Analytics plugin are like a mirrors you look into to see how you might appear before people. Without it, you are like running a website without a clear knowledge if what you are doing is correct or where the direction you are going is the right one. You might eventually get to your destination, but you’ll suffer through a whole lot of unnecessary headaches along the way.
In my opinion, analytics hold the key to understanding exactly what your audience wants, which kinds of content gets them hooked, and maximizing engagement, conversions and (of course) your bottom line. There’s a veritable treasure trove of data out there that you can take advantage of without investing in expensive advertisement campaigns, and with this post, you’ve got a map in your hands.
To get started, let’s break down how individual statistics can help you make better decisions, then go over a list of plugins that will get you all the data you need.
The Power of Analytics plugin
Analytics plugin provide you with website visitors’ data so you can optimize your content based on users’ interests. It’s important to identify what users are doing on your business or blog website. So, you take productive decisions that grow your profit and increase website traffic. I have listed at least 5 things an analytics plugin helps you about your website:
- Get to Know Your Visitors Well and Enhance User Experience
- Know Your Best Content and Focus on It
- It Helps Your Site’s SEO
- Track Top Referrals and Build Strategies to Gain More of Them
- Utilize Your Top Outbound Links as Partnership Opportunities
You don’t even need super complex data to pull off this feat. For example, just by keeping track of your visitor count in a given week or month, you can easily figure out which content is performing better on your site and use that information to determine your strategy going forward.
A lot of plugins will collect this data for you and go a step further by outright telling you which posts have been more popular, or which keywords have led more visitors to your site, and whether they’re browsing through a PC or a mobile device (for example).
You might be overwhelmed at first by the sheer volume of information that analytics tools will throw at you, but you don’t need to focus on every single stat in order to make your website successful.
I have listted at least 5 important wordpress analytics plugin you definitely want to have in your website. We are not affiliated or connected in whatsoever way to these plugin. It is just our take on it, because we have used them and still are using some of them today.
# 1. JetPack by WordPress.com
IJetPack is a do it all plugin: managing subscriptions, automatically linking related posts, social media sharing, website monitoring services, mobile optimization, letting users comment with non-WordPress accounts, etc. If JetPack could pour a fresh cup of coffee, it would easily be the best personal assistant a WordPress webmaster could ask for.
Among its many tools lies an analytics feature, which focuses on serving the most important analytics data in an easy-to-understand fashion.
Some of its features are:
- Statistical analysis is a JetPack default feature, which means it doesn’t require any additional setup aside from installing the main plugin.
- Includes an option to display stats (viewer count, most popular post, and top searches) on your main dashboard so you’ll always have easy access to the data.
- Keeps track of detailed information such as numbers of views per country, posting trends, peak visitor hours, referrers, clicks, and which search engine terms have driven the most traffic to your website.
- Enables you to decide who has access to statistical reports.
- There’s a nice little feature which can be enabled in the stats configuration screen, which displays a miniature chart detailing visitor activity during the last two days.
- A friendly smiley face can be added to the bottom of your page to show whether the JetPack analytic tools are working (killer feature alert!).
#2. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
This analytics plugin is an old time reliable for any wordpress website. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights does a fantastic job of integrating Google Analytics within WordPress and giving you easy access to the data you need in order to make your job simpler.
Google Analytics for WordPress takes pride in being thorough and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing relevant information.
Books have been written about Google Analytics, but that doesn’t mean it should be reserved for professionals. Simply put, it’s a tool with a high-skill-ceiling that can still work wonders in the hands of beginners.
Some of it features are:
- The integration process is as simple as following along with their guided on-boarding wizard.
- Keeps your embedded tracking code up to date to make sure you’re taking advantage of the full array of Google Analytics features at all times.
- Track the origins of your traffic with detailed reports, as well as which individual pages within your website are performing the best, and see which sites are referring the most viewers to you.
- Enables you to track 404 errors and see what visitors are searching for within your site.
In my more than 10 years working and developing with wordpress, I only ever used these two analytics plugins. I am not saying all the other analytics plugin are useless, it’s just that, I find these two the most reliable for me. Other developers prefer certain type of plugin over another, merely for reason of convenience and familiarity. That goes the same with me.
Even then, I also recommend you take a good look at the next three analytics plugin just so you can say at the end of the day that you have gone into great length to find the best analytics plugin you need for your website.
#3. Analytics Stats Counter Statistics
The team behind Analytics Stats Counter Statistics also works on the ongoing development of a wide range of webpage administration tools, but their statistics plugin is a step above their other offerings.
Its developers have a passion for data analysis and were inspired to take a swing at developing their own tool after experimenting with Google Analytics. Even though they’re not quite in the same league yet, their plugin packs more than enough features to stand on its own.
- Lets you narrow down results and analyze details pertaining to unique visitors.
- Enables you to break down visitor statistics according to countries, cities, operating systems, which browser they’re using, and even screen resolution.
- Your analytics counter can be customized in order to provide a more personalized experience.
- Includes a statistics widget which can be inserted into your site if you want to brag about your numbers.
- The analytics counter can be password protected if you need to restrict access to the information.
#4. Simple Feed Stats
Now for something a bit different. Simple Feed Stats tracks and gives you reports on your feeds, on top of providing you with a plethora of customization options to personalize the data you obtain.
The developer behind Simple Feed Stats, Jeff Starr, is also the author of four different WordPress-related books which you might find interesting.
- Enables you to track both feeds and custom content, as well as display the resulting statistics on your page through text or a badge widget.
- Your feed stats can be customized using CSS.
- The plugin features four different tracking methods: directly via feed request, embedded images within posts, embedded images within feeds, and open tracking through embedded images.
- Aside from tracking subscribers, the plugin collects data such as IP addresses, referrers, browsers, and time stamps.
#5. WP Power Stats
Last in this list is this lightweight plugin is designed to give you all the statistical information you need in an easy to digest (and customizable) fashion.
- The developers have made an emphasis on privacy, which makes this plugin perfect for those who would rather avoid using third party services. All data collected by the plugin is kept within your own host and cannot be accessed without your permission.
- Keeps track of page views, type of devices, referrers, browsers, operating system, geographical data, and which search queries are used within your site.
- Enables you to choose whether to keep tracking enabled, in general, as well as choose if logged in users should be included in the statistics.
- Customizable time periods for statistics.
- One-page statistical report which features all the tracked information through icons, charts and maps to simplify analysis.
- Available in multiple languages.
If you like having someone you can turn to when you have technical difficulties, you may also want to consider Google Analytics by Yoast, they provides a 24/7 support service alongside its premium plan, and the WP Statistics developer team is incredibly active when it comes to resolving user problems.
Ultimately, the choice of which plugin to use is up to you. We encourage you to take a good look at the list of features mentioned alongside each candidate and test out those that seem like good fits for your needs.
You may also want to take a look at this article: 6 Indispensable Plugins for your WordPress Website
As a webmaster, your main concerns will always be how to attract more visitors or customers, and to keep them coming back for more time and time again. Analytics may not hold the answer to all of your problems, but they’ll give you the information you need to get started on solving them.
Keep the following in mind and you’ll be well in your way to success no time:
- Define your strategy and figure out exactly what kind of data you need.
- Pick the right plugin according to the criteria that suits your needs (feel free to test around; it’s important to pick something you’re comfortable with).
- Test things. Testing should become second nature to you as you try out new strategies to see what works best.
Enjoy watching your viewer count grow! What’s your favorite analytics plugin? Let us know in the comments section below!