How to connect Google Analytics to your nonprofit website on WordPress

One of the three ways to make sure that your nonprofit website works for you is to track your website analytics data.

If you’re new to the concept of web analytics, it simply gives you information centered around the number of visitors to your website. Every time someone visits your website, your analytics can tell you thinks like:

  • What website they came from
  • What web browser they’re using
  • Umpteen other pieces of information

I recommend using Google Analytics. It’s free to use, and you get a ton of information.

How to set up a Google Analytics account

In order to set up a new account, you need a Google account first. Once you have one, then you can set up a Google Analytics account and property. You will then get a tracking code, which makes the whole thing work. Here’s more information on how to set it up.

How to hook up Google Analytics to WordPress

The easiest way to do it is by using a plugin. Two of them are Google Analytics Dashboard for WP and Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Some WordPress themes allow you to easily put in the code snippet with the tracking code provided by Google Analytics into your website without you having to dig too deeply into the code. For example, if your site is using a Genesis Framework child theme, then you can copy and paste the code snippet into the Header Scripts section under Theme Settings.

If your nonprofit has a web developer that’s very comfortable with digging into code, then he/she can place the Javascript code snippet containing your tracking code right before the closing tag in your WordPress theme’s header.php file.

Once you install the tracking code on your website, you can verify that it’s working by going to Admin -> Property -> Tracking Code. It’ll let you know if it is collecting website data. It might not do it immediately after you install the tracking code. If it still isn’t working after 24 hours, then you’ll have to troubleshoot the problem.

Now that it’s hooked up, what’s next?

The good news is, Google Analytics gives you a ton of data. The bad news is, Google Analytics gives you a ton of data. You can go down a large rabbit-hole looking at all the information that’s available to you.

If you understand the big picture of what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it, then it makes it easier to look at only what’s important and ignore the rest. Stay tuned for a simple framework that you can use to do this.

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