About the Google Platform

Analytics Data & Reporting

Google Analytics

analytics.google.com

Google Analytics (GA) is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It provides users with the ability to get advanced metrics on users and usage of web pages. Traffic data from all web pages in the UBCMS are visible in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Account: UBWeb 1

Property: Master Property

View: 25 views named for schools and major divisions

Paid Search & Advertising

Google Ads (formerly AdWords)

ads.google.com

Google Ads is an online advertising platform where advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, and to elevate their appearance in Google’s search results. 

UB schools and departments create their own Ads accounts, which can be linked to our Master Property in Google Analytics. Linking your Google Ads account will allow you to see conversion data from your paid search and paid ads in Google Ads.

Custom Tracking

Google Tag Manager (GTM)

tagmanager.google.com

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tag management tool and tracking code injector that consolidates the many tracking instructions we have in place into code packets. Because we have added our GTM code to all pages in the UBCMS, all users of the analytics platform are able to see specific user behaviors and actions (events) directly in Google Analytics. 

UB uses a university-wide Google Tag Manager (GTM) container to create, test and manage all tracking code for all buffalo.edu sites. A set of standard tags and triggers have already been set up and are actively firing. 

Users from UB schools and departments who are familiar with GTM may have access to this container where you can create your own tags or make copies of the available templates you’ll find there. For more information, please contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu

Using UB’s GTM Container

Direct Link to UB’s GTM Container (