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Google Analytics for Agencies: 7 Best Practices & Tips

Paul Jarvis · Mar 22, 2024

Managing Google Analytics for just one site can be a handful, but when you're an agency handling dozens of them, it's a whole different game.

According to Econsultancy, 56% of businesses rely exclusively on Google Analytics - every client expects clear, insightful reports that don't just present data but make it easy to understand what's happening with their website.

So, how exactly do you keep things running smoothly when juggling multiple Google Analytics projects?

In this guide, we're diving into how marketing agencies can get the most out of Google Analytics. From account setup to management, we'll cover the essentials you need to know to streamline your processes and make your data work harder for your clients.

Heads up: We offer superior analytics for agencies, helping them to boost productivity and enhance client satisfaction.

7 Tips Using Google Analytics for Agencies

Initially, setting up Google Analytics for multiple clients can be intimidating for agencies. Managing accounts for numerous clients, while providing valuable insights requires a strategic approach.

Here are seven tips and best practices that will assist your agency in mastering Google Analytics for more effective digital marketing performance.

1. Define Clear Goals and Conversions

Specifying clear GA4 conversions is fundamental to the success of any Google Analytics implementation.

In the previous version, Universal Analytics, we had goals and conversions. Goals represented specific actions taken by website visitors, aligning with the business objectives. Now, we only have conversions, but they still offer detailed insights into user behavior and the customer journey.

Setting up and understanding these metrics is essential to evaluate how well your agency's digital marketing efforts are performing. Follow these steps to ensure you get it right:

  • Collaborate with clients: Engage in thorough discussions with clients to understand their business objectives and key performance indicators. This way, it's possible to identify the specific actions on the website that contribute to these objectives.
  • Choose relevant GA4 conversion types: Google Analytics offers various conversion types, including destination, duration, sales, and pages/screens per session, all tracked through events. Select the conversion type that best aligns with the client's business objectives and move on to the following step.
  • Regularly review and update conversion types: Keep in mind that business priorities and objectives may evolve over time, so it's necessary to regularly review and update goals to reflect these changes. This ensures that the data being collected remains relevant and insightful.

Setting up clear conversions helps quantify success, enabling tracking of progress over time for both agencies and clients.

2. Correctly Setup Google Analytics 4

Setting up Google Analytics 4 correctly is essential for digital advertising agencies of all sizes. GA4 introduces new features, improved user-centric measurement, and enhanced event tracking capabilities. In the case of agencies, it's best to setup dedicated Google Analytics accounts and properties for each client, like this:

  1. Access Google Analytics: Log in to your Google Analytics account using your agency credentials.
  2. Create a New Account: In the Admin section, under the Account column, select Create Account from the dropdown.
  3. Fill in Account Details and Create Data Stream: Provide client-specific details such as business name and industry. Finally, click Web to create a new data stream for your client's website.

By creating separate accounts and properties for each client, you can tailor the analytics settings and reporting to their specific needs, monitor individual performance, and ensure that data is not mixed up between clients.

Managing Google Analytics settings can be challenging. In some cases, it would be necessary to complete a migration from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 to continue the SEO efforts of your clients with accurate and reliable information.

3. Manage User Access and Permissions

Effectively handling user access and permissions in your client's Google Analytics accounts is essential for agencies.

Providing the correct access levels for both team members and clients ensures a secure and efficient workflow. Before adding users to Google Analytics, consider the following factors:

  • Viewer: In an agency setting, "Viewers" are valuable for team members who need access to settings and data without the ability to make edits. This role is suitable for those involved in monitoring analytics but not actively manipulating data.
  • Analyst: Agencies benefit from "Analysts" who can edit, create, and manage specific property access. This role is ideal for team members actively involved in data manipulation and analysis, offering a hands-on approach to Google Analytics.
  • Marketer: "Marketers" play a crucial role in agencies, leveraging advanced permissions to edit, manage, and create reports.
  • Editor: In the agency context, "Editors" hold significant authority, managing properties entirely. While unable to add new users, this role is typically assigned to higher-level positions, providing broad control over analytics properties.
  • Administrator: For agencies, "Administrators" are essential roles with the highest permissions. They manage properties, reports, and accounts, making comprehensive changes and adding new users.

4. Customize Client Accounts and Dashboards

By customizing client accounts and dashboards in GA4, agencies can offer valuable insights and value-driven analytics experience tailored to the client's needs.

To customize client accounts and dashboards in GA4, agencies should start by developing tailored dashboards that highlight each client's key performance indicators. This can be achieved with GA4 custom dashboards, aligning settings with the client's specific objectives, and customizing data views to focus on the most relevant metrics.

