MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit: Which is Best To Add GA To Your Site?
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Want to know the difference between MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit? Which is better for adding and tracking GA4 on your WordPress site?
Then look no further.
Because in this post, we take an in-depth look at how they compare.
- How they're similar
- What makes them different
- How their free features compare
- And whether you need premium features or not
By the end of this comparison guide, you'll have a much better idea of which one to choose.
- MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit Similarities
- MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit Differences
- Why Choose MonsterInsights Over Google Site Kit?
- Benefits of MonsterInsights Premium
- Why Choose Google Site Kit Over MonsterInsights?
MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit Similarities
Let's be clear, MonsterInsights and Google Site Kit are quite different.
We'll talk about these big differences later.
However, they both have many similarities and essential features you'd expect from a Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
Here they are.
Both MonsterInsights and Google Site Kit have set up wizards.
This makes adding Google Analytics to a WordPress website very easy.
There's no need to copy any code snippets or even leave your WordPress website.
You simply click a few buttons, and you're done.
Easy to Read Google Analytics WordPress Dashboard
Both plugins provide a clear and easy-to-read Google Analytics WordPress dashboard with all the traffic stats you need.
There are graphs and charts that display pageviews, breakdowns by channel, location, devices, best-performing content, and more.
Both offer a more user-friendly experience than Google Analytics itself.
WordPress Dashboard Widget
You get a widget in the WordPress Dashboard screen, which provides a quick summary of your site's metrics.
Exclude Logged-in Users From Tracking
Each plugin allows you to exclude logged-in users from being tracked in the settings.
This makes your Analytics data more accurate and won't skew your stats.
Provide Access to WordPress User Roles
Both plugins allow you to provide or restrict access to other WordPress users or authors.
This makes it possible for them to keep track of your site's performance if needed.
MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit Differences
Here's a quick look at the key differences between MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit.
The biggest differences between MonsterInsights and Google Site Kit are the features they offer.
For instance, MonsterInsights is a more advanced plugin with enhanced Google Analytics tracking and extra features available in its premium plans.
The Google Site Kit plugin is more basic and completely free.
To provide an objective comparison, we'll mainly focus on how the Lite version of MonsterInsights compares to Google Site Kit.
Then dive into the benefits of upgrading to MonsterInsights Premium.
Even though the user interfaces are similar, they do differ slightly.
Google Site Kit is more minimal, with fewer options available. This makes it look quite clean and easy to manage.
It has tabs that show along the top when you activate them. Thus, only displaying features you need to use.
MonsterInsights has a modern look and more color to it.
It also feels a bit more intuitive, clearly indicating the purpose of each graph and widget.
However, you see way more tabs in MonsterInsight, but most of them require an upgrade to fully access them.
Monsterinsight has two versions available. Lite, which is free, and Premium.
You can get all the details in our full MonsterInsights review.
This allows you to upgrade when you need more advanced website analytics tracking.
Google Site Kit is a free-only plugin that offers basic website metrics.
If you need to dig deeper into your site's performance, like tracking sales, you'll need to log into your Google Analytics account.
GDPR protects the privacy of website users in European countries.
To ensure your WordPress site follows these rules, Google Analytics must be set up correctly.
MonsterInsights can do this for you in their premium plans. The Lite version will only anonymize users' IP addresses, which can be turned on in the settings.
Anonymizing the IP can also be done in Google Site Kit, but you'll need to manually edit GA settings to be fully GDPR compliant.
Why Choose MonsterInsights Over Google Site Kit?
Here are some of the benefits of choosing MonsterInsights Lite over Google Site Kit.
You Can Upgrade For More Advanced Options
If you want a Google Analytics plugin that you can upgrade to get more in-depth metrics, then MonsterInsights is the better option.
You can use the free version to get basic metrics about your site's performance, then upgrade later.
When you upgrade, you'll have access to enhanced tracking and more accurate Google Analytics data so you can make better decisions.
Fully Compatible With Google Analytics 4
All MonsterInsights versions are fully compatible with the newest version of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4.
It will also work with the old version, Universal Analytics, until it is deprecated in July 2023.
This is beneficial because it means there won't be any interference or discrepancies in your reporting.
The sooner you're able to start tracking with GA4, the more data you'll have to make better decisions with.
Currently, Site Kit only reports metrics taken from Universal Analytics. The plugin will still collect data for GA4, but reporting inside the plugin is still in development.
Track Affiliate Links
If you run an affiliate blog, it's a good idea to track affiliate clicks so you know which pages and links get the most conversions.
MonsterInsights Lite has this feature built in, so you're able to easily see these stats inside WordPress.
This data can also help you see which pages need to be better optimized to boost organic rankings and traffic.
Create Custom Campaign Parameters
If you need to track marketing campaigns for more accuracy about their performance, this tool will help you do that.
Whether your campaign is for email marketing, social media, or tracking PDF downloads, MonsterInsights Lite has you covered.
This feature allows you to create custom campaign URLs and UTM codes inside your WordPress website.
Now you can get better data to make informed decisions for optimizing your marketing efforts.
Add a Popular Posts Gutenberg Block or Sidebar Widget
MonsterInsights Lite has a free tool that displays popular posts in your blog or sidebar.
