MonsterInsights: Best Google Analytics Plugin For WordPress?

MonsterInsights: Is it the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress?

MonsterInsights
MonsterInsights

Looking for a simple and effective plugin to install Google Analytics for your WordPress site? Even if numbers are not your forte, analyzing the results of your site is very important. It allows you to base your strategy on concrete data to make your website evolve efficiently.

Our MonsterInsights test will show you how this plugin can provide you with the essential data you need to build your strategy.

 

Why analyze your Google Analytics numbers and why use Monsterinsights?

If you’ve ever used Google Analytics, you know that it’s a powerful tool that contains a lot of valuable data. But it can be relatively cumbersome to use.

If you’re not an analytics expert, it can be very difficult to know where to start to effectively analyze your website data. And most importantly, you need to analyze your numbers well so you don’t make any mistakes in your interpretations.

It is then essential to use the numbers you get to optimize and continuously improve your website.

For most users, a tool that shows the most important data at a glance and in an easy to understand way is sufficient. This data should then be usable to improve your site or blog.

A good analytics tool will help you :

  • Understand your target audience’s favorite format topics so you can create more.
  • See how people are finding your site so you can focus on marketing strategies that fit your target audience and what they want.
  • Set conversion goals and track them so you know how to improve and optimize your site.

If you are familiar with Google Analytics, you won’t need to use an extension. But a plugin like MonsterInsights will give all this information at a glance, making website analysis child’s play even for a beginner.

MonsterInsights also allows you (and perhaps especially for some people) to set up google analytics in a simplistic way for your website. While you have to enter the code without any extension, you will just have to follow the “configuration wizard” to install it correctly on your site. A few minutes will be enough to track all your data.

Formerly “Google Analytics by Yoast.”

If you’re looking for a review of Google Analytics by Yoast, you’ve come to the right place!

MonsterInsights was originally developed by Joost de Valk, the developer of Yoast SEO. But as Yoast SEO became more and more important, the creators of Google Analytics by Yoast decided to focus exclusively on SEO.

Thus, the application found a new home in 2016 with Syed Balkhi and was renamed MonsterInsights.

MonsterInsights today has one goal: to make analytics easier for beginners.

The team behind Monsterinsight is the same team behind WPBeginner, OptinMonster and WPForms. All these applications are references in their field.

 

How to set up MonsterInsights on your website

Before you begin, note that you must have already created a Google Analytics account to install the plugin.

Install and activate the plugin just like any other, then go to the “Settings” tab. From there, you will be taken by the hand and completely guided as soon as you click on the “Launch the configuration wizard” button.

The first step will be to choose whether your site is a business site, a blog or an e-commerce site.

Monsterinsight - Welcome
Monsterinsight – Welcome

On the next page, you can register your google analytics account to your website. To do this, simply click on the “connect Monsterinsight” button. Then choose your Google account where your Google Analytics account is and select the right Google Analytics account. Again, this is done in 3 clicks.

The next step recommends some settings. You can make any changes you want but there is no need to touch anything if you don’t know anything about it.

Here are the different options available to you:

  • Track outbound clicks and downloads: This will allow you to track all clicks and downloads as events in your Google Analytics account.
  • Allow anonymous data tracking: This will send anonymous information to the developer about how you use MonsterInsights, allowing them to know which configurations, themes and plugins to test.
  • Anonymize IPs: This will anonymize the IP addresses of visitors. This option is particularly useful to be in compliance with the RGPD.
  • Ignore certain users: You can make sure that the administrator, the editor and other defined roles are not taken into account in the statistics. It is highly recommended to check this option to avoid distorting the data, especially when you are just starting out and your site has very little traffic yet.
  • Disable Analytics Dashboard: This option disables the dashboard and stops all data collection as long as it is checked.

When you have chosen your options, click on the save and continue button at the bottom of the screen.

Monsterinsight - Setup
Monsterinsight – Setup

The configuration wizard will then suggest addons and the WP Forms extension. You can choose to skip these steps if you want or learn about the addons you might be interested in, it’s up to you.

But there’s nothing else you need to do to set up Google Analytics on your site. Pretty simple right?

 

Monsterinsights, a freemium extension

The Lite version of Monsterinsights is free. You can download it here.

It will allow you to easily install Google Analytics on your website and will give you the basic statistics you need to start.

Here are the main data you will get with the free version of Monsterinsights:

  • The number of sessions
  • Number of page views
  • Average session duration
  • Your bounce rate
  • The percentage of new and returning visitors
  • The different devices on which your audience visits your site
  • The main referral sites that bring you traffic
  • The country of origin of your visitors

This can be quite sufficient to start with. However, if you are already a professional on the internet or if you simply want to go further in your analysis, it will be useful to upgrade to a paid version of Monsterinsights.

