Painless Google Analytics and Search Console Setup for WordPress
Installing Google Analytics and Google Search Console on your WordPress site is the key to understanding who’s visiting your website, what search terms they used and how they found you.
As of July 2020, Google has 86.86 percent of the search engine market. Since most visitors are finding your site on Google why not take advantage of these free tools.
Ready to learn how to grow your website traffic?
Here’s an easy method to install Analytics and Search Console on your WordPress site using the All in One SEO plugin. But first here’s what you need to know.
What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Search Console?
Although they’re both operated by Google, Analytics and Search Console measure different things.
Benefits of Google Analytics
Analytics measures where your site traffic comes from – for example via social media, direct or through organic searches. It shows a snapshot of your 7 to 28 day visitor count including how long visitors stay on your site.
Analytics will also rank your website pages by how often they’re visited and give you a timeline of how users trend over time. Analytics integration with Google Adsense and Adwords is another helpful feature if you plan to run ads on your site.
Use Analytics to:
- check which percentage of website visitors come from social media, organic search, referral or direct.
- view which pages users visit and how often
- understand the countries your visitors come from
- learn how long the average user stays on your site
- learn how many users visit per day, week, month or more
Statistics like these help you understand who’s visiting your website and give you a better idea of what content’s working and what isn’t.
Benefits of Google Search Console
When a visitor to your site types in a keyword phrase or search term, Search Console shows which searches or queries they used. It measures impressions (not clicks) which is how often that search term result is served up on Google search results.
Search Console offers suggestions to improve and highlights problem areas you can fix. Think of Search Console as a window into how Google sees your site.
Use Search Console to:
- repair or fix issues such as page load speed
- confirm Google can crawl your site
- troubleshoot mobile usability
- find how often your site appears in Google search and what search terms were used
- get alerts for issues on your site
- see external site links to your website
Search Console allows you to tinker under the Google hood to fix issues that may prevent your site from functioning robustly.
Before you can install Google Analytics or Search Console you’ll need to sign up for Google or Gmail account if you don’t have one already.
Once you’ve got your Google account set up you’re ready to set up Analytics and Search Console.
How to Setup Google Analytics
If you already have a Gmail account you’ll be prompted to sign in to it. If you have more than one email with Gmail, choose the email address you want to use for Analytics and Search Console to set up your analytics account.
- Click on Signup to start setting up Google Analytics
- Enter your Account name (this will be only visible to you) and your website name
- Add your website URL – use the complete address such as https://littletechbook.com (choose https:// if you have a secure socket connection (most likely) or http:// if you don’t)
- Choose your Industry category so Google knows what bucket your site fits in
- Choose Reporting Time Zone – pick the time zone where most of your customers/visitors will be coming from. I chose USA Eastern Standard Time
- Accept the Terms and Services to save your settings.
- On the Admin page under Analytics Toolkit you’ll see Tracking Info
- Click on Tracking Code to get your Google Analytics Tracking ID number. This should start with UA-
- Copy and paste the number into a Word or Notes doc for reference, we’ll use it later
How to Setup Google Search Console
To set up a Google Search Console page for your website go here. The next step will be to verify with Google that you’re the owner of the site. Choose the URL prefix method for multiple options to get verified.
- Choose URL prefix and type in the full URL name of your site
- You should see a Checking Verification window above then
- This Ownership Auto Verified message will be next
- That’s it! Click > Done or Go to Property to start looking at Search Console.
What if Your Site Doesn’t Auto Verify for Search Console?
If you don’t get the auto verification message, you’ll need to use another method. For some reason one of my sites wouldn’t verify for Google Search Console no matter how many times I tried using multiple options.
This is when I discovered I could verify using the All-In-One SEO plugin I’m already using for my WordPress SEO and it makes it super easy to input your Analytics and Search Console code to track your WordPress website.
Use the All-In-One SEO plugin to Verify Search Console
Using an SEO plugin makes sense when you think about it. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. All in One SEO is one of those plugins I install on every site. It just makes it easier to add Title, Description and Keywords for each of my blog posts.
It also makes it easy to add your Analytics and Search Console codes without the need to install an extra plugin. The fewer the plugins the better if you’re aiming for a quicker loading site. One more thing Search Console tracks.
All-in-One SEO can also be used to set up your Home page SEO text (description and tagline).
TIP: All-in-One SEO home page settings will override any settings you have in WordPress dashboard >Settings >General. So if for example you’re scratching your head to figure out why your Home Title text isn’t updating (that’s the line of text you see after your website name in the search bar) or why you don’t have one, look at Home Page settings in the All-in-One SEO dashboard.
How To Install All-in-One SEO for WordPress
In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New
In the upper right hand corner type in All-in-One SEO where you see Keyword and then hit Enter
You’ll see the result similar to this page – All-in-One SEO plugin is on left
Click Install Now
Once it’s finished installing, you’re ready.
Look for the All-in-One SEO icon just under Dashboard in the left menu.
Click on All in One SEO, go to General Settings. This opens up an options page. Scroll down to where you will add your tracking codes under Google Analytics.
How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress with All-In-One SEO
Copy and paste or type your Google Analytics code number beginning with UA- where shown in the All-In-One_SEO settings page.
How to Verify Google Search Console in WordPress with All-In-One SEO
If Google doesn’t automatically verify your site when you enter your domain name into Search Console (as we did above), then this window will pop up to “Verify Ownership’
We’re going to use the HTML tag method.
Click on the down arrow next to that option. You’ll then see this window with the meta name text you need to copy to verify your site.
Hit COPY next to the meta name. Then paste the string of numbers and letters into Notes or an open document so you can edit it. The copied text will look like this:
<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”il4Z4SnoRToL4EO1x4vtvLVtdKVXC-EY_jg_tvUuTUY” />
Now highlight and copy the string of letters and numbers between “ ” only. It should look like this:
With your All-In-One SEO General Settings page open in the WordPress dashboard, copy and paste that string of numbers and letters into the Google Search Console box as shown.
TIP: Here’s where you can also input your Pinterest Site Verification if needed.
Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the General Settings page and click Update Options to save!
TIP: If Google automatically verified your site for Search Console, you’ll only see your Analytics code in Settings (not the Search Console letters/numbers). So don’t worry.
That’s it! You’ve now installed Google Analytics and Search Console verification codes on your website. Don’t forget to bookmark your Google Analytics and Search Console login pages so you can easily check your stats.