Updated for the new GA4 Google Analytics
Find out if you already have Google Analytics installed on your WordPress website, how to upgrade it to the new GA4, or how to set up GA4.
SEO, Google Analytics (GA4), & WordPress ADMIN Access
One of the first things I do with new SEO clients is to determine if they have Google Analytics (GA) installed on their website. I can look at their website code with the browser “view source” feature page to see if the GA code is present. If they don’t have it installed then I install it on the website to begin tracking website traffic. This data takes away any need for educated educated guesses about what is happening on the website. There are a plethora of Google Analytics features to use, one could spend hours just looking at the data and graphs. This data can help establish a baseline and monitor the website activity each month to see when SEO techniques start to work. They are particularly useful to determine if you are reaching your geographic target audience.
Note: these instructions can also be used for Wix and SquareSpace websites, however you will used the appropriate alternative to WordPress plugins.
Steps to Assign a GA Admin or to Find Your GA Account
If they do have Google Analytics, then great! We will be able to see the history of website traffic. But before I get too excited, I need to speak with the owner of the website and have them make me an admin on their analytics account so I can see the data. Sometimes this process is complicated and confusing, often the website owner doesn’t know or doesn’t remember who set up the Google Analytics and which email was used. All the lovely verification controls can make this process even more complicated.
It can be easier to create a new Google account, but then you might lose years of historical data. Following are some steps to assign ADMIN permissions on GA or if necessary to determine your login to GA.
Make Your SEO Consultant a Google Analytics ADMIN
If the website owner has access to their Google Analytics, they will know the login email address (usually it’s a GMAIL address but sometimes it is another email address). Following are the steps on how to make your SEO consultant an ADMIN on your GA.
- Go to the internet browser and type in the URL https://analytics.google.com/
- Enter your email address and password. It should be a gmail or an email hosted by Google. (If it’s a GMAIL address the password for Google Analytics is exactly the same password as the GMAIL account password – Google has a “one account” system).
- On the Google Analytics dashboard go to the bottom left and click on the GEAR icon that says “ADMIN”.
- Three columns will appear ACCOUNT, PROPERTY, and VIEW. Under the ACCOUNT column click on ACCOUNT USER MANAGEMENT.
- On the ACCOUNT PERMISSIONS page, on the upper right corner click on the blue + sign to ADD a person. Then select ADD USERS.
- Enter email address (for clients of mine I ask them to enter my GMAIL). The premissions default to READ & ANALYZE – this is fine to share with most co-workers, but as your SEO consultant I need to have full permissions. Hence – click all of the PERMISSIONS boxes (EDIT, COLLABORATE, & MANAGE USERS). And click the blue ADD button in the top right corner.
- I should receive an invitation from Google Analytics via my email .
Not Sure How to Acess Your Google Analytics
Sometimes a web developer, a pay-per-click advertiser, or a co-worker created your analytics account and you can’t remember who or you are no longer working with them.
Try Accessing GA with Your Emails
The first thing to do is try to login with a few different emails to see if something you have works. Go to https://analytics.google.com/ and try any Gmail account or work email you have. Three things could happen:
- If the email is NOT connected to a Google account it will say “couldn’t find your Google Account” (this will happen if you are trying a non-GMAIL email address and it is not connected to Google Analytics).
- If the password is incorrect, click the FORGOT PASSWORD button.
- If your email and password work, but it is not associated to Google Analytics – then this is not the account.
Reach Out To Others Who Might Have Access
If you don’t have access with any of your emails, then you could try to reach out to contractors or employees that might have access and ask them to give you (and me) access.
Request Google Analytics Access Recovery from Google
If you can’t determine the email account that has access to your Google Analytics, then either you decide to start from scratch and let me set-up a new GA account, or you can take steps to contact Google and recover your account. Follow this process (not it can take up to 2-weeks):
- Go to Google’s online SUPPORT support.google.com/analytics
- On the upper right corner click FIX ISSUE. Then click RECOVER ACCESS TO AN ANALYTICS ACCOUNT.
- The first thing Google will want you to do is to prove ownership of the website. They are asking you to upload a file to the website directory and include your GMAIL address- I will help you do this.
- Then you will have to submit an online FORM requesting Google to recover/reset your account to the email address requested.
Tips for Installing GA4 on your WordPress site
If you already have the Universal Google Analytics (UA), this old Google Anlytics will be phased out in July of 2023. You can log into your Google Analytics account and set up the GA4 on that property. You will also have to identify the current WordPress plugin that is being used for the UA-GA code. Then all you will need to do is copy the tracking code from Google Analytics (GA4) and paste it into the same plugin that has the UA-GA code.
If your site has never had Google Anlaytics installed, you will need to install a WordPress plugin that allows you to install Google Analytics. I tend to avoid fancy plugins that show Google Analytics data within the WordPress admin, as this is unnecessary when all you need to do is log into your Google Analytics account and look at the data and graphs. I can make recommendations for plugins, but not all plugins work with your version of WordPress or your theme. It is best to do a plugin search for “Google Analytics” and select a COMPATIBLE plugin.
Once I have access to your Google Analytics at the ADMIN level, I will submit your site to Google’s Website Search Console and begin monitoring your website activity.
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initial post: December 2019