Intro to Google Analytics

And they say the best things in life are for free. This holds true for Google Analytics as well which is a powerful digital analytics for small or big web presence. It can be used by executives, marketing professionals, and content & developers for a variety of reasons that may include the most effective marketing initiatives, website traffic calculation, valuable customer segments, effective ad campaigns, best keywords, which content is best for engaging users, etc.

Installing Google Analytics & the Potential Problems

WordPress integration with Google Analytics is pretty straightforward too and even a native WordPress user can do it in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is copy the Google Analytics code and paste it into the header.php or the footer.php file, such that every page calls it. However, in certain cases it can become an issue that may include:

  • If you are hesitant to edit PHP, you may end up screwing your header or footer PHP files.
  • If you change your WordPress website theme and forget to re-install the Analytics code.
  • If you are trying to track customized variables or have other settings than the usual, you might not be able to change the original Analytics code.

Built-in Installation Capability

If any of the above points hold true for you then you may think of considering an Analytics WordPress plugin. However, before you actually start searching for the plugin check if your present WordPress theme has an in-built option for catering Analytics code installation.

Those who use premium themes usually have the given space in the settings where the header and footer scripts can be installed. If this place is present, simply paste the Analytics code in this section.

Child-Theme Switching Only

The above method removes one basic problem from the three listed above and slightly remove another when you just change the child theme instead of the theme framework. However, if you switch your theme frameworks, you should keep in mind to re-install the Analytics code.

Finally, the need for Plugin

So, we are left with just one problem that is those people who wish to customize the Analytics code for tracking customized variables. At this point, a plugin would be helpful but make sure you go for the right plugin as for this popular and extensively used program there is a whole pool of plugins available.

One recommended plugin is Google Analytics for WordPress. There are numerous reasons for choosing this plugin which include:

  • One-click allows custom variable tracking like author name, tags, a single category, post type, etc.
  • The latest version comes with asynchronous tracking that enhances load time and accuracy.
  • It is coupled with eCommerce tracking
  • It has tracked for outbound clicks and downloads
  • Developed by one of the very trusted companies in WordPress plugins development

Crux of the Post

As we move towards the conclusion of this post, there are a few basic things you must understand and ask yourself before opting for a plugin, and that includes:

  • Is the functionality I am looking for is important?
  • Is there a need for plugin-type help for finding a solution?
  • Is the theme I am using have an in-built way of providing the solution?
If the answer to the first two questions is “Yes” and the last one is “No”, then you may go for a plugin.