Hands down the most important plug in you’ll want to have up and running immediately on your new WordPress site is Google Analytics. You’d never drive a car blind, and running a website blind isn’t a wise idea either. The only way to know what’s happening is to track it. Google Analytics is the industry standard tracking service. Thankfully a well built and reliable WordPress plugin handles this all for you! So let’s get it up and running!

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Installing the Google Analytics plugin

  1. First, log into your WordPress dashboard.
  2. On the left menu, hover over “Plugins” and select “Add new”
  3. In the Keyword Search box type “Google Analytics” and carefully locate the Google Analytics Plugin whose author is “Joost de Vaalk”. You can find the authors name at the end of the description in light blue text.

If you give up, you can also go here, but this will make the process MUCH more complicated. So complicated we won’t cover how to do it using this method in this tutorial.


  1. Once you find the Plugin, look for the “Install Now” link under the Plugin’s name on the left. Click “Install Now”. Don’t do anything while your site installs the plug in.
  2. You should now be on the Installing Plugin page. At the bottom click “Activate Plugin”. A small popup will ask if you want to allow anonymous tracking from the Plugin Author. We’ll leave the decision up to you. It won’t hurt anyone if you say no. (this may not happen as it may be a temporary feature)
  3. You’re now on the Plugins page. On the left navigation menu, hover over Settings and click on “Google Analytics”.
  4. Before we can continue you will need to set up a Google Analytics account to pair with this Plugin.

IMPORTANT: Ownership of a Google Analytics account cannot be transfer to another Google user at the time of this writing. You must set this account up correctly the first time with the Google account you will have associated with your site until you deem it necessary to cause a break in tracking. To move tracking to a new user, you will have to reset the Tracking Code and this will diconnect all past data from the new account. READ CAREFULLY >> THIS IS A BIG DEAL. You don’t want to lose or disconnect data. Choose the account you set this up with carefully.

Setting up your Google Analytics account

  1. If you do not already have a Google account. Go here and set one up. If you already have one, go to the next step. NOTE: You cannot register for a new Google account from the Analytics page. You’ll need to set up a Gmail account first, then you can proceed to the Analytics service.
  2. If you already have a Google account go to http://www.google.com/analytics and log in. If you do not have a Google account or want to set up one that is unique to this site, go to www.gmail.com and click “Sign Up” to Create an Account.
  3. Once you are logged into Google Analytics, click “Set up Account” and you’ll have to complete the intake form. After completing the details and agreeing to the Google Terms and Conditions you should be ready.
  4. In the right pane (the big one), click on the “Account List” link at the top left. If it is not clickable, you’re already on the right page! Now below you should see a list of the “Accounts” you have associated with this Google account. Click the Account you just set up. This should be whatever you named this account in the setup screen.
  5. Now you should be on the Properties screen. You should see the property you set up earlier. Click on this property.
  6. Now you are working with this specific site. In the menu across the top of the right pane click on “Tracking Iinfo”. You should be given the Tracking ID for this property. In case you have trouble with the next step, this will be helpful in configuring your WordPress site to get the Google Analytics up and running.

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Linking Google Analytics to your WordPress plugin

  1. You’ll be happy to know that Joost de Vaalk is one sharp cookie and he made this all a lot easier. So let’s use his method first. Go back to your WordPress dashboard on your website. You can find the login page at www.YOURWEBSITE.com/wp-admin
  2. Be sure you are on the Google Analytics Settings page. (Found by hovering over Settings in the left navigation menu and clicking on Google Analytics). Be sure you are still logged into your Google Analytics account in a different broswer tab. Now press the “Click Here to Authenticate with Google” button.
  3. You will be moved over to Google to grant permission to your site to access your Analytics account. Click “Grant Access”. Tip: At the bottom of this page it will show you which Google account you are working in. BE SURE it’s the proper account. If not, log out of the account you’re in and log into the proper Google account and repeat the above steps.
  4. Assuming you’re in the right account you should now be back in your Dashboard and on the Google Analytics Settings page. If the popup is displayed again asking for permission to tracking anonymously, choose to authorize or decline.
  5. Now at the top of the Settings page you need to tell the Plugin which Google Analytics account to target. Choose the “Profile” drop down menu. Most likely you only have one option, the one you set up earlier. In case you have more than one, you’ll want to compare the UA number we looked at while in Google Analytics with the options listed in this menu and select the proper UA number so that it is associated with the correct Analytics account. NOTE: Choose the wrong UA Code and you’re stats will feed to the wrong Analytics. WHAT A MESS! Choose carefully if you have more than one UA set up.
  6. Once you have made your selection, scroll down slightly and click the “Update Google Analytics Settings button”.

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You’re site activity is being tracked by Google!

Congratulations, you should now have an active Google Analytics account that is linked to your WordPress site and tracking visitors activity. Getting Analytics set up is important, but knowing how to use it is just as important. We’ll cover that topic in a later article. STAY TUNED and comment below if you found this write up helpful or have suggestions for future articles.

Remember, you are what you eat, so Eat Success for Breakfast!

Don’t have a WordPress site set up yet? Click here for Step 1: Setting up your NEW WordPress Site in under one hour.