Have access to your website analytics at the account level

This is the second time this week I’ve worked with a client who does not have account level access to their google analytics data for their web site.  The reason this is problematic is that if you do not have highest level permissions, a third party is the ultimate owner of your analytics account.  If you change web developers during a site re-do, you may have some issues.  So what to do?

  1. If someone is setting up analytics for you, tell them you want account level access.   You do not want to be part of their account.  They can of course share your account at the highest level – simply make sure you are also accessing the highest level.  Google explains the hierarchy of accounts, users, properties, and views.
  2. If you’re not sure whether analytics is even installed, right click on your site, choose “view source” and look for UA- followed by a number.
  3. Log into Google.com/analytics and you should see your website listed with a UA- number at the account level.  If you don’t see it go to the next step.
  4. Do a little reverse engineering using  http://www.ewhois.com  and  http://www.spyonweb.com/.  You may be able to find out if other websites have the same UA (analytics tracking code) and find the contact info for whoever developed the site to see if they can help you out.

Your web developer isn’t necessarily evil.  Some of this is because people don’t understand analytics permissions.   There are also a lot of cases where there’s staff turnover – or not enough time in the day – and this information just gets buried. The bottom line is it’s your web site so you should always have access to what you need.