The Google devguide says the following:

To install the global tracking snippet, copy the following code and paste it immediately after the tag on every page of your site. Replace GA_TRACKING_ID with the tracking ID of the Google Analytics property to which you want to send data. You need only one global snippet per page.


In an ideal world where you can edit the HTML as you want this is not a problem of course. As soon as you are writing plugins for usage in many sites it IS a problem. WordPress for example. Each Theme has to support the wp_head() function to hook in. The output is before the closing head tag of each theme. As well as wp_footer() which is called right before the closing body tag.

Now I wonder if it may harm SEO if I put Google Analytics into the header just before the closing tag.

My code is like this:

function add_google_gtag_analytics() {

    // tagmanager
        'google-gtag', // handle name referred to in the "wp_enqueue_script" call below
        'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=' . $tracking_id, // location of your file
        false, // no dependencies
        '1.0', // version number
        true // if true, the script is placed before the  end tag

    // google analytics
        'google-analytics', // handle name referred to in the "wp_enqueue_script" call below
        plugins_url('js/google_analytics', __FILE__), // location of your file
        ['google-gtag'], // no dependencies
        '1.0', // version number
        true // if true, the script is placed before the  end tag

    // pass analytics id variable
    wp_localize_script('google-analytics', 'CIS_ANALYTICS_TRACKING_ID', $tracking_id);

    // Enqueue the registered script file

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'add_google_analytics', 100);

// ensure tag manager async
add_filter('script_loader_tag', 'cis_gtag_async', 10, 3);
function cis_gtag_async($tag, $handle, $src) {
    if ($handle !== 'google-gtag') {
        return $tag;

    return "<script src='$src' async></script>";

The priority of 100 makes sure that it is the last script to be embedded in the header (see add_action() in WP docs). The result of the above code is basically:

<!-- lots of meta, scripts and style tags -->

    <!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
    <script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=GA_TRACKING_ID"></script>
      window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
      function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
      gtag('js', new Date());

      gtag('config', 'GA_TRACKING_ID');

Does anybody know if this can harm tracking or SEO?

1 Answer 1


The ideal position is as High as possible, and reason for this is, that this scrip (GTM, Gtag etc) Needs to be loaded first due to gather all the information. I mean technically it is in the head, and will work as good as it should be. Only thing to worry about is that 0.001% times that happens that the site crashes or not load all the scripts on user side. So in general you will get pretty accurate tracking.

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