Collecting accurate data from Google Analytics starts with the implementation of the correct tracking tags on your site. This guide will walk you through the required steps to identify which version of the GA tags your site is using, and whether you are deploying the tags via Google Tag Manager.

This article is to compliment a series of articles around the topic of improving the accuracy and quality of data in Google Analytics. Future instalments will be linked from this Blog post so please revisit.

How to Identify Which Version of Google Analytics has been Installed?

1. From the home page of your website you need to review the request which is being made, this can be done by opening the “Inspect Element” window with one of the following methods.

Inspect Element Keys for windows and Mac

2. Click “Network” to view the list of request made from the web page

Click network in inspect element window

3. Refresh the web page to refresh the content in the “Inspect Element” window

Page level activity

4. In the filter window type “Google” to filter out non-Google entries

Filter on Google activity

5. Look out for the following lines in the main “Inspect Element” window

  • gtm.js?…….. – This indicates that Google tag manager is being used to deploy tracking code
  • analytics.js – This is the latest JavaScript library being used by Google Analytics
  • collect=v1? – This is the tracking code which is used to send data back to Google for processing
  • If you see references to either ga.js or urchin.js your website is using an out of date version of GA and you should update the tracking code as soon as possible

Tracking code requests

The ideal deployment will involve the latest analytics.js library and will be deployed via Google Tag Manager. If any of the 3 references from the previous step are missing, then you are not able to take full advantage of the latest features from Google Analytics.

This is the first in a series of guides to improve the accuracy of your data. If you are interested in learning more please follow us on LinkedIn and you will be notified when the next post is ready.