Monsterinsight - DashBoard
Monsterinsight – DashBoard

The main features of Monsterinsights

The features below are those available for both the paid and free versions of Monsterinsights.

A quick and easy installation

Creating a Google Analytics account is simple. But linking Google Analytics to your website is not so easy. You’ll have to get into the code know what you’re doing to have a reliable and efficient tracking of your website activities.

As we saw just before, setting up Google Analytics on your website with Monsterinsights is a breeze. To know how to do it, just read the previous section.

Google Analytics in your WordPress dashboard

Once you’re done setting up, you can see your site’s key statistics without having to leave WordPress.

The built-in dashboard gives you all the statistics you need at a glance. This is ideal for people who lack experience with Google Analytics and want to get an overview of their website’s performance at a glance.

In particular, you will be able to see:

  • The number of sessions
  • The number of page views
  • The average duration of sessions
  • Your bounce rate
  • The percentage of new and returning visitors
  • The different devices on which your audience visits your site
  • The main referral sites that bring you traffic
  • The country of origin of your visitors
  • Real time statistics compared to Google Analytics (so with 1 day lag): MonsterInsights shows you your Google Analytics statistics in real time so you can see how your website is performing at any time. This is especially useful for monitoring the results of special time-limited offers or similar events.
    MonsterInsights saves you time because it displays relevant Google Analytics data directly in your WordPress admin dashboard.

Additional tracking

In addition to making your life easier with the dashboard statistics, MonsterInsights offers additional tracking features that work in the background to help you get more accurate data from Google Analytics.

Engagement

You can choose to ignore certain user roles such as admin and editor so that Google Analytics only tracks “real” visitors to your site and excludes your visits.

The second option on this tab allows you to track outbound clicks and download links as events in your Google Analytics account. From here, you can see which links on your site were clicked and how many times, including which downloads were accessed by a link.

Demographics

If you want to better understand your audience, you can check out the demographics and interests report.

First, you’ll need to enable the option in Google Analytics.

Then, you’ll need to check the “Demographics” box in MonsterInsights.

The second option allows you to anonymize IP addresses. Some countries have privacy restrictions on tracking data, so checking this box removes the country information from the IP address and allows Google Analytics to track that data as well.

Improved link attribution

Imagine this scenario…

You have two buttons or calls to action on your landing page or blog. Both link to the same landing page. But which one gets more clicks?

Enhanced link attribution will tell you which link gets more clicks or which button generates more leads. With this data, you can see how people are behaving on your website and optimize your pages accordingly.

Tracking referrals

The great thing about Google Analytics is that it allows you to see exactly where your traffic is coming from. And with MonsterInsights, you can get the same insight for your WordPress site, without having to understand how Google Analytics works in detail.

You can see how people are finding your site and understand what marketing actions you’re taking that are working (or not working).

For example, you will be able to see that some of the ads you are paying for are bringing you little traffic. On the other hand, your Facebook ad is doing very well. You can adjust your budget accordingly.

This information will save you a lot of money in the long run because you will be able to abandon the strategies that don’t work and spend your budget on what does work.

Tracking file downloads

One thing Google Analytics doesn’t track is file downloads. But with MonsterInsights, you can see which of your file downloads are the most popular.

You can track downloads of the following standard file extensions: doc, exe, js, pdf, ppt, tgz, zip, xls.

If you have a download with a different file extension, simply add it in the File Extensions field to track as downloads, separated by a comma.

Universal tracking

MonsterInsights uses universal tracking so you can track your visitors across different device types and platforms.

For example, if a visitor finds your site on their mobile device and then switches to their computer to continue browsing your site, MonsterInsights counts that as one session and not two.

Older analytics plugins weren’t as smart and counted that as two sessions. Over time, this can skew your data by artificially inflating your results. Plus, without universal tracking, you lose track of the path a user takes on their buying journey.

With MonsterInsights’ universal tracking, you have a reliable overview of your site.

 

Premium Features

When you upgrade to the premium version of MonsterInsights, you get access to more tools to deepen your analysis. They’ll help you better understand what your visitors are doing on your site and increase your performance.

The addons MonsterInsights

The premium version of MonsterInsights includes additional features called Addons that you can install and activate like a regular plugin.

In total, there are four Addons in the Plus plan and four more in the Pro plan.

Ad tracking

Do you use Google Adsense on your site? Do you know how much money each of your ads is making?

