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,
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
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
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.