You can access Google Analytics with any email address, provided it is linked to a Google Account. That doesn’t need to be a Gmail account. You, or your clients, can also use a Google professional email. Or another one. Let’s untangle this chaos so you can (finally) unlock the power of web analytics.
- To access Google Analytics, you need a Google Account.
- A Google Account is not the same as a Gmail Account.
- Not a fan of handing over your emails to Google? You can also use any other email address.
- Even with a Google Workspace email, you may not be able to access Google Analytics.
- If the customers of your agency are not tech savvy, Gmail is still a valid option to access GA.
What is a Google account, anyway?
With a Google account you have access to certain Google products, such as Gmail, Google Analytics or Looker Studio. Some products are for consumers. Others are for businesses and developers.
And then there is an overlap of what people and businesses need.
Confusing? Heck yes! Have, for instance, a look at the ever growing (and shrinking) list of Google products.
In the top row, you can see 3 products that don’t need an introduction: Chrome, YouTube and Gmail.
The second one, Google Account, is at the center of Google’s core business (making money with ads).
Yet, many people do not even know what it is for. Or that they have created it once.
The moment you are signed out of your Google Account and you visit one of the popular public Google products, you smash against a cookie wall.
Here you have an option to sign back in.
This summarizes the purpose of a Google Account, for users at least:
- No more cookie acceptance.
- A history of everything you have been watching and searching for.
- As a bonus, an algorithm that gives you suggestions tailored to your preferences.
- There is also a section to control your privacy and security.
The advantage of Google Accounts for Google is slightly different:
- More data about users, including searches and all other activities on Google products, as well as on apps and sites that have GA installed.
That includes your site, app or web shop.
Without Google Accounts, there would be fewer data available for your business.
From this perspective, it makes sense that you have to enter the game as a player yourself, before you can access Google Analytics.
Give and take. You know the drill.
Still, I want to give you a heads up of what to expect.
Option 1: Use your own email address to access GA
To access Google Analytics on desktop without Gmail, you need to use another valid email address that is registered as your Google Account.
If that is not the case yet, follow these steps.
Step 1: Visit the Google Analytics site
You can do this here.
Step 2: Click on Create account
You can find the link between the login credentials.
Step 3: Choose Work / business
Google Analytics is a business product.
From the 3 options that show up, choose the For work or my business, even if you are running a personal site or business.
Step 4: Fill in your information
You need to provide your first name, last name, and an email address.
Pay attention at this stage:
- Since you already have an email address, don’t click on the blue link to create a new Gmail instead.
- Double check the email address you enter belongs to you and is the one you plan using for Google Analytics.
Step 5: Choose a password
Enter a new password and confirm it.
- Do NOT enter the password of the email address you entered.
Step 7: Open your mailbox
Open your mailbox. Look for an email from Google and copy the verification code.
Step 8: Paste the confirmation code
Paste the verification code in the field and click Next.
Step 9: Enter your phone number
Enter your phone number and click Verify.
This adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account. And thus later to Google Analytics.
If you don’t like this idea don’t worry. On the next screen, you can remove it.
You will receive a text message with a code.
Type it in the proper field and click Verify.
Step 10: Enter your age and gender
Now you need to fill in your birthday.
For Gender, you can choose between:
- Rather not say
If you want to, you can remove your phone number.
Step 11: Optional: verify your phone number
You can skip this step and verify your phone number again. Or do it right away.
Step 12: Accept the terms and conditions
You can opt out of being tracked for certain services.
All set? Click I agree at the bottom of the page.
You thought you were finished?
Here is a surprise:
Remember that Google Analytics is a business product.
You can skip setting up your business account for now, but you will need to go to the steps to set up Google Analytics anyway.
After all that is done, you can access Google Analytics without a Gmail account.
That may seem like a lot of steps, but if you are using a Gmail account, you have done this at one point too.
But honestly, isn’t there an easier way?
Well, sort of if your business is using a professional Google email address.
Option 2: Access GA with a Google Workspace account
If your business uses Google Workspace, you can use a custom domain name for your mails.
But even if your organization is doing this, it is possible that, of all people, you don’t have access to Google Analytics.
There are two possible causes.
You don’t have GA app rights
The administrator of a Google Workspace account can control which users have access to Google Analytics with their work mail.
This is a good thing for mainly enterprises and big organizations.
Business data is the sacred and secret sauce for growth
The best you can do is to check this with your manager or IT department.
But before you do, check the following paragraph first.
Would it not have been more logical if I had listed that item first then?
Let’s move on.
Even when access to Google Analytics service is switched on for everyone, it is still possible you cannot access a Google Analytics property.
You don’t have GA user rights
The administrator of a Google Analytics account can also control who has access.
That can explain why you may be excluded from the data party.
Again, check with your team if you cannot get in.
This may also indicate that it’s a good moment to perform a GA4 audit with a checklist. This way you are sure that there are no other issues besides missing users.
Note for agencies: What if your customers use a Gmail account and want to access GA?
If you create websites, do marketing of any sort for a small (B2C) business, many of your customers will be using a Gmail address as their professional email.
Although I have no statistical proof, I have a hinge on why that is the case:
- A Gmail account is free (up to a certain amount of GB stored).
- You can create, or access a Google Analytics account with Gmail.
- These customers are usually less tech savvy.
- Their customers also use a gmail account.
- They created the Gmail account years ago and it is on all their promotion material.
Although they have other worries than, e.g., organic search traffic, or custom events, some small businesses show a broad interest in the performance of their website.
As a designer, or agency, it is a smart move to guide them through the process of setting up Google Analytics.
Our GA4 toolbox can help you save tons of times with that.
For all sorts of regulatory reasons, it is highly recommended that they set up the Google Analytics account themselves and share it with you, instead of the other way around.
Google Analytics is confusing, especially if you are new to the tool. But keep this in mind: at one point, even experts had to figure out how to access Google Analytics with or without Gmail.