To view basic website stats that PhotoShelter collects for you, visit the Overview section of your Admin Area Homepage, where we already pull data about your site directly from Google Analytics. If you’re interested in how your website performs in Google Search, Google Search Console may be the best tool for you.
For highly detailed analytics on who's visiting your site, what they're doing there, how long they're staying, and much more, follow the Google Analytics integration instructions below!
We’re happy to help you with integrating your PhotoShelter website with Google Analytics, but are unable to offer full support on how to use Analytics. Please refer to Google Support - their articles are very helpful!
- How Google Analytics Works
- Getting Started: Terms
- Getting Started: Account Setup
- Upgrading to the New Google Analytics 4
How Google Analytics works
"Web analytics" refers to the collection and analysis of data about any given website. There are many web analytics tools available out there, but Google Analytics is the industry standard we recommend, and is totally free to use.
In order to collect this website data, a tracking code linked to a Google Analytics user account must be added to every page of the site.
When someone visits a page on that website, the tracking code is triggered, and anonymous data about that visit is instantly sent to Google.
Google then takes this raw data and processes it into reports that can be understood by the website owner. These reports are what make up a Google Analytics view, and are meant to help the owner make data-driven decisions about how to market their website.
Getting Started: Terms
The biggest learning curve when setting up Google Analytics for the first time may be the terminology. Here are some important terms to know:
- Property - Usually a single website with a unique domain. If a website can be accessed by two domains, each domain is considered a separate property, and each property gets its own unique tracking code.
- Data Stream - A configured way of organizing data for reports. You can have multiple data streams for a property.
- Filter - Specifies what data you do or don’t want to collect for a particular property.
User - A term widely used for online customers and generally anyone interacting with your website.
- Acquisition - The act of building awareness or acquiring user interest. Acquisition data relates to users entering your site.
- Engagement - How users engage with your business. Engagement data relates to users exploring and interacting with your site.
- Conversion - When a user becomes a customer and transacts with your business. Conversion data relates to final purchases being made on your site. (Depending on your goals, you might consider a user contacting you with a booking inquiry to be a conversion. Consider “conversion” to be the end goal of your site.)
- Retention - Information about first-time users as compared to users to return to your website after the first visit.
- Session - A measurement of a single user’s visits to your site. The single session “clock” starts when they visit your site, and ends 30 minutes after their last interaction on your site.
Getting Started: Account Setup
Follow these steps to create a Google Analytics account and start collecting data on your PhotoShelter site. If you’re already set up with Google Analytics, but would like to upgrade to the new Google Analytics 4, skip ahead to the next section.
1. Head to analytics.google.com. If you’re not already logged into your Google account, you’ll be prompted to log in or create a new one. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or any of their other services, you may log into the same account for Analytics.
2. Once you're logged in, click “Set up for Free.”
3. Enter an Account Name. This is for your purposes. It could be your name or the name of your business. Click “Next.”
4. Enter a Property Name. This is a name for your website specifically. You can even use your website URL. Make sure the Reporting Time Zone and Currency match your preferences as they pertain to your business, and click “Next.”
5. Answer the provided questions about your business. This is simply information that’s helpful to Google so they can gather data on how people are using Analytics to inform future improvements. Click “Create.”
6. A pop-up dialog will appear prompting you to agree to Google’s Terms of Service. After reviewing the terms, check each box signaling that you accept, then click “I Accept.” Another pop up may appear for you to set email notification preferences.
7. Next, Google will take you through the steps to create a Data Stream for your Property. Under Choose a Platform, select “Web.”
8. Input your website URL (including “www” or your subdomain if you have a custom domain on your website) and create a Stream Name. The Stream Name is for your purposes, and can be anything, but you’ll definitely want to make sure your website URL is correct. Click “Create Stream.”
9. The next page will display your Web stream details. This includes data stream settings, as well as your data stream’s unique measurement ID. In order for Analytics to be able to collect data on your website, your measurement ID must be added to every page of your website, using a code snippet called a Global Site Tag, or gtag.js. This sounds complicated, but all it takes is two steps! Under Tagging Instructions, click “Global Site Tag (gtag.js).”
10. Copy the full Global Site Tag shown.
11.Head over to your PhotoShelter General Settings page. Scroll down to the HTML Head Code field, and paste your Global Site Tag there. If you have other content in your HTML Head Code field, not to worry! You can paste your gtag.js before or after the other content. Don’t forget to scroll down and click “Save Settings.!”
Well, you did it! Now your PhotoShelter website is integrated with Google Analytics, and your data stream will start collecting information about website visitors.
Upgrading to the New Google Analytics 4
In October 2020, Google released a new version of Analytics called Google Analytics 4, or GA4. If you set up Google Analytics on your PhotoShelter site before October 2020, it’s likely you’re using Universal Analytics, Google’s name for Analytics before GA4. You’re free to go on using Universal Analytics, but if you’d like to take advantage of future improvements to Google Analytics, you’ll want to upgrade to GA4. Here we’ll walk you through how to do that.
If You’re Using Our Google Analytics Integration
Before you begin, it’s important to note that our Google Analytics integration is not yet compatible with GA4. You’ll know you’re using our integration if you have you UA Tracking ID filled in on the Google Analytics section of your General Settings page:
If you’re using our integration to connect with Google Analytics, follow these steps to implement your Global Site Tag, or gtag.js, a code snippet provided by Analytics for implementation of your Tracking ID.
1. Log into Google Analytics.
2. Click “Admin” in the lower left corner, and confirm on the next page that you are viewing the correct property:
3. In the Property section, click “Tracking Info” > “Tracking Code.”
4.Copy the full Global Site Tag (gtag.js) provided:
5. Head over to your PhotoShelter General Settings page, paste your gtag.js into the HTML Head Code field, and click “Save Settings.”
6. Now you have your gtag.js implemented, so you can move on to the next section below!
If You’re Using a Global Site Tag (gtag.js)
You’ll know that you’ve integrated with Google Analytics using a Global Site Tag (gtag.js) if you see a code snippet with this label in your HTML Head Code field. You can find this on your PhotoShelter General Settings page:
If you don’t have a gtag.js in your HTML Head Code, refer to the previous section for steps on where to find your gtag.js. Once you confirm that your gtag.js is in place, follow these steps to upgrade to GA4!
1. Log into Google Analytics.
2. Click “Admin” in the lower-left corner, and confirm on the next page that you are viewing the correct property:
3. In the Property section, click “Upgrade to GA4.”
4. Under I need to create a new Google Analytics 4 property, click “Get Started.”
5. Click “Create Property.”
6. A new tab will open, taking you to the Setup Assistant page for your new GA4 property. Under “Collection,” click the arrow next to “Tag Installation.”
7. Click on your website name under Data Streams.
8. Copy the measurement ID at the top of the next page (G-XXXXXXXX).
9. Go to your PhotoShelter General Settings page.
10. Add the bold line of code shown below to your gtag.js code in the HTML Head Code field and then click “Save Settings.” Be sure to use your unique measurement ID in lieu of G-XXXXXXXX
<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-155933813-1"></script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || ;
gtag('js', new Date());
You’re all set! You now have your PhotoShelter website integrated with GA4.
Your Universal Analytics property still exists in your Google Analytics account, which is important for you to have while your new GA4 property gets to work collecting data on your website. Your GA4 property will be labeled with a numeric ID, and your old property will be labeled with a numeric ID preceded by UA-, so be sure you always know which one you’re viewing when viewing reports:
For more information on how to use Google Analytics tools, check out Google’s Help Center.