Using Google Analytics with your ArcGIS StoryMaps and Configurable Web Apps

Do you want to measure how well your ArcGIS StoryMaps or Web Apps are performing? Who’s using them, where they’re from or how long they’re viewing them for?

We can now use Google Analytics to track our Configurable Web Apps and ArcGIS StoryMaps.

To set up the analytics for your apps, you will need the following:

  • A Google Analytics account
  • An ArcGIS Online Organisation
    • In ArcGIS Online, you will need to enable the sending of anonymous usage data as part of the Esri User Experience Improvement Program
      • This can be done by signing in to ArcGIS Online with an Administrator account and then navigating to Organization > Settings > General then scroll down to the Esri User Experience Improvement Program and enable Send anonymous usage data.
  • A Configurable Web App or ArcGIS StoryMap
    • This can only be done in ArcGIS StoryMaps or in the following Configurable Web Apps:
      • 3D Viewer, Attachment Viewer, Interactive Legend, Media Map, Minimalist, Nearby, and Zone Lookup.

To get started, we will need to create a Property in our Analytics account. A property represents your website or app, and is the collection point in Analytics for the data from your site or app.

  1. Start by signing in to the Google Analytics site and navigating to Admin > Create Property.
  2. In the Create Property settings, click Show Advanced Options and enable the Create a Universal Analytics property option. You can then enter the URL for your ArcGIS StoryMap or Configurable Web App.
    • When entering the StoryMap or Web App URL, make sure to remove the https:// from the Website URL.
  3. Finally, check the option to Create a Universal Analytics property only and finish creating the property by clicking Next then Create.
  4. Once the property has been created, from the Admin settings, make sure your property is selected then navigate to Tracking Info > Tracking Code and then copy the Tracking ID. It should look similar to UA-183867829-1.
  5. Once you have your tracking code you can go to your StoryMap or Web App then enter your UA code.
    • For ArcGIS StoryMaps, go to Story Settings then enter your UA code.
    • For a Configurable Web App, Enable the Web Analytics option in the app configuration. Optionally, enable a consent message that appears at the bottom of the app that informs viewers about app tracking.

You’ll know it’s worked when you see the information for the story map such as the URL show up in your Google Analytics account. Not seeing any metrics yet? Don’t worry, over the next few days check back in as metrics accrue, and make sure you have the tracking date range set to overlap with when you added it to your story.

Some additional (cautionary) notes about Google Analytics. Google Analytics has an endless number of metrics within the tool. The metrics you choose to pay attention to depends on the goals of your ArcGIS StoryMap or Web App.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started using Google Analytics:

  1. It’s not always about the number of page views but who is viewing your story. Reaching your core audience is often more important than having a high number of views.
  2. Give your content a month or two of tracking before you try to glean actionable insights from it. This accounts for anomalies in viewership or random occurrences (like checking on your story map when you first publish it).

For more information about measuring your Web App or StoryMap’s information please see the following blog post – Measure the traffic your story maps receive with Google Analytics

If you’re new to Google Analytics I recommend you spend a moment digging deeper into these resources:

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