You can add these manually or get them to show automatically using the Gutenberg block or sidebar widget.
This will provide visitors with more content to read and keep them browsing your site for longer.
Benefits of MonsterInsights Premium
Here are just some of the extra benefits you get when upgrading to a MonsterInsights premium plan.
- The EU Privacy Compliance addon provides more EU compliance than simply anonymizing the user's IP address.
- Enhanced Link Attribution lets you see which links get the most activity.
- Enhanced eCommerce Tracking lets you track your online store's sales, conversions, product impressions, and funnel analysis.
- Form Tracking provides metrics on form impressions, conversions, and conversions rates and integrates with all major form plugins.
- Track top-performing blog posts based on category, tags, authors, or post type.
And so much more.
To get a more in-depth look, read our MonsterInsights review.
Why Choose Google Site Kit Over MonsterInsights?
Here are some things to consider when choosing between Google Site Kit over MonsterInsights.
If you only want a free website analytics plugin and have no intention to upgrade, Google Site Kit might be all you need.
It's super easy to use and set up and provides enough data for most people.
Tracking the Basics is All You Need
Google Site Kit offers basic metrics to know if your site's performance is moving in the right direction.
If you only run a small blog and don't need anything to advance, then Google Site Kit is a good option.
You Prefer Simplicity Over Advanced Features
All your metrics and reporting are displayed on one page. The design is minimal, and it's easy to make sense of things.
This makes Site Kit by Google more simplistic, rather than having tons of options and advanced features you might not need.
View Up To 90-days of Data
Google Site Kit lets you change the date range of your reports for up to 90 days.
You can also narrow it down to the last 7 days to get week-by-week website analytics.
MonsterInsights Lite version only provides 30-day reports, so if you need more data for free, then Site Kit is the better option.
You Want to Use Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is another Google tool that lets you add multiple tracking IDs to your website (learn all about Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics here).
If you need to add tracking from other sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Google Ads, or LinkedIn, then Tag Manager is a must.
Adding all these tracking scripts to the header of your site can slow things down and only provides basic metrics (and it may be why your WordPress site is so slow).
Tag Manager is a little more of an advanced tool but it allows you to make adjustments to collect more enhanced data.
Access Search Console Data
With Site Kit, you're able to connect to your Google Search Console account and see this data inside WordPress.
MonsterInsights also has this feature, but not in the free version.
If you want to monitor how your site is showing up in Google results, check impressions, and how many clicks you're getting, you can do this with Site Kit without paying extra.
You Want to See Google Adsense Stats
If you monetize your site with Google ads, you can connect your account to Site Kit and view your Adsense data.
You can also set up Adsense inside Site Kit if you haven't yet signed up.
When you connect them together, you'll be able to see your earnings, ad RPM, impressions, and page CTR.
Currently, this feature isn't available with MonsterInsights.
Here are some common questions you may have when deciding which is the best Google Analytics plugin for you or if you even need one at all.
Do I Need a Google Analytics WordPress Plugin?
Not necessarily. A Google Analytics plugin lets you see the data GA collects inside WordPress.
If you don't need this feature and prefer to monitor your metrics inside Google Analytics, then you don't need a plugin.
The reason why people prefer to use a plugin is that there can be a bit of a learning curve when adding the GA code snippet manually (see below.)
However, if you're willing to dedicate some time, you can learn how to add the Google Analytics tracking code yourself by following tutorials online or following the steps below.
How To Add Google Analytics 4 Tracking Manually?
Follow these steps to create your account and manually add the code snippet to WordPress.
1. In the account setup, add your website or business name and click the Next button
2. Then, under Property details, add the name of your site and choose the reporting time zone, and click Next:
3. Under Business information, select the options that apply to you and click Create:
4. Check the terms box in the popup and click on I Accept:
5. On the Start collecting data screen, choose Web:
6. Then, add your domain name in the Website URL box, the website name in the stream name box, and click Create stream:
7. Then, under the Data Streams section, choose the new data stream you just created:
8. Under Events, turn on Enhanced measurement:
9. Under View Tag Instructions and the Install manually tab, you see your code snippet:
10. Copy the code and open up your WordPress theme's header.php file. You'll find it under Appearance > Theme file editor:
11. Make sure you're using a child theme when making changes to the theme files. Click the Update File button, and you're done.
You'll start to see traffic data show up in Google Analytics between 24-48 hours.
Should I Use MonsterInsights, Google Site Kit, or Google Analytics?
It depends. You might not need a plugin for the more tech-savvy, so using Google Analytics directly would be fine.
However, if you need the most basic and easiest-to-use plugin, Google Site Kit is a better option.
But if you don't want to use GA directly but still want to access advanced metrics without stepping foot in your Google Analytics account, MonsterInsights would be your best option.
That concludes this comparison of MonsterInsights vs Google Site Kit. I hope it's helped you decide which one is best for you.
In summary, Google Site Kit is a more basic Google Analytics plugin, providing only the essential metrics to track your site's performance. The plus side is that it's free.
MonsterInsights is way more powerful, with enhanced Google Analytics tracking so you can make better decisions to grow your site's traffic.
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