Why you need tracking
Of course it depends on your case. What your website is about. But in nearly all cases it is crucial for your business, that you understand how the users, your customers, are using the website. What page do they like? What pages they do not? How long are they staying on your website and on what pages do they leave. Maybe they don’t find what they are looking for or oversee your add to cart button. All these things you need to know if you take your website seriously. Thats why you need tracking.
But isn’t tracking evil?
Media has pushed this topic way more than it really is.
You need to understand the visitors to your website! And as long as you do this according to privacy laws and respect the data of your user, this is fine.
In the end you do this for your users. Who wants to see totally unrelated ads? Or news topics that do not relate to what the user is interested in. We are sure you have used Youtube. The more you watch – the better Youtube can recommend you videos you (may) like. Isn’t that better than always getting the newest videos or totally random ones?
What to Analyze
In the first paragraph we gave a few examples.
There are a lot of things you can track, not all is meaningful. What is depends on the business case of your website.
Is it a blog? Then maybe it is important how people can find your page (this is important in most cases).
Or maybe you have a shop? Then you want to know which products are visited more often or which products can not be find easily.
What to use for tracking
We recommend to use Google Analytics. It’s free, you do not have to worry about hosting and saving all the data. It is the most popular option to analyze how your website is being used. And with things like IP Anonymization you can use it even in Germany.
How to use Google Analytics on WordPress
Former preferred way: MonsterInsights
Before we switched to the recommended plugin, our used option was the Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights. With that you can easily connect and integrate Google Analytics to your homepage.
And you can see your statistics right in your WordPress Admin in a good Dashboard.
Solution: Site Kit by Google
Recently Google put out a WordPress Plugin themselves. Alone for that reason it was worth a try. And as expected it is a fantastic new plugin to integrate multiple Services by Google very easily.
You can add:
- Google Analytics – for tracking
- Goole AdSense – for ads
- Google PageSpeed Insights – for page improvements like speed
- Google Search Console – for understanding your page in the google search
And as most services by Google – it’s free.
Google has realized what a great tool WordPress is, for all kind of use cases. And they invest a great amount of work to make their well known and used services easily available for your WordPress site.
Honorable mention: Statify
If you do not like that your data is hosted on Google Servers and you want to have the most out of privacy? Use the german made plugin Statify. Developed now by a group of well known WordPress experts with the help of the community, it is also free and open source as WordPress itself.
With this plugin your data is saved right in your WordPress website (or exactly its database). So wherever your website is saved, so is your tracking data.
It has not the great features of a Google Analytics, but maybe it has enough for your needs.