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[UA] Setting up Google Analytics tracking in Publitas

Available_in Bronze Silver Gold ENT

⚠️ Universal Analytics no longer processes data for standard GA accounts.
For GA360 accounts, data will stop processing on July 1, 2024.
Make sure you connect your publications to GA4 to avoid losing data.


Track an array of activity statistics using the Universal Analytics integration in Publitas.
For example, you can track Sessions, Page views, Unique visitors, and Hotspot clicks.

Publitas records pageviews and events to Google Analytics to help track and analyze your online publications. To avoid polluting existing reports we recommend creating a new property in Google Analytics for collecting data about your online publications. If you wish to track your website(s) and online publications in the same property, check out this article about cross-domain tracking.

In this article you'll learn how to:

Create a new property in Google Analytics

  1. Log in or sign up for Google Analytics
  2. From the Admin screen, create a new " Property"
    • ENT TIP: If you're on the Enterprise plan, you can connect the same property, created in Step 2, to different groups in your Publitas account. This can help you quickly track all publications from a single brand and report on the performance. Using custom dimensions, you can quickly filter out specific groups. Continue reading to learn more about configuring these custom dimensions.
  3. Chose and submit a name for your property
  4. Select your timezone and currency
  5. Click to Show Advanced Options and select Create a Universal Analytics property
  6. Type in view.publitas.com for the Website URL
  7. ⚠️ To prepare your account to track your publication in GA4 soon, make sure the option Create both a Google Analytics 4 and a Universal Analytics property is selected before clicking on Next
  8. Submit your business details and click on Create
  9. Copy the number you'll find beneath Tracking ID in the resulting screen (it should be formatted like so: UA-XXXXXX-YY)

Connect Google Analytics to Publitas

  1. Access your Publitas account, click on the three dots on the top left, next to the group name, and select Group Settings
  2. Go to the Google Analytics tab, click on Add Tracking ID, and paste the number you copied in Step 7
  3. Save the changes to complete the setup

Configure Custom Dimensions for better reporting

To help create useful reports and dashboards the pageview configuration also sends over the publication name, page number, product name, and group name to Google Analytics as custom dimensions. These can be used to, for example, filter the data for a specific publication or list the page numbers in your reports.

Enabling custom dimensions in the Google Analytics menu:

  1. In Publitas, make sure the option is enabled (see image above)
  2. In Google Analytics, go to the Admin section at the bottom left
  3. Select the correct Google Analytics property (middle column)
  4. Choose the option Custom Definitions > Custom Dimensions
  5. Add the following Custom Dimensions in order: 
  • Publitas - Publication (Scope: Hit)
  • Publitas - Page (Scope: Hit)
  • Publitas - Link (Scope: Hit)
  • Publitas - Product (Scope: Hit) Gold ENT
  • Publitas - Group (Scope: Session) ENT

You can ignore the code snippets provided by Google Analytics in step 4, these are covered by Publitas.

Configure Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics:


Select privacy settings

Use the following settings to adjust when and how data will be collected. These settings can help stay within the GDPR, CCPA, or other privacy regulations. 

Privacy settings in the Google Analytics menu:

Anonymizing the data

When enabled, Google Analytics anonymizes the address as soon as possible (read more). 

No personal data will be stored or available in the records when tracking is anonymized. In the reports, you will notice that Google Analytics consistently reports that 99% of the traffic comes from new users and the number of users is very similar to the number of sessions. This is because Google Analytics is not able to identify unique users. Regardless, sufficient data exists to understand how publications perform (e.g. Sessions, Session Duration, Bounce rate, Pageviews, Product views, Clickthrough, etc.).

Asking for consent

By asking visitors if they consent to third-party cookies the Publication Reader will only start tracking the user once consent has been provided. This also means that no data will be stored if consent isn't provided. To optimize the consent request you can change the banner text, displayed when a publication is opened.

Asking visitors if they consent to third-party cookies:

Gain even more control over how data is tracked ENT.png

When you're on the Enterprise plan, you can connect Google Analytics to Publitas through Google Tag Manager, which allows you to gain full control over what is tracked and when.

Click here to read more about using Google Tag Manager to configure Google Analytics.

The impact of browser settings

Most browsers are very strict regarding allowing third-party cookies by default. When you're embedding online publications, the tracking cookie is classified as a third-party cookie. We optimized the Google Analytics integration to ensure that the cookie is not blocked by default when Chromium browsers are used, notably Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

If an end-user chooses a very secure browser like Brave, or proactively changes the preferences of their browser to actively block cookies, no tracking will occur for that specific user whether or not the publication is embedded.

Start reporting

Once the setup is completed, your publications will be tracked by Google Analytics. It can take up to 24 hours before the results are available in Google Analytics's standard reports. However, you can use the Realtime > Overview report to check whether the connection works. To do so, preview one of the publications found in the connected group and see if your session pops up in the report.

Use the real-time report to test the connection:

Once you have collected sufficient data, check out Using Google Analytics to find out how your publications are performing. Learn more about using Google Analytics to track your publications and gain valuable insights.