We’ve all dealt with that one client who couldn’t find their website’s Google analytics if their life depended on it. It’s a sad reality that many marketing agencies have to face. The good news (in addition to job security) is that accessing these analytics is still possible. It just requires a little investigation, a bit of luck, and a whole lot of patience. Find out how to gain access to client analytics by following the steps outlined below!

Gaining Access to Client’s Google Analytics

(Even Without Much Help From the Client)

The first step to accessing your new client’s Google analytics is determining whether or not they have them available in the first place. You can try asking the client for this information, but it’s likely they’ll respond with nothing more than a blank stare — and that doesn’t help you very much. The following outlines the proper steps to take to find this crucial information:

  • Step One: Navigate to your client’s website, right click on the page, and select “View Source.”

  • Step Two: When you view the source code, you’ll be met with a lot of coding language. Don’t panic. Simply press “Control + F” and type in “UA-” in the search box.

  • Step Three: If you found the analytics property tag in step two, congratulations! You don’t need to perform step three. For those who couldn’t find the analytics property, press “Control + F” again and type in “GTM-” in the search box.

  • Step Four: If the GTM- search worked, feel free to ignore step four. For those of you still searching for the analytics property tag, press “Control + F” once more, say a prayer, and type in “googleAnalytics” in the search box.

If your prayers weren’t answered in step four, there’s still hope! Try gaining admin access to the site and look to see if there are analytics plug-ins that are either 1) facilitating the installation of analytics script, or 2) could be replacing the function of analytics. In this case, you may be able to use this historical data. However, if the client doesn’t have the Google analytics property and that’s the end goal, you’ll need to start from scratch.

Managing Road Blocks from Previous Agencies

Let’s say you were able to locate the Google analytics property tag for your new client. That’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have access to view these analytics. Sometimes a previous marketing agency or web developer may create a rogue Gmail account for the sole purpose of collecting analytics. In other cases, the client themselves may have access, but they might not know it. Depending on the situation in which you find yourself, you’ll need to get creative with how you finally gain access.

Scenario 1 – The Rogue Gmail Account

This is the absolute worst-case scenario when onboarding a new client. If there’s no access to the Gmail account and no access to the person who created it, then there’s no access to the analytics. Period. When this happens, it’s best to reach out to the previous marketing agency directly. Typically, the previous web guys will help you without a problem. But if you find yourself in an analytics access battle with the previous agency, you may have to resort to bribery to get the information you’re after. Seriously — a little wining and dining can help you avoid the headache of starting your client’s analytics from scratch!

Scenario 2 – The Hidden Gmail Account

In this situation, the client likely has access to the analytics through either their personal or business account. To find out which account it is, you’ll need to guide your client in the right direction. Schedule a phone call or video chat so you can screen share and follow the steps below:

  • Send them the link to analytics.google.com and have them click through to it
  • Have them log in using each of the accounts they suspect may be connected to their analytics
  • If you’re lucky, one of their accounts will work and access will be granted. However, if these steps fail, you’ll need to start from scratch.

This is why it’s critical for marketing agencies to follow best practices by setting up analytics with a branded domain Google account under GSuite. If we all strive to follow these best practices, we can avoid all the unnecessary detective work

Step Three: Breathing a Sigh of Relief

Regardless of whether you gained access or had to start from scratch, now you can breathe a sigh of relief and allow the real work to begin. As you go forward, lead the industry by example and set clients up for success using the aforementioned best practices. By doing it the right way, you’ll set your client up for ongoing success, even if they choose not to work with you in the future.

At WiT Group, we never set up analytics the lazy way. We do whatever it takes to ensure client success — even if that means making the transition to a new agency smoother by following best practices. Contact our team today to get your website analytics set up the right way!