With the MonsterInsights ad tracking add-on, easily optimize your ads to increase your margins and revenue. For example, you can:

  • Track the number of clicks received per banner
  • Know which ads your audience is ignoring
  • Identify the most effective ad placements

Instant posts on Facebook

Google Analytics does not track Facebook Instant Articles data separately. By default, it aggregates all data.

But with the MonsterInsights addon, you’ll be able to accurately track your Facebook Instant Articles in Google Analytics.

With Facebook Instant Articles tracking enabled, you’ll see:

  • Which posts and pages are most popular on Facebook
  • Which topics and formats are most relevant to your Facebook audience
  • What content your audience is ignoring

Google AMP

Like Facebook Instant Articles, Google Analytics does not accurately track AMP-enabled pages. For example, when a user visits an AMP page and then a regular page (or vice versa), Google Analytics counts them as two different sessions.

The MonsterInsights for Google AMP add-on solves this problem and refines your results. Such a situation will only be counted as one session. This will give you a more complete and accurate representation of your site’s traffic.

Performance

If your site has a very high volume of traffic, you may be reaching the Google Analytics processing limit (the free version of Google Analytics allows you to track up to 10 million visits per month per property).

To help you stay within this limit, the MonsterInsights performance add-on allows you to adjust the sampling rate and site sampling speed.

The sampling rate allows you to specify the percentage of users you want to track.

And the site speed sampling rate allows you to configure how often you want to send site speed tracking tags.

Ecommerce

The MonsterInsights E-commerce addon allows you to add Google Analytics E-commerce tracking to your WordPress WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads store.

You can track all kinds of sales activities with the ecommerce addon, including:

  • Your most popular products
  • Your average shopping cart
  • Your conversion rate

Here are some powerful reports you get by enabling enhanced ecommerce tracking on your site:

  • Buying behaviors
  • Checkout behaviors
  • Sales results
  • Product listing performance

The MonsterInsights add-on helps you understand your customers and optimize your store to increase sales.

Custom Dimensions

The MonsterInsights Custom Dimensions addon allows you to track the performance of authors, categories, tags, searches, users and more.

With the Custom Dimensions addon, you are not limited to the default Google Analytics reports. You can choose to track your own custom data and display it in your MonsterInsights dashboard and reports.

For example, you can add

  • Author tracking to see which articles by author are driving the most traffic.
  • Content type tracking to see which content types are driving the most traffic.
  • Category tracking to see which sections of your sites are the most popular.
  • Targeted keyword tracking to see which content is performing best on search engines.

Form tracking

Google Analytics has a lot to offer, but it doesn’t track the views and conversions of your various forms.

But with MonsterInsights’ new Forms Addon, you can easily track the performance of your forms, submissions and conversions without having to work on the code.

All you have to do is check a box and it’s all set up.

The form tracking addon works with any WordPress contact form plugin, like WPForms and Gravity Forms.

Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free A/B testing and customization tool from Google that lets you see what works best on your site. You can then propose two different versions of a page for example to see which one works better.

But implementing this tool on your site can be tricky.

Once you’ve created your Google Optimize account, go to the MonsterInsights settings to implement it with a few clicks.

Start using your analytics data to run A/B tests and immediately improve your site’s user experience and conversion rate.

Google Analytics Compliance with GDPR Laws

You know how important it is to make your website analytics compliant with RGPD requirements. The RGPD law is a complicated piece of legislation that causes headaches for many website owners who want to be in compliance with the imposed data privacy rules.

MonsterInsights has made this quite easy with its EU law compliance add-on that automates the required configuration changes and integrates with two cookie consent plugins for WordPress. So you won’t have to worry about implementing complex code changes.

The addon automatically anonymizes IP addresses, disables demographic and interest reports for remarketing and advertising, disables tracking of identifiers and author names…

 

The different prices of Monsterinsights

The Lite version of MonsterInsights is available for FREE. It allows you to get started easily and avoids the need to link Google Analytics to your WordPress site with code.

Monsterinsight - Price
Monsterinsight – Price

The Premium version comes with four pricing plans:

– Plus – $99 – Great for growing businesses that want to do more.
– Pro – $199 – Everything you need to get huge results fast.
– Agency – $399 – For marketing and web development agencies.

 

Conclusion

We hope this in-depth test of MonsterInsights has helped you understand what this tool can do for you so you can decide if it meets your specific needs. MonsterInsights makes it very easy to log in and view your Google Analytics reports from your WordPress dashboard. It is a huge time saver and allows for very advanced analytics with the premium versions of the extension.

The various addons that Monsterinsights offers make it the most advanced data analysis tool with Google Analytics for WordPress. It is also very simple to use and easy to configure, which makes it the best choice of plugin to link Google Analytics to your website.

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