What is the Google Analytics Tracking Code?
Google Analytics’ tracking code (or ID) is a unique identifier that allows Google Analytics to collect data when inserted into a website. This data includes the time users spend on a webpage, search terms used, and how they came to the site.
The tracking code is the mechanism by which Google Analytics compiles data. It consolidates this data into reports, using graphs and other visuals to display the results.
You’ll need to add your code directly into the site’s HTML. There are also CMS plugins (such as those for WordPress) that will serve the same function. Once applied, the code adds a cookie to the browser of a website’s users, which returns data to Google Analytics.
Before you get to embedding your code, you’ll need to make sure you’ve set up a Google Analytics account. Older accounts may use Universal Analytics, while newer accounts will be set up with Google Analytics 4 by default. You’ll then need to set up a property to link the website with your account.
The code itself is a string of numbers and letters. The first letters denote the version of Google Analytics, while the long string of numbers corresponds to your account ID. The last section is the property index:
How To Find Google Analytics Tracking ID
Once you’ve signed up for Google Analytics, you’ll be able to retrieve your tracking ID.
To find your Universal Analytics Tracking ID:
- Open Google Analytics
- Click the ‘Admin’ tab
- In the left-hand column, click Tracking Info
- Click ‘Tracking Code’
- Your code will be available here. For Universal Analytics users, the codes start with “UA.”
GA4 Measurement ID
To find your Google Analytics 4 Measurement ID:
- Open Google Analytics
- Click the ‘Admin’ tab
- In the left-hand column, click Data Streams
- Select a data stream from the list
- Your code will appear in the top right-hand corner of the page. For GA4 users, the codes start with “G.”
How To Implement Tracking ID on Your Website
There are two main ways to use the Tracking ID: embedding the code directly into the website’s HTML or utilizing a CMS plugin. You’ll need to have your ID handy for either method.
- For CMS like WordPress, you can collect Google Analytics data by installing a third-party app. You’ll need to download the app and follow the instructions to link it with your Google account. From there, you’ll need to connect it with the website to be tracked and add your Tracking ID.
You can verify that your tracking is working by viewing real-time data as it’s collected. To do this, navigate to the associated property in your Google Analytics account, then open Reporting from the left-hand panel. Select Real-Time followed by Overview.
Integrating Google Analytics with Semrush
You can further manage and analyze incoming Google Analytics data with the help of third-party tools. To do so, you’ll first need to enable appropriate permissions, like Read and Analyze access.
The Semrush tool offers a wealth of integrations with Google Analytics:
- The Position Tracking tool allows you to track a website’s ranking for a specific set of keywords. Integration with Google Analytics enables keyword data to be drawn into your Position Tracking project, ranking based on visibility, estimated traffic, and average position.
- The On-Page SEO Checker tool works with Google Analytics data to optimize your webpage for keyword rankings. When integrated, you’ll receive suggestions for improving the ranking of landing pages based on user bounce rate, time on page, and page load time.
- The Backlink Audit tool provides feedback on backlinks, to determine which links are toxic and in need of removal. Linking to Google Analytics provides updated data on traffic that each link sends to your site.
- Connecting the Organic Traffic Insights tool to Google Analytics allows you to analyze keywords categorized as ‘(not provided)’ by Google Analytics.
- The Site Audit tool searches for site issues that need to be addressed. Integrating the tool with Google Analytics adds pageviews to the audit result, so you can prioritize fixing the most popular pages on your site. Once connected, the tool adds checks for pages that take more one second to become interactive and orphaned pages.
- Connect Google Analytics to the Content Audit tool to better understand how your digital content performs. The tool’s Content Analyzer feature provides data on each page’s number of sessions, page views, and bounce rate, once connected to Google Analytics.
- Use the Brand Monitoring tool to track online mentions of words or phrases, which is useful for understanding sentiment surrounding a brand. Adding Google Analytics data allows you to see referral traffic from branded mentions.
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Use Google Analytics ID to Track User Data
Utilizing your Google Analytics ID is the first step to collecting and analyzing useful user data. Follow the steps in this guide to connect your site to Google Analytics, then use the tools above to understand better the data you see.