GA, GTM, and GSC – The obvious commonality among them is the G, which stands for Google. (What did we ever do before Google came along? Alta Vista, anyone?)
As a tangent to everything WordPress, if you’re interested in monetizing your website, you going to want to know how your efforts are progressing and where you should concentrate future endeavors. To do that, you need metrics; that is measurements.
Enter Google with Analytics, Tag Managers, and Search Console.
Setting Up Your Site with Google Tag Manager
So a couple of days ago, I setup the WP Inn as if it were going to be monetized, even though I doubt I’ll ever make a penny off of it.
I started with Google Tag Manager (GTM). This is an unfortunately-named tool that lets you do all kinds of neat things with your site while inserting minimal code into it just one time.
I say it’s “unfortunately-named” because of that word “Tag” in there. Tag has multiple meanings, even in the online world. Probably the most confusing related to WordPress is that HTML markup uses tags to make changes to text. For example, the headline just a few paragraphs above looks larger due to an H2 tag.
Then there are also tags you can use to identify the content of your posts. This is sort of similar to tagging a friend on Facebook. If you add the “golf” tag to a post about the US Open and tag a post about your favorite set of clubs with “golf” too, then later you can bring both articles to the fore when clicking the tag called “golf”.
So why did Google have to use the word “tag” when they really mean “code”? Who knows?
To setup GTM with your website, you do have to inject (insert) a little code into two portions of all your articles. The easiest way to do this is to use a plugin called Header, Footer and Post Injections.
Google gives you the code to insert into the Head and the Body of your site articles.
If you have an awesome friend who knows how to code in JSON, you might be able to get him or her to create some nifty reports that you can add to GTM that you’ll later be able to view in Google Analytics.
Adding Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is pretty standard these days with sites for which the owners want to know what visitors are doing.
Creating an Analytic account is fairly easy and straightforward. The important thing you get from it initially is your Tracking ID – a code starting with UA-.
When you insert that code into GTM, Google connects the two.
Setting Up Google Search Console
Creating a listing in Search Console is quite easy too. Here again you get to use your Analytics Tracking ID to connect it with all things Google.
As you can see from the image above, Google would really like folks to use the new version of Search Console. I still prefer the old one though.
Eventually we’ll have to switch to the new one which, in part, looks like this.
One of the main benefits of GSC is that you can add a sitemap from your website so that Google can crawl it properly to find out what posts and pages you’ve created there.
If you’ve read this far and are still hoping to see exactly how to setup each of these Google tools, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
GA and GSC are simple enough that I don’t think you really need much guidance. And GTM can be so personalized that you’ll probably want to work with someone who really knows what they’re doing there. (I’m thinking about that friend who knows JSON.) Sorry, but I’m not that person and have no desire to be.
If you really think you need help with GA or GSC, you can ask me, or you can…uh…Google it, just like we all Google every other question we have these days.