Google Analytics is a must-have SEO tool for anyone who wants to grow their website. It allows you to track and analyze your page’s traffic and should be one of the first plugins to add to your Joomla website.
But what if you don’t want to use a plugin? Can you do it manually? The answer is yes – it just requires a little more work.
In this article, we’ve put together a few step-by-step guides detailing installing Google Analytics in Joomlawithout a plugin.
Get a Google Analytics Tracking Code
The first thing that you have to get is a Google Analytics tracking code. To get one, you need to create an account.
To obtain your tracking code, follow these steps.
- Head over to Google Analytics and log in with your Gmail account.
- After signing in, start the application by clicking the Sign Up button.
- Create your Google Analytics account (it’s a separate account from your
Google account) by filling in your website information. Upon completion, click Get Tracking ID.
- Copy the tracking code and move to the next section.
Ways to Add a Tracking Code to Your Joomla Site
Now that you have your tracking code insert it as the first item in the <head> tag (more on that later). You need to do this for every page that you want to track.
Depending on the template you’re using, there are a few ways to do this.
Using Joomla Default/Protostar template
- Start by logging in to your Joomla website backend.
- In the control panel, go to Extensions → Templates → Templates (Site), and select Protostar Details and Files.
- Lastly, find index.php, add your Google Analytics tracking code after the <Head> tag, and save it.
Using JoomlaShine Template
- Log in to your Joomla website backend.
- In the control panel, go to Extensions → Templates, and select the JoomlaShine template.
- Once you’re in the template configuration, go to System, and paste your Google Analytics tracking code after the <Head> tag.
Gantry Framework – Custom Code
- Start by copying the Global Site Tag from Google Analytics.
- Next, you need to edit your template style by logging into the Joomla backend menu: Extensions → Templates → Styles, then select your template from the list.
- After that, go to the Page Settings tab.
- Lastly, click the Custom Content check box, paste the Global Site Tag code inside, and save the changes.
Installing a Template Without a Custom Code and Google Analytics Fields
- Copy the Global Site Tag from Google Analytics.
- Go to your template files through the Joomla backend menu: Extensions → Templates → Templates, and choose your template from the list.
- On the left, there is a list of directories. Click index.php.
- Find <head> in the code.
- Create a new line by hitting Enter on your keyboard.
- Lastly, paste the Global Site Tag from Google Analytics on the new line, and press Save to save the changes.
Verify Your Setup
After installing the application, you need to ensure it’s working. There are a couple of ways to verify your setup.
First, by clicking on view-source:<your domain>, you can check the source code of your site.
Alternatively, by using the Developer Tools in your browser, you can see whether or not the GA code is showing in the source.
Another way to check is by observing if Google Analytics is working is first by clicking on the Real-Time tab. Next, open another tab and visit your website. If you see your active users increasing, then it works.
Set Your Google Analytics Code Under the Opening <head> Tag
Exclude Your IP Address From Google Analytics
Since the website is yours, you’ll undoubtedly be visiting it frequently. This dilutes the accuracy of your tracking by inflating the number of visits. Therefore, you’ll need to exclude your IP (as well as any other IPs that aren’t visitors) from your tracking system.
Here’s how to exclude your IP address from Google Analytics:
- Check your IP address by visiting ScalaHosting WhatsMyIP. Do this from all the locations you access your site and want to exclude until you have a list of IPs.
- Login to Google Analytics and select the profile of your site.
- Select Admin Menu, and click on All Filters.
- Enter the filter name (you can name it whatever you like).
- Set the filter type to Predefined → Exclude → Traffic from the IP addresses → That Contain.
- Finally, enter your IP address in the box, and save.
Create Google Analytics Dashboard in Your Joomla Admin
Staying organized goes a long way. By creating a Google Analytics Dashboard in your Joomla Admin panel, you can enjoy convenient access to the metrics of your website.
To install the extension, follow these steps:
- First, download and install the Joomla Google Analytic Dashboard module extension.
- Then go to Extension → Module → switch to Administrator module, and find the Google Analytics Dashboard module.
- You must fill in the Domain Name field, assign it to the Cpanel position, and hit the Save button.
- From there, click Authorize Application (it’ll appear as a box in your Joomla control panel).
- Click the Get Access Code button. You’ll likely need to log into your email account to grant access to your Google Analytics dashboard.
- Finally, paste the access code into the dashboard.
Why do you need this tool?
As a business, you need to make your website accessible and user-friendly. While theoretical knowledge and best practices are an excellent place to start, observing how users interact with your website provides invaluable information.
With more data, you have a clear picture of what needs fixing, and you can make the necessary adjustments that directly impact the issues and ultimately make better decisions for your business.
Google Analytics Impact on SEO
Google Analytics is an essential tool for SEO that enables you to track your website’s performance and collect visitor insights.
By generating customizable reports, you can track and visualize data, including:
- Bounce rates
- Average session durations
- Sessions by channel
- Page views
- Goal completions
These metrics are essential for your SEO endeavors. By monitoring the activity on your website, you have all the information that tells you what needs improving and what’s working well.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can seriously beef up your website’s performance – which is why adding it to your Joomla site is so important.
For further optimization, consider upgrading your web security, page optimization, and speed with the help of our team at Scala Hosting.
Q: How does Google Analytics help to grow your website?
A: The application monitors and processes the activity taking place on your website. Measuring the amount of traffic, average session durations, and bounce rates provide you with the information you need to fix certain sections or pages.
Q: How to add Google Analytics to Joomla?
A: You can add Google Analytics to Joomla using a plugin that a Joomla developer has designed. You can also use a Google Analytics support built-in to a template or framework. Lastly, you can tweak the template code manually if you know how to.
Q: Is Google Analytics free?
A: Google Analytics offers a free but limited version. It’s comprehensive and includes enough features to experiment. If you find that the free version doesn’t quite meet your needs, there is a premium monthly rate. The upgrade includes Google’s entire suite of features.