Understanding website performance and user behavior is crucial for businesses and website owners in today’s digital landscape. Google Analytics has long been a trusted tool for gathering valuable insights, and with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it has become even more powerful.
In this article, we will explore what Google Analytics 4 is. We will also discuss the benefits of adding GA4 to your WordPress site. In the end, we will provide step-by-step instructions on implementing it, both with and without a plugin.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 (GA 4) is the latest iteration of Google’s web analytics platform. It offers advanced features designed to adapt to the evolving needs of businesses and marketers. Unlike its predecessor, Universal Analytics, which focused primarily on tracking page views and sessions, GA4 emphasizes event-based tracking and cross-platform measurement.
GA4 provides a more comprehensive understanding of user interactions by capturing data from various touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, and offline sources. It utilizes machine learning to provide valuable insights, such as predictive analytics and audience modeling, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions.
Why should I Add GA4 to WordPress?
Integrating GA4 into your WordPress site brings several benefits. First and foremost, GA4 provides a more accurate and comprehensive view of user engagement, allowing you to analyze specific events and actions visitors take. This enables you to understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, user engagement on different pages, and the impact of website changes.
Additionally, GA4 offers powerful features like cross-platform tracking, machine learning insights, and predictive analytics, which can help you uncover valuable trends and make data-driven decisions to drive your business forward.
How to implement GA4 on your WordPress site?
There are two methods to implement GA4 on your WordPress site: with and without a plugin. Both methods have their own advantages. When you install GA 4 on WordPress without a plugin, you establish a direct link between the two “software”. With a plugin, you involve a third party.
Implementing GA4 on your WordPress site without a plugin is not resource intensive which may translate into speedier performance. With a plugin, additional computing resources (no matter how minute) will be required.
However, connecting Google Analytics 4 with WordPress through a plugin is easier and less complicated.
Nonetheless, you should know both methods.
Implementing GA4 on Your WordPress Site (Without Plugin Method)
Follow these steps to implement GA4 on your WordPress site using a Plugin.
- Go to Google Analytics and log in to your account or create a new one. Set up a new GA4 property by following Google’s instructions.
- Go to the Google Analytics home page and log in using your Google account to begin the process. Your dashboard will now be accessible, and we can continue from there.
- You need to create a new GA4 property now that you are on your Analytics dashboard. You may choose an existing account to set up your new property on or click Admin > Create Account.
- We will click “Create Property” on an existing account, as this article assumes you already have a Google Analytics account.
- You can access the Property Details page by selecting the “Create Property” option. You can enter all the necessary property details here.
- Add your property’s name, its time zone, and any other necessary information. You decide how to set this up.
- This brings you to a few other details you should include. This covers the number of questions and the size of the firm. You are free to complete this whatever you like.
- Click the “Next” button when you are done to continue.
- When you are finished, click the “Create” button at the bottom of the page.
- You are now on the “Data Streams” page. As you can see, there are three possibilities available. Web, iOS, and Android applications. Choose “Web.”
- Fill out every piece of the necessary information to create the stream. You can do this by including your URL, naming your stream, and adding or removing any additional measurements you like. When you select the Web option, a screen that lets you configure your web broadcast appears.
- When you are done, press the “Create Stream” button.
- By selecting your UA Property from the drop-down menu after pressing the Admin button, return to your previous UA property.
- Go to the admin and click on “Data Streams” from the property options.
- It will take you to the data streams page, go to the GA4 demo data stream.
- When you click on data stream it will pop-up a new page where data stream details are mentioned.
- Click on the “View tag instructions” button to access the code to install Google tag.
- Take note of the tracking code. Let’s now add the code to your website.
- Once your property is created, Google will provide a tracking code snippet. Copy the code or measurement ID.
- Now in your WordPress dashboard, go to “Appearance” and select “Theme Editor.” Locate the theme header file (header.php) and open it for editing.
- Find the </head> tag in the header.php file and paste the GA4 tracking code above it. Save the changes.
- As you finish saving the changes, open your website and inspect the source code to ensure the tracking code is present. You can also use browser extensions or Google Tag Assistant to confirm proper installation.
Implementing GA4 on Your WordPress Site (With Plugin Method)
Follow these steps to implement GA4 on your WordPress site using a Plugin.
- There are several WordPress plugins available that can simplify the process of integrating GA4 into your WordPress website, so first, you need to choose a WordPress plugin for your website to implement GA4. The “Google Site Kit” and “GA Google Analytics” are the two best-recommended options.
- Once you decide which plugin you want to choose, install it. In my case, I have picked GA Google Analytics to show you the implementation process with it.
- To install the plugin, log in to your WordPress admin dashboard, go to the plugins section on the left navigation bar, and click on the “add new” button.
- Now, search for the “GA Google Analytics” Plugin and click the “Install Now” button.
- Once installation is done, click on activate button.
- The plugin has been installed and activated successfully, you can go to the plugins section and check the list of installed plugins, and you will find the “GA Google Analytics” plugin there. That means you have done a great job.
- Once you finish plugin installation, go to Google Analytics, sign in to your account, or create a new one. Follow the instructions provided by Google or above to set up a new GA4 property for your website.
- As you finish the GA4 property setup for your website, go to the WordPress dashboard and navigate to the plugin’s settings page.
- Connect your WordPress site to Google Analytics by following the plugin’s instructions.
- Enter your GA4 property ID or measurement ID in the appropriate field.
- After saving the settings, visit your website to ensure the tracking code is correctly installed. You can use browser extensions or Google Tag Assistant to verify that the tracking works as intended.
Google Analytics 4 redefines the standard of online business analytics and insights. However, there is one thing that both Google and users love: Speed! Host your site on Devrims WordPress Cloud Hosting Platform to experience blazing fast load times.