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How to use Google Analytics with NationBuilder
How to use Google Analytics with NationBuilder

Here's a quick list of important first steps and strategies to get the most out of your tracking.

Updated over a week ago

Table of Contents

NationBuilder setup: tracking code install

With NationBuilder, it's easy to set up Google Analytics and get started right away. Here's how:

  1. Get your Google Analytics account number. If you already have an account then you can find the number in the home section of the Google Analytics dashboard, located on the far left of the top nav. It looks like this: UA-1234567-8. If you don't yet have an account, you can register for one here.

  2. Enter your Google Analytics account number. Log into your NationBuilder control panel and navigate to Website > Site settings > Analytics setup.

Copy your account number and paste it into the field labeled "Google Analytics code". This will automatically place the tracking code on each page of your website so you don’t have to do so manually. Click Save analytics settings and you’re done!

Google Analytics admin: views, filters, and goals

Before diving into the fun reports, it's a good idea to optimize the Google Analytics admin settings. This will help ensure clean data moving forward. These items aren't mandatory so if you don't have the info or it doesn't apply to your needs, feel free to skip ahead.

  • Create a custom view: All accounts start with a default view that tracks data to your domain without any filters or modifications. It's recommended to leave this view untouched and create a new one before making any changes. This way you'll always have that default baseline for an historical comparison. To do so, navigate to Admin > View (dropdown) > Create new view.

  • Create filters: Use filters to permanently remove all website traffic data that meets certain criteria. A common use case is for an organization to exclude their own internal IP address so the data does not include their staff's visits and actions. You can also use filters to isolate activity in a specific website directory or track your subdomains in different views for easy reporting. To get started with filters, navigate to Admin > View > Filters and don't forget to check out the Google help documentation for additional setup details. Remember, it's best to only apply filters to your custom views.

  • Create goals: Use goals to measure how many times a specific action on your website was completed. To track goals on your NationBuilder website, navigate within Google Analytics to to Admin > View > Goals:

  1. Goal setup: Choose Custom

  2. Goal description: Name your goal and choose Destination

  3. Goal details: Under Destination, choose "Begins with" and enter "/goal/[slug]"

The [slug] is the name of the page with the action you'd like to track. For example, if you're tracking signups from a form located at then you would enter "/goal/signup" into that field.

Basic reporting: get to know your visitors

The standard Google Analytics reports will begin showing data within 24 hours of when you input the account number into NationBuilder. If you're unfamiliar with the information contained in these reports, here's a quick overview:

  • Audience: Who came to your website? These reports contain visits and pageviews metrics, as well as visitor demographics, technology, and geographic location.

  • Acquisition: Where did they come from? Look here for source and keyword data, and see how your traffic splits between inbound channels (direct, organic, paid, referral, social, email).

  • Behavior: What did they do? Use these reports to analyze individual website pages, traffic flow, and other online content.

  • Conversions: Did they convert? These reports review the number of times that visitors completed the specific website actions that you predefined as goals during admin setup. This is critical in determining how effective your website is at helping your overall organizational objective - tracking volunteer signups, petition signatures, products sold, etc.

Email campaigns: hassle-free NationBuilder integration

NationBuilder automatically tags traffic from your email campaigns so the data will correctly show in Google Analytics. There are 3 elements to this tracking:

  1. Source = Your nation slug

  2. Medium = "email"

  3. Campaign = The email campaign slug

The quickest way to view this data is in the Acquisition > All Traffic report. In the "Secondary dimension" dropdown choose Advertising > Campaign. The top of your report will now look like:

You will now see website traffic broken down by Source / Medium, and Campaign where applicable. If you then drill down into the email medium, all email campaigns will be isolated to one report. Make sure to select the appropriate date range. This technique applies to any standard report that allows you to select the Primary and Secondary dimensions.

Pro tip 1: Create a segment to view all reports based on specified criteria. To do so, click the down arrow next to All Visits at the top of any report and then + Create New Segment. To segment out email traffic go to Traffic Sources and set Medium to exactly match "email".

Pro tip 2: Add your own campaign tracking to other inbound marketing links. To do so, simply add the required query string parameters to the end of a URL like this:[source]&utm_medium=[medium]&utm_campaign=[campaign]. Check out the Google URL Builder for easy campaign construction and additional information.

How to use Google Analytics with the GA4 property

What is it?

GA4 is Google’s new property or identifier for measurement metrics. The new property has new optimizations within the platform such as:

  • Using events instead of session-based data

  • Inclusion of privacy controls like cookieless measurement

  • Addition of the ability for behavioral and conversion modeling as well as offering guidance without complex models

  • Allows the direct integration for various media platforms to help drive actions of your website

When is GA4 replacing the old UA property?

Following July 1, 2023, all existing Universal Analytics data using the UA property will no longer be accepted. You will still be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period following July 1, 2023, but new data will only be allowed using the new GA4 property.

How do I use or upgrade to the GA4 property?

To be able to use the GA4 property, there are paths for setting up a GA4 property for either new data collection or if your site already uses the Universal Analytics property.

If you are setting up data collection for the first time, visit this link to help you get started.

If you are wanting to add a GA4 property to your existing site, visit this site to further assist you.

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