What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is for keeping track of how people use your site. You can use this data to make more informed decisions about website design, email campaigns, or your target audiences.
- How many people visit and when
- How they got to your site
- Where they’re located
- Which device they’re using
This is just the beginning—Google Analytics offers a lot of options to answer your questions about your site.
Google Analytics Options at OSU
All centrally managed OSU Drupal 7 and 9 websites come with Google Analytics already. Check the list of all OSU Drupal sites to see if your website is one of them. If not, you'll need to contact your web administrator as your site isn't centrally managed.
- The publicly available analytics dashboard for OSU Drupal websites. You simply select your site from the drop down and are given commonly requested data.
- If you need help understanding some of the terms, read the web analytics guide.
- Request access to the university-wide Google Analytics account that is already installed on all OSU Drupal sites.
- Your OSU Google account will be added to view the university-wide account. Here's how to log in once you've been given access.
- You'll need to create an audience in order to narrow down the data.
- Create your own Google Analytics account and add the tracking ID to your site.
- This option will give you the most autonomy and control.
The university-wide Google Analytics accounts runs on some of the WordPress blogs produced by https://blogs.oregonstate.edu/. It will be updated for GA4 for only the OSU branded themes, Branch, Sapling, Magazine, Pine, OSU Standard. If you opt to use a non-branded theme, you need to manage your own Google Analytics.
If you want your own analytics account for a blog, you have 2 options:
- JetPack plugin for analytics data. It isn’t Google Analytics, but it still collects similar data.
- You need to create your own WordPress account. The setup guide will walk you through all the steps required.
- Create your own Google Analytics account and use Google’s Site Kit Plugin for WordPress. Google has written up documentation on how to setup Site Kit (skip the section about installing. We have already installed the plug in for you).
To configure either of these options, you need to be an administrator of the blog.
If you are using the existing Google Analytics plugin, you need to update to GA4 and enter your new GA4 analytics into the Site Kit Plugin. The existing Google Analytics plugin doesn’t accept GA4 tracking IDs.
How to check if you are using the old Google Analytics plugin
- Log into your WordPress site at https://blogs.oregonstate.edu/ with your ONID username and password.
- The Google Analytics plugin is located in the left-hand sidebar menu under Settings > Google Analytics.
- Find the field for Site Tracking Code.
- If you have a tracking ID in that field that starts with UA, you are using the old version of Google Analytics and need to update to Google Analytics 4.
- You also want to use the Site Kit Plugin to add Google Analytics to your site. It will walk you through all the necessary steps and can add both your UA and GA4 analytics.
Logging into Google Analytics
Once you have been given access to the university-wide analytics account, you'll log in with your OSU Google account.
Google Analytics 4
Universal Analytics (UA) will stop collecting data on July 1, 2023. Its replacement is Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
The university-wide property has been updated to Google Analytics 4, which covers common use cases like most popular pages, downloads, and clicks.
Anyone who had access to to the UA property now has access to the GA4 property.
Individual units or departments are welcome to upgrade their existing Universal Analytics (UA) properties or create their own new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) account if they don't have their own analytics already.
The Google Analytics module has been turned on for all centrally hosted Drupal 7 websites. That is where an individual department or unit's GA4 ID should be added.
Updating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
You need at least an editor role in the Google Analytics account to update a property to GA4.
Updating to Google Analytics 4 means that you create another property based on settings and configurations of your existing Universal Analytics (UA) property.
Google has written up some extensive documentation on updating to GA4. There is a setup assistant to walk you through each step of the process to update. It should only take a few minutes and you can follow the video tutorial or written instructions to update. Both of these tutorials use Google Tag Manager to install your GA4 on your website. Stop at that point and follow the instructions below. You don't need to use Google Tag or Google Tag Manager to update to Google Analytics 4. All you need is the measurement ID that follows the format: G-xxxxxxxx.
Automatically created Google Analytics 4 Properties
In March 2023, Google will create an automatic Google Analytics 4 property for any Universal Analytics property that hasn't been yet updated.
Google has written documentation about the automatically created properties that provide the full details of how they work.
This doesn't mean that the GA4 property will start collecting data. You still need to follow the instructions below to add the measurement ID to the your Drupal 7 website.
Adding the GA4 Measurement ID to a Drupal 7 Website
After you have created a GA4 property you need to add the measure ID to your Drupal website. You need to be an architect in the site to update. Contact Digital Experience if you need more permissions to your site.
The Universal Analytics tracking ID can be entered in the website via Appearance > Settings > Doug Fir. If you have it in the Google Analytics module, move it to this setting location. This field only accepts the UA tracking ID and a GA4 tracking ID won't work in this field.
Google advises you to run your older version of GA (tracking ID that starts with UA-) alongside the GA4 measurement ID. This is to ensure that there are no gaps in the data.
How to see only your data in the University-wide account
- Analytics Help: includes documentation and step by step instructions for GA4 Analytics and Universal Analytics
- SkillShop: training for Google Analytics 4 from Google
- LinkedIn Learning available to active OSU faculty, staff, and students. They have Google Analytics courses and Digital Marketing courses
- Loves Data: excellent website and YouTube channel that provides step by step instruction for analytics tasks
- Analytics Mania: another excellent YouTuber who provides thorough tutorials
- A demo account from Google for a low-stakes testing environment
- Google Analytics is tied in with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO can be helpful