How to Add Analytics to Your WordPress Dashboard

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You can’t run a successful WordPress site without analytics.

At the very least, you need to know:

  1. How many views your website gets
  2. Where those views are coming from

You can use these insights to change the type of content you create and fine-tune your acquisition strategy.

The trouble is that most analytics programs are unwieldy for the average website owner. Tools like Google Analytics work well for enterprises with an analytics team but are overwhelming for the average small business or blogger.

That’s why I helped develop a new WordPress analytics plugin that makes website analytics much simpler and can be added to your site in just a few clicks.

Here’s how it works…

How to add analytics to WordPress

The plugin I recommend is called Independent Analytics.

Independent Analytics Plugin

You can download it from our site, or search for it by name in the Plugins > Add New menu of your WP dashboard.

Install Independent Analytics

Just click the Install Now button, wait a moment for the installation to complete, and click Activate.

You’ll be redirected to this page after activation:

Freemius Optin Page

Here you can optin to data sharing, which gives us information about the websites running our plugin. It’s entirely optional, so feel free to skip this step – it’s no problem 🙂

You’ll then be redirected to your new analytics dashboard:

Analytics Dashboard

Independent Analytics starts tracking immediately, so you should see views showing up as people reach your site. There’s no tracking code to copy and paste, and no need to create a new account elsewhere.

Now that you have visit tracking running on your site, let’s take a look at everything you can do with Independent Analytics.

Find your most viewed pages

When you visit the Analytics menu, you’ll see a list of all your pages sorted by views. This is essentially a list of your most popular pages.

Most Popular Pages
This is a screenshot from a site that’s been tracking views for a month

Above the chart, you’ll see a toolbar that includes a few buttons. If you click the “Edit Columns” button, you’ll see that you can choose what data you want to display in the table.

Custom columns setting

By default, the author and publish date aren’t included, but you can easily enable them whenever you want.

An even more powerful option in the toolbar is the filtering system. Click the “Filter Rows” button and you’ll see a new menu where you can filter the pages by any of the columns:

Filters

In the example above, there are two conditions that say to only include pages that have been published after January 1, 2022 and have more than 50 views. Using this flexible filtering system, you can dive deep into your analytics and find valuable insights.

Using these simple tools, you can find your most successful authors, popular search terms, old articles that need updating, and more.

Now that you know how to check your WordPress site’s stats, let’s look at how to find where your traffic is coming from.

Find out where your visits are coming from

In the analytics world, a site that sends someone to your site is called a “referrer.” If you click on the Referrers tab at the top of the Analytics menu, this will take you to the dashboard that lists all of your site’s referrers.

Referrers Tab

The referrers are ranked by the number of views they’ve sent to your site, and include the site’s name and referrer type as well.

Referrer Traffic

As you can see from the screenshot above, search engines like Google are given the Referrer Type of Search, while social media sites like Reddit are labeled as Social referrers.

All of the same tools from the Views dashboard are available, so you can filter and sort these results too.

Referrer Type Filter

This type of info will be critical for adapting your acquisition strategies to grow your site even faster.

Add analytics to your WordPress dashboard

Independent Analytics is totally free and takes just seconds to install. You can download a copy from our site, or search for “Independent Analytics” in your Plugins > Add New menu to install it now.

Download it here ➡

Thanks for learning how to see analytics on WordPress with Independent Analytics, and if you enjoyed this tutorial, use the buttons below to share it with someone else you might like it for their site too.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.