For Webmasters: Implementing Google Analytics at EPA


Meeting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Requirement

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Digital Strategy Milestone 8.2 requires federal agencies to gather traffic metrics on all their public websites and report them to OMB.  The General Services Administration (GSA) offers their custom Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) as a means for agencies to meet this requirement.  However, the current version of the GSA code does not include cross-domain tracking.  Instead, it treats all domains and subdomains as separate websites, and therefore cannot be used to collect accurate Visit-based metrics for federal websites that have multiple subdomains or alternate domains.  EPA has completed its own custom implementation of Google Analytics that includes cross-domain tracking, and a copy of the metrics EPA collects is sent to GSA as a way of meeting OMB requirements while maintaining the integrity of EPA’s Web traffic metrics.

The OMB requirements are also codified in EPA's Procedure: Maintaining the Agency Web Analytics Code on All Public HTML Pages.

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How is EPA Implementing Google Analytics?

The Google Analytics (GA) script is automatically added to Drupal WebCMS content. 

Content on Buckeye (www) and applications is tagged in one of three ways:

  1. The core JS file that is part of Template 4: http://www.epa.gov/epafiles/js/epa-core-v4.js
  2. The core JS file that is part of Template 3: http://www.epa.gov/epafiles/js/epa-core.js
  3. Google Tag Manager (GTM) for pages in custom templates.  Owners of custom template pages should ensure their pages include the GTM script.  If you need to add the GTM script needs to your content, please contact Bronson.Samuel@epa.gov

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What if My Pages are not Tagged with the Agency GA Code?

OMB and EPA require that the Agency collect traffic metrics for all its public .gov websites.  To meet this requirement, please ensure that all public Web pages, including Web applications, in your office include the agency GA script.  This requirement can only be met by adding the agency GA script to all pages, and express permission is required in order to create additional GA accounts beyond the agency account (see below).  If any of your office’s Web pages are not sending metrics to the agency GA account (UA-32633028-1), please contact Bronson.Samuel@epa.gov

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Separate Google Analytics Accounts -- Permission is Required

EPA employees can access all of EPA’s Web traffic metrics via the agency GA account.  EPA’s implementation of GA is intended to serve all organizations, so there will not be the need for separate GA accounts.  The agency account includes cross-domain tracking, as well tracking for file download links, email links, and external links. 

If you find that the agency GA account does not meet your needs, please send a request to create a separate GA account to Bronson.Samuel@epa.govNote: even if you get permission to create a separate account, you may not remove the agency GA code, as it is required for all EPA public websites.

In some cases, having multiple GA accounts on the same website will not cause any issues.  However, certain customizations, including Event Tracking and Custom Variables, will be pulled into all active GA accounts that are tagged on a given page, creating unnecessary complications.  To avoid such complications, all separate GA accounts must be approved by EPA’s Web Analytics Program.

What if I was Already Using a Separate Google Analytics Account?

If you have already established your own Google Analytics (GA) account, you still need permission to maintain that account.  Please contact Bronson.Samuel@epa.gov.  

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