If you’re hoping to use your WordPress site to build an audience or drive conversions, you need to do more than just create quality content. You’ll also need a way to determine whether your content and marketing campaigns are effective.
That’s why it’s vital to track key analytics on your website. By keeping an eye on important stats, such as Click-Through Rates (CTRs) and page views, you’ll be able to monitor the success or failure of your content and respond accordingly.
In this post, we’re going to look at five WordPress plugins that can help you measure and record analytics on your site. First, however, let’s talk a little more about why this task is so important!
Using Analytics and Statistical Tools in WordPress
Running a website can sometimes feel like shouting into the void. You may spend hours designing a quality site and filling it with top-notch content, but end up unsure whether it’s resonating with your audience.
This is especially important if your website is designed with a specific goal in mind. Maybe you’re trying to gather leads for your business, build a strong readership for your blog, or encourage potential clients to explore your portfolio. In these situations, you need a way to know whether your site is achieving its goals.
That’s where analytics come into the picture. It’s possible to track almost any activity that occurs on your website, so you know what your visitors are doing. There are many different analytics you can keep tabs on, but a few of the most common include:
- How many people have visited a given page
- How long visitors stay on your website before leaving
- The frequency at which specific links are clicked on
- Where people are coming from (e.g., Facebook, Google, an ad) when they visit your site
- How many visitors ‘convert’ by signing up to a list, purchasing a product, etc.
As you can imagine, these numbers provide valuable insight into your website’s effectiveness. They can also tell you where you need to make improvements. If you have high levels of traffic but low conversion rates, for instance, then you know you’re successfully attracting visitors but failing to give them a strong reason to take action.
That’s just one example, but it illustrates how vital it is to track your site’s key analytics. All that’s left is to find some quality tools that can simplify the process.
The Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Analytics, Data and Statistics
The thought of tracking your website’s metrics can be intimidating. Fortunately, with the right WordPress plugins, you can automatically measure important analytics and refer to them whenever you like. Let’s take a look at five of the best plugins for this task.
First up, we have possibly the most popular WordPress analytics plugin. MonsterInsights is designed to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics – a free yet powerful tool for tracking statistics on your pages.
Google Analytics is an excellent solution, but it requires you to visit an external location to view all of your stats. Plus, it can be a little overwhelming for beginners. MonsterInsights solves these problems by making it possible to see key analytics right in your WordPress dashboard, and letting you pick and choose which metrics matter to you.
If you’re new to website analytics, this plugin is a great place to start. Naturally, it’s also a smart pick if you’re already using Google Analytics, and you want to integrate it with your site.
- Connects your website to Google Analytics
- Enables you to view reports in your WordPress dashboard
- Provides access to customized reports for viewing specific categories of metrics, such as visitor demographics or form conversion stats
- Integrates with WooCommerce to enable eCommerce analytics tracking
- Includes various features to help with GDPR compliance
Pricing: You can pick up a free ‘lite’ version of this plugin, or get the full premium version starting at $99.50 per year.
The above plugin is handy, but can be overkill for some sites and relies on the complex Google Analytics platform. What if you’d like to use something a little more straightforward? That’s where Clicky Analytics comes into the picture.
This plugin makes use of the Clicky Web Analytics service to track key metrics on your site. Installing it adds a widget to your dashboard that displays important stats, so you can view them right from your website.
Beginners just looking to keep tabs on the most important statistics should find this plugin easy to use and understand. Setting it up is simple, and if your site is relatively small it won’t cost a thing.
- Adds a tracking code to each page on your website automatically
- Lets you view key metrics in your dashboard, such as page views, visitor actions, bounce rates, and session lengths
- Uses integrated caching to improve page loading speeds
- Enables you to display stats on the front end of your site if desired
- Includes multilingual support
Pricing: The plugin itself is free, but you’ll need an account with the Clicky platform to use it. You can get a free account for tracking up to 3,000 daily page views, while premium accounts with more resources and features start at $9.99 per month.
So far, we’ve looked at a few tools that can help you analyze key metrics related to your web pages. However, many sites also manage one or more connected feeds, and it’s worth keeping an eye on their performance as well.
For that reason, you might want to try the Simple Feed Stats plugin. It enables you to view statistics from your feeds right in your WordPress dashboard, and also manage and customize them as needed. If you have an active feed for your site’s blog or news posts, or even for its comments, this plugin is worth a look.
- Tracks various metrics for your WordPress feed requests, including the referrers, dates, and users’ IP addresses
- Collects both daily and total stats on the above metrics
- Provides a dashboard widget where you can view your feed statistics easily
- Lets you customize your feeds with graphics and markup data
- Includes options for displaying your feed subscriber counts
Pricing: This plugin is free to use.
Next, let’s look at something a bit different. After all, gathering together your website’s metrics is only the first step. If you’re going to make sense of them and use them to improve your site, you’ll need to find a way to keep them organized.
Analytics tools like the ones listed above will do some of the work for you, but Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer offers a more elegant solution. This plugin lets you turn spreadsheet and database data into interactive charts, graphs, and tables.
This is a great way to go beyond a simple list of numbers and view your site’s statistics in context. By organizing many weeks’ or months’ worth of data into stylish charts and tables, you can visualize changes over time and share your analytics reports easily.
- Converts data from Google Spreadsheets, CSV files, MySQL databases, and Google Apps scripts
- Lets you create interactive charts and graphs, as well as searchable and sortable tables
- Enables you to embed your charts, graphs, and tables on your website, and have them updated automatically
- Offers customization options so you can tweak how your charts, graphs, and tables look
- Includes built-in caching to improve performance
Pricing: This is a free plugin, with no premium versions.
Finally, Data Tables Generator is a lot like our last pick. This plugin also enables you to create tables and charts for organizing your website analytics. It’s essentially a streamlined version of Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer, but one that still offers plenty of features.
With this plugin, you can create data tables, customize them, add them to your site, and import/export them as needed. It also supports custom diagrams, which is a useful touch, and is built to be both responsive and search engine-friendly.
If you want to display analytics tables on your site for easier use, Data Tables Generator is a solid pick. It enables you to search, sort, and filter your tables at will, meaning it’s easy to find exactly the data you need.
- Create responsive data tables, diagrams, charts, and graphs
- Add your tables and other creations to your WordPress site
- Edit and use your tables on the front and back ends
- Import and export table data from CSV files, Excel documents, and PDFs
- Automatically import data from Google Sheets
Pricing: You can pick up the free version, or get a premium license with a few extra features for $39.
Work Smarter with WP Engine
Running a successful website can be a challenge. However, you can make your job a lot easier by tracking your site’s performance and your visitors’ activities. With the right analytics tools, you’ll never be in the dark as to what’s working and what’s not.
Another way to enhance your website is to back it up with quality hosting. Here at WP Engine, we can help keep your site running smoothly at all times, and make it easier to provide an incredible digital experience for your visitors. Check out our plans, along with our handy resources for marketers and developers of all stripes!