Want to set up analytics on a WordPress website but aren’t sure where to start?

This post can help.

Getting a clear view of how visitors engage with your site is key to generating leads and sales for your business.

Analytics are the eyes and ears of your website, offering deep insights into visitor behavior and site performance.

Yet, for many, the idea of integrating analytics into WordPress can be intimidating. A wrong turn-in setup can skew your data, leaving you in the dark about your site's true performance.

Don't worry, though. We've crafted this guide to simplify the process.

Keep reading to learn how to seamlessly set up analytics on your WordPress website, and start measuring its performance more accurately. 

Why Should You Track Analytics on Your Website?

Running a WordPress website without tracking analytics is like playing darts blindfolded – you might hit the bullseye occasionally, but it's mostly guesswork and luck. 

Think of an analytics plugin as taking off the blindfold and turning on the lights; suddenly, you have clarity.

It shows you exactly where your content (darts) is landing, letting you know which articles, products, or pages are hitting the mark with your audience. With insights about visitor origins, on-site behavior, and interaction patterns, you can hone your content, sharpen your marketing strategies, and consistently score with your target demographic.

Analytics tools can also improve your site’s SEO and its search engine ranking. You can easily identify the top keywords driving traffic to your website, and use this to create more relevant SEO-friendly content for your target audience.

A WordPress analytics tool is more than a tool to view site stats. It can play a powerful role in helping you understand your audience, optimize your site performance, and help you land more conversions for your small business.

How to Set Up Google Analytics in WordPress Using a Plugin(Step-by-Step Guide)

Google Analytics 4 (GA 4) is the best tool to use to track your site performance metrics. Google Analytics no longer uses its universal analytics system, so keep this in mind as you read through.

Step 1: Download and Install MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for any WordPress website.

MonsterInsights, the best WordPress analytics plugin


Known for its outstanding ease of use and powerful feature set, this plugin makes it super simple for WordPress site owners to integrate Google Analytics with their sites – without needing to deal with any code.

Once installed, the MonsterInsights plugin offers a comprehensive, user-friendly dashboard directly within your WordPress dashboard, allowing you to view complex analytics data in a clear, easily understandable way.

This powerful tool also offers a wide range of in-depth tracking features – putting it far ahead of its competitors.

You can use this plugin to observe real-time stats, e-commerce tracking, form submissions, and custom dimensions tracking. 

Whether you’re a WordPress beginner or an advanced user, MonsterInsights will help you make the right kind of data-driven decisions without struggling with Google Analytics' native interface.

Installing MonsterInsights

To install MonsterInsights, log into your WordPress dashboard and install and activate the MonsterInsights WordPress plugin.

Start by heading to Plugins » Add New, and search for ‘MonsterInsights.’

Screenshot o MonsterInsights in WordPress Dashboard

MonsterInsights in WordPress Plugin Directory

Select “Install” and activate the plugin once done. Leave the plugin for now, as you need to configure your Google Analytics account.

Step 2: Connect Your Google Analytics Account to MonsterInsights

To set up GA4 in WordPress, you’ll first need a Google account. If you don’t already have one, you can create one for free.

Sign into Your Google Account

Head to the Google Analytics website and click the “Sign in to Analytics” button in the top right corner.

Create a Google Analytics Property

After you’ve signed into your Google Account, you’ll be directed to an account creation page. This is where you’ll create an Analytics account to collect and organize your site’s data.

First, you’ll need to add an account name.

You’ll also have a chance to customize a variety of data-sharing settings.

Next, you’ll be directed to a new screen where you’ll create your GA4 property. Give the property a name and confirm details like your timezone and currency.

In the next screen, you’ll need to fill details about your company. Select the industry your business falls under, as well as the size of your business.

Once that’s done, you’ll need to select a few business objectives so you can get personalized reports.

If you’re not sure what to select, we recommend choosing the “Get Baseline Reports” option to get all GA4 reports in your account.

Once you’re happy with what you’ve selected, click “Continue” and agree to the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement popup.

You’ll then be directed to a screen that requires you to choose where you’ll collect data. Choose the “Web” option.

Next, set up your website’s data stream by entering your site’s URL and name.

Now, click the switch to turn off Enhanced Measurement. Because we’ll be using MonsterInsights later in this guide, turning this option off avoids duplicate data streams.

