6 ‘Gotchas’ When Installing Google Analytics on Blogger

6 gotchas when installing Google Analytics on Blogger

If you are wanting to use a robust, industry standard tool for tracking visitors to your Blogger blog, then you may want to consider using Google Analytics.

Installing Google Analytics via Blogger’s Settings, makes adding the tracking code a snap, however you may want to consider the following points first, before using the automated method of installation.

What you may not know …

  1. If you are adding your Tracking ID to Blogger Settings and allowing the Blogger platform to add the tracking code for you, as at Feb 2016, the Blogger system has not been updated to add the Universal analytics.js tracking code snippet.

    From the following images, it can be seen that the Blogger platform inserts the Asynchronous ga.js version of the tracking code.

    UA-62986317-2 is the Tracking ID for my Google Analytics Property
    GA Tracking ID for Blogger

    Checking the blog with Google Tag Assistant reveals the Asynchronous tracking code snippet has been installed by the Blogger platform
    Google Tag Assistant Results

    Checking the blog source code also confirms this.
    Blogger ga.js in source code

    A Google Analytics Universal Property, is capable of tracking a site that uses the older asynchronous ga.js tracking code.
    Blog visitors will still be tracked with the older ga.js tracking installed.

    You wont be able to use the configuration options in the GA interface for configuring Referral Exclusions, Session Seting, Organic Search Sources, amongst others.

  2. If your blog uses any of Blogger’s Dynamic View layouts, you must use the Blogger settings option to add the tracking code.
    Failing to do this, will result in your blog pageviews not being tracked correctly.

    Blogger does provide this information, however it’s kind of hidden away behind a small, barely visible question mark in the interface.

    Blogger Settings

    Upon clicking, it gives the following information:

    “Add Google Analytics to your blog to see how visitors interact with your site. Add your Google Analytics Web Property ID to start tracking your blog. This setting is specific to Dynamic Views and Layout templates. If your blog is using a Classic template you need to manually add it to your regular template.”

  3. If you manually install the tracking code into the Blogger template, be sure to change the Mobile template from Default to Custom.

    After doing a manual install of the tracking code, I noticed that my desktop pageviews were showing up fine in google analytics, however my mobile visits (chrome on android) were nowhere to be seen in the real time or standard reports.

    Debugging showed that Google Analytics was not sending hits or loading on my mobile.

    Debug default blogge mobile template

    Once the mobile template had been changed to Custom, pageviews generated from my mobile, were tracked as expected

    Blogger mobile pageviews

    Debugging blogger mobile visits

  4. Having the Blogger platform add the tracking code for you, does not allow for any tracking code modifications. If (for example) you want to do any cross domain tracking, or use IP Anonymization for your site visitors, or Enhanced Link Attribution, then the tracking code must be manually added to the Blogger template, in order to be able to edit it.
  5. You will not be able to use features that are Universal analytics.js specific, unless you manually install the Universal analytics.js tracking code snippet.
    E.G. Custom Dimensions and Metrics, Dimension Widening, and Measurement Protocol.

  6. If the older ga.js tracking code is installed, you wont have access to new tracking code features or functionality as it becomes available.
    Future updates to the tracking code are Universal analytics.js compatible only.