is clear that both do the same thing but on different interfaces. Let’s compare both on the various parameters.
- Google Analytics: It is a no brainer that you can use Google Analytics only by adding tracking codes on every page of your website. Once you sign up for the Google analytics account and link your website, a tracking code is generated automatically. You can further link it to the pages of your website. You can also insert a filter to get specific data only from each website.
- WordPress: To set up a WordPress account, you need to go through verification. You also need to authenticate your WordPress account. After authentication, you can simply install and activate the plugin.
- Without verification and authentication, you can use neither Google Analytics account nor WordPress Analytics.
- Google Analytics: If you ask me personally, I am a big fan of Google Analytics. It is simple to use and most of the services are free. But, for a novice, Google Analytics is complex. One has to learn and understand Google Analytics before actually using it. Obviously, it is a time taking process.
For many people, Google Analytics dashboard is overwhelming. So, without having a pre-knowledge or without learning, Google Analytics is tough to understand. However, for a pro, Google Analytics is an ocean of data that can help any organization to maximize its profit easily.
For a beginner, Google Analytics allows some rudimentary statistics to check on your website. Here are the things that you can check on Google Analytics as a novice.
If you are a blogger, you can check the reader engagement to your content and number of page view.
You can track many other metrics as well. Let’s talk about these five easy metrics.
- The Source from where the traffic is coming: Within Google Analytics, you can actually check whether the traffic source is organic or not. You can also check the traffic from referral websites and other social media platforms.
- E-mail subscriber’s source: You can actually check the source of e-mail subscribers. You can see the platforms from where the people are subscribing to your e-mail newsletter or other e-mail services.
- New users or returning users: This is an important parameter for any organization. You can actually identify and discriminate between new users and returning users to your website. This helps you to understand how many new and returning users are currently active on your website.
- Bounce Rate: A very important parameter for an SEO activity, bounce rate talks about a number of visitors left your site without visiting other pages on your website.
- Page per visit: It talks about a number of visits in a particular session. Higher the number of page per session, greater is the assurance that your website is working correctly.
WordPress: If you have not installed advanced plugins to your WordPress account for analytics, you cannot expect the Google Analytics to work perfectly. With only default Jetpack plugin, you can see the basic statistics on your WordPress dashboard like:
- Referred site
- Top post
- Popular post
- Top pages
- Number of clicks
Do I need to say who the winner is? Google Analytics is the king of the web analytics world. First, most of its services are free, and most of Google’s service are pretty good and this is no exception. Second, these free services are enough to analytics and boost your website. You get almost everything in Google Analytics with free services that are impossible with WordPress default plugins.
However, since Google Analytics is now available on WordPress, the webmasters can use Google Analytics on their WordPress dashboard. You can also choose free or paid Google Analytics plugins on WordPress.
The only difference between both is that for Google Analytics, you need a Google account. But for WordPress, you can work without Google account if you are not planning to opt for plugins that support Google Analytics.
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