Whether you choose to use a free Analytics program such as Google Analytics or a paid program like GetClicky there are several WordPress plugins that make integration simple.
Here are a few of my personal favorite analytics programs with WordPress integration, all of which I use on my personal and business related websites.
The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin created by Joost de Valk does more than simply allow WordPress users to access their stats from within the WordPress administrator panel, the program offers some of the best tracking variables on the free analytics market. For example administrators can choose to use “custom variables” to track author pageviews, pageview tracking for logged in users and tracking by category, tags and even publication year. By using custom tags webmasters can determine which areas of their site are “hitting” more than others and adjust their content creation accordingly. I specially like the “logged in users” option when using BuddyPress and also the Simple:Forums plugin since I can track my community and determine who the most engaged users are, allowing me to reach out and help them become even more engaged within the community.
For E-Commerce customers using WP E-Commerce and Shopp plugins the program also fully integrates so you can track where your buyers came from, where they browsed and even which pages triggered their purchases.
Finally I really appreciate the ease of setup with this plugin, thanks to Google API integration users simply type in their “UA ID” from the administrator section and click the connect button to add tracking code without any template work.
Here’s a screenshot of the Yoast variable setup for Google Analytics:
As the name suggests this analytics plugin was created by Automattic, the team behind WordPress. In terms of additional features WordPress.com Stats is fairly sparse, however what the system does offer is a simple interface that provides basic traffic information. For example users can find out the days top 10 posts, their sites top referrers and a chart’s top viewers.
WordPress.com Stats serves analytics from the WordPress.com system which means your site will experience no additional server load and your pages will continue to load quickly.
The plugin also allows users to add various email address so other registered users on the blog can access stats. Beware that you must add the users registered email address in order for them to view the stats when logged in.
Again you won’t find a bunch of advanced features however the program offers a quick up-to-date list of top stories in a simple to understand format.
Here’s a quick look at the WordPress.com Stats plugin in action:
3. Get Clicky Plugin by Yoast
GetClicky is by far my favorite analytics program. Using the GetClicky program users can see second-by-second pageviews, track visitors and even setup campaigns and view Twitter analytics.
Once installed the GetClicky program allows users to track unique site visitors, overall pageviews, actions per visit, time spent on site numbers and various other “deep integration” stats.”
The WordPress integration also allows users to search for stats by certain days while providing referred links and even direct search terms used to arrive at the site.
Here’s a quick look at the GetClicky Plugin for WordPress: