WordPress Plugins for Google Analytics

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You might be the best blogger in the world, but without a firm handle on how people are arriving at and accessing your website, and their activity once there — or why they may have left — you won’t be the best blogger for long.

Analytics solutions — and there are many to choose from — will help reveal meaningful information that you can use every single hour of the day to positively influence the success of your Web presence and, more specifically, your content marketing and development efforts. But where should you turn for answers to the most pressing questions related to digital media measurement?

If you’re a running a self-hosted WordPress site, the answer should be Google Analytics.

There are, of course, a variety of WordPress plugins available from top analytics vendors. For example, Open Web Analytics offers a plugin, as do Piwik, Woopra and GetClicky, to name just a few. These are all incredibly powerful analytics solutions, but the takeaway here should be that whatever vendor you choose, if you’re using Word- Press, make sure to check that they offer a plugin that can be deployed and used within your installation.

Google Analytics, however, is likely the vendor in use by your Web property. How do we know that? As of early June 2012, BuiltWith estimated that 46 percent of the top 1 million Web properties use Google Analytics. Of the top 100,000 properties, that percentage was 60 percent, with the top 10,000 reporting more than 60 percent. In an early April earnings call, Google itself indicated that well over 10 million Web marketers use Google Analytics — and you are most likely one of them.

Fortunately for self-hosted WordPress sites, there are several plugins worthy of installation. Here are a few of the very best to consider:

Google Analytics Dashboard: With over 200,000 downloads and a four-star average rating, this plugin provides the ability to view your Google Analytics data within your WordPress dashboard. Administrators can even allow other users to see the same dashboard information when they are logged in, or embed parts of the data into posts or as part of the theme.

Google Analyticator: By far one of the most popular Google Analytics plugins, Google Analyticator makes adding the Javascript code an absolute breeze. The plugin includes a dashboard widget that displays a graph of the last 30 days of visitors, includes a front-end widget that can be used to display visitor information, and supports outbound link tracking and download link tracking. The plugin has racked up over 1.7 million downloads and has a four-star rating on well over 300 reviews (see image).

Google Analytics for WordPress: Perhaps the most popular of the Google Analytics Word- Press plugins is Joost de Valk’s Google Analytics for Word- Press. With over 3 million downloads and averaging a four-star rating with nearly 1,000 reviews, the plugin uses the asynchronous GA tracking code, provides outbound link and download tracking, allows use of custom variables to track meta data on pages, and even offers an option to tag links with campaign tracking.

Super Simple Google Analytics: Living up to its moniker, this plugin (which boasts a five-star rating) makes it super simple to add Google Analytics tracking code to every page of your WordPress site. If you don’t necessarily need to see analytics stats directly within your administration panel but need a reliable analytics plugin, then this one is for you.

Web Ninja Google Analytics: While far from the most popular (downloads total just under 60,000 at the time of writing), this plugin definitely deserves serious consideration. The plugin, which makes it exceedingly simple to add Google Analytics Javascript in our testing, adds an Admin Dashboard Widget but also displays metrics on individual posts and page stats. Admins can even configure the plugin to show specific users who can access the data based on their user levels.

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