Click the Create Stream button to finish setting up your Google Analytics property.

You’ll now see your property information, which includes your tracking ID, stream name, and measurement ID.

It will also show different methods for adding Google Analytics to your website, such as using Global Site Tag, HTML, and more. However, with MonsterInsights, you can do this easily without touching any code.

Step 3: Complete the MonsterInsights Setup Guide

Return to MonsterInsights in your WordPress dashboard and launch the Setup Wizard.

Choose a category that best represents your business. There are three options – Business Website, Publisher, and eCommerce.

After you’ve chosen a category, hit “Save and Continue”.

If you’re using the free version of MonsterInsights, your next step is to click “Connect MonsterInsights”. 

If you’re a Pro user, this is where you’ll enter your license key to access MonsterInsight’s premium features. You can find your key in your MonsterInsights account, in the Downloads section.

Next, you’ll need to log in to your Gmail account to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress website. Assign the right permissions to MonsterInsights and hit “Continue”.

You’ll return to MonsterInsights, where you’ll need to pick a property for our site. Click on the drop-down menu and select the right one.

Once that’s done, you’ll be taken back to the setup wizard. Here, you can enable a variety of the plugin’s settings. Some are already enabled by default – Events Tracking, Enhanced Link Attribution, and File Download Tracking.

Powerful Add-ons in MonsterInsights

Pro MonsterInsights users get access to a set of powerful features to enhance their analytics and ensure they have all the info they need to make strategic, data-driven decisions.

Some of these add-ons include:

  • Google Ads Tracking
  • eCommerce tracking for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, MemberPress and other stores.
  • GDPR compliant tracking
  • Integration with Google Search Console
  • In-depth form tracking
  • User Journey – see the exact steps (and for how long) each customer took before making a purchase
  • …and many more

You’ll have a chance to enable some of these add-ons in the MonsterInsights:

Once you’re happy with your settings, click “Finish Setup & Exit Wizard” and return to your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Step 4: View Your Google Analytics Data

If you’re new to using MonsterInsights, it will take a few hours to start recording data.

But once it starts, you’ll be able to see your Google Analytics data reports in real-time – right from your WordPress dashboard.

This removes the need to visit the official Google Analytics dashboard, where the data can confuse beginners.

For more detailed reports, visit Insights » Reports from your admin.

The first one you’ll see is the Overview report, which has basic tracking info, such as Sessions, Page Views, Session Duration, Source (email, social media, etc.) Bounce Rate, and Total Users.

How to Set Up Analytics on WordPress: FAQs

Q: Does WordPress have built-in analytics?

A: No, WordPress does not come with built-in analytics. But, you can integrate analytics tools like Google Analytics through a plugin like MonsterInsights.

Q: How do I add an analytics dashboard to WordPress?

A: You can add an analytics dashboard to track your WordPress site’s metrics in a few ways:

  1. Integrating GA4 with a reliable analytics plugin like MonsterInsights (this is the easiest way)

  2. Using Google Tag Manager

  3. Adding a code snippet that includes a Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress theme file (through the header.php file). If your site has a child theme, you’ll need to update this too.

Q: What is the best analytics tool for WordPress?

A: We recommend MonsterInsights.

How to Set Up Analytics: Final Words

An analytics plugin is only as effective as the quality of your website.

Your website hosts all your blog posts and provides a first impression to your site visitors.

If your site doesn't look good or function well, you’ll lose a lot of potential customers -- tanking your web analytics.

Here are four free tutorials to show you what a good business website should look like:

And if you feel like it’s time to make a change to your website, so you can finally reach your business goals, you should consider buying Thrive Suite.

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Thrive Suite is an all-in-one toolkit that contains plugins to help you build impressive landing pages, quizzes, online courses, and even conduct a/b testing to make informed improvements.

If you've been thinking about building your own independent business and want to use high-quality tools for a crazy reasonable price - Thrive Suite could be for you.

Click here to learn more about Thrive Suite.

About the Author Chipo

Chipo is a content marketer, digital consultant, and seasoned freelancer with a keen interest in tech, marketing, and the future of work. She helps both graduates and solopreneurs set up their personal brands so they can thrive online. When she’s not working, she’s reading, dining out, and watching old seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

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