Additionally, implementing automated reporting features can streamline communication and provide ongoing value to clients by delivering regular, easy-to-understand updates on their website's performance.

This not only enhances client satisfaction but also allows agencies to demonstrate a deep understanding of their clients' businesses, fostering stronger and more collaborative partnerships.

5. Integrate Google Analytics with Other Platforms

By integrating Google Analytics with other platforms (both via direct and third-party integrations), clients can gain a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of their digital ecosystem.

This integration provides clients with a holistic view of their online presence and marketing efforts. Here's how this best practice benefits both agencies and their clients:

  • More comprehensive insights: Integrating Google Analytics with platforms like Google Ads, CRM systems, and social media allows clients to gather comprehensive insights. This interconnected approach provides a unified view of user behavior across various channels.
  • Enhanced marketing strategy: Agencies can help clients identify successful channels, target audiences more effectively, and refine their messaging based on data from various sources.
  • Efficient campaign management: Clients can streamline campaign management by having a consolidated view of performance metrics. This simplifies the evaluation of marketing efforts and enables quick adjustments to optimize campaigns in real time.

6. Regularly Audit and Clean Up

Periodically auditing and cleaning up Google Analytics accounts by removing unused profiles, filters, and settings is necessary to ensure accurate data, enhance reporting efficiency, and maintain the overall effectiveness of analytics insights:

  • Efficient reporting: Cleaning up unnecessary data and refining reporting structures improves the efficiency of data analysis. Agencies can focus on key metrics, leading to clearer insights and more effective communication with clients.
  • Privacy compliance: Periodic reviews of privacy settings and data collection methods ensure that agencies comply with evolving privacy regulations, which can be particularly challenging with GA4. This is crucial for maintaining trust with clients and adhering to legal standards.
  • Enhanced decision-making: A clean and well-organized analytics account facilitates better decision-making. Agencies can easily identify trends, track goals, and make data-driven recommendations to clients, ultimately contributing to the success of digital strategies and SEO efforts.

7. Optimize Client Reporting

For digital agencies, optimizing client reporting based on Google Analytics 4 is a pivotal practice to showcase advancements and insights effectively.

This practice strengthens the agency-client relationship, positioning the agency as a valuable partner in driving digital success and managing GA4 reports:

  • Tailored SEO metrics: Customize reports to emphasize crucial SEO metrics relevant to client objectives. Tailoring insights around organic traffic, keyword performance, and page rankings provides clients with actionable SEO-focused data.
  • Actionable insights: Translate complex data into practical steps and accurate insights, guiding clients on how to improve SEO performance and achieve their online visibility goals.
  • Conversion tracking: Showcase progress towards predefined goals and key performance indicators. Clearly illustrating advancements toward objectives enhances transparency and demonstrates the value of the agency's efforts.

The Problem with Google Analytics for Agencies

While Google Analytics is commonly used, it does have its challenges.

First, Google Analytics is illegal, but apart from potential legal issues, the platform's complexity, inaccuracy, and steep learning curve make it a less-than-ideal option for agencies looking to simplify their processes.

This creates a clear need for a straightforward, user-friendly solution, and that's where Fathom comes into the scene.

Alternative to Google Analytics for Agencies: Fathom Analytics

Embracing Google Analytics 4 alternatives like Fathom Analytics is not only a choice but a strategic move for agencies aiming to enhance their efficiency and stay ahead in the competitive digital marketing space.

With Fathom Analytics you get:

  • Robust legal compliance: Fathom Analytics prioritizes legal compliance, ensuring that agencies using our platform can confidently navigate the complex landscape of data privacy and user consent regulations.
  • User-friendly interface: In contrast to Google Analytics' complex interface, Fathom offers a clean and user-friendly dashboard that is easy to understand and use, minimizing the need for extensive training.
  • Reliable data accuracy: While Google Analytics data can be delayed and sampled, Fathom delivers accurate, real-time insights. Agencies can trust Fathom to provide reliable and actionable insights, enabling better-informed decisions for optimizing client campaigns.
  • Forever data retention: With Fathom Analytics, you and your clients get unrestricted, perpetual access to analytics data, allowing for long-term trends and performance analysis.

With our website analytics tool, you can efficiently manage your agency clients, ensuring privacy, simplicity, and accuracy. If you're seeking an analytics solution for agencies that ticks all these boxes, Fathom is the way to go - get started now.

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Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis, author + designer

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