Google Analytics has evolved from infant to very matured stage by launching ‘Universal Analytics’. The journey from Web Analytics 1.0 to Web Analytics 2.0 has brought sea change in Google Analytics Tool implementation and configuration. A web analyst and digital marketer, being business catalysts, should be aware of industry best practices. I have made an attempt to consolidate and present relevant best practices in Google Analytics Best Practices Series -1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Read on …..
Google Analytics Accounts Best Practices
To own a Google Analytics account all you need is an email address (not necessarily gmail account) which is being associated with a Google Account.
A ‘Google Account’ is typically google services like :
- Google Maps
- Google Drive
- Google Wallet
- Google adwords
You can associate any email address or gmail address with a google account to open google analytics account.
Google Analytics Account Limitation
1. You can open 100 Google Analytics Accounts per google login/account, earlier 25 Google Analytics account was the limit per Google Login.
2. If you exhaust 100 Google Analytics Account limit, take up another google account and go ahead with another more 100 accounts
3. Ask your clients or colleagues ( in Digital Marketing Agency scenario) to own a Google Analytics Account and give full access permissions. This way you can go limit less in creating Google Analytics Account.
1. It is always a best practice to dedicate one account for a website.
2. If you have more than one website belonging to same client you can track them in one single account. It is always advisable to open a separate account keeping the dynamics of business to meet any eventualities.
Properties are websites or apps which can be tracked in Google Analytics Account. A Google Analytics Property is a combination of Alpha Numeric always begins with UA-XXXXX-Y
Anatomy of Property ID:
UA : stands for Urchin( Google acquired technical know-how from Urchin, later on changed to Google Analytics) also it can be understood as Universal Analytics( It is my interpretation not Google’s!).
XXXXX : It is Google Analytics account ID.
Y : It denotes 1st Property in the Google Analytics Account i.e. ( XXXXX)
Do you know ?
1. Google Analytics creates property ID for an existing or non-existing websites. Google Analytics does not validate the existence or non existence of website during the PropertyID creation. It only validates when data actually flows into Google Analytics Account.
2.Your Property ID is easily accessible by anyone looking at your Source Code of webpages. Hijackers can skew your data by stealing your Property ID. Beware of your PropertyID thieves. How do you secure your Property ID from thieves?
3. Google allows you to create Multiple Trackers for your Single Website. Where each Property ID can be used to track separate parts / directories of your website. Google Analytics supports multiple trackers / Property IDs on website in both free and premium versions. But what are the Best Practices to be followed to implement multiple trackers. Do not miss to read the scenario based approach to implement multiple property ids on your web page. Check out, what are the situations we need to consider for multiple Google Analytics tracker implementation?
4. Google analytics also allows you to create multiple trackers on individual webpages. Where as each unique tracker sends data to different stake holder owning his own google analytics account set up.
As mentioned above multiple trackers allows you to track either different parts of website or individual pages across website, the data needs to be aggregated at one place to derive insights. Check out Roll up Property Reporting web analytics data aggregation.
Google Analytics Views
What is a Google Analytics View?
A view is customized container of your reports. A view can be customized to store required set of reports with relevant website analytics data / information pertaining to a part of a website or whole website. Views can be customized to receive relevant information by applying filters.
Google Analytics view is your long term Web Analytics Data Management Framework. Web Analysts need to categorize Web Analytics data into 2 important categories i.e. Short term and long term data requirements or Data for continuous analysis and Data for adhoc analysis.
Google Analytics views falls in Long Term Data requirement or Data for continuous analysis category of your Web Analytics Data Management Framework.
As I have observed Google Analytics implementation takes a wrong turn at view level implementation. Views are being a fundamental building blocks any mistake at this level is Fundamental Mistake.
Web Analytics Tools fundamentally misguide you by un realistic and irrelevant information and on other hand we mess up the data by not following certain best practices right from this stage.
Before discussing view implementation check out some interesting information on Google Analytics Views:
1. Google Analytics creates a view by default and this default view is named as ‘All WebSite Data’. This name can be altered to any convenient name as far as you can identify it as ‘Default View’.
2. Default view is a dumping yard in which raw / unfiltered data is dumped for future reference. Here, it is advisable that do not apply a filter. So your ‘Default View’ remains unfiltered view.
3. Google Analytics views collect information from the day of creation and onward. No historic data exist.
4. When view is created you need to set at least 5 basic following configurations. Among 5, first 2 are important for all views.
Set your default home page as index.php / index.html/index.aspx
Eliminate URL parameters
Enable Internal Search Option
Connect Webmaster Tool
Enable E Commerce option [ if your website is E- commerce based]
Check out Google Analytics View implementation and configuration best practices for better understanding of Google Analytics view configuration .
5. Views are associated with Property ID in Google Analytics Account. Each property can associate with 25 views. Read out Google Analytics Accounts limit per login ID raised from 25 to 100, to work around with 100 account limitation for per login id.
6.How many views do you create? There is no thumb rule to follow here, but a best practice is to create at least 3 views as follows:
- All web site Data [ Default view]
- Test view
- Reporting view
Views are the fundamental building blocks of Google Analytics, which helps to segment your data right at view level. The best practice to decide how many and what views to be created should be decided with reference to segments identified in ‘Digital Marketing and Measurement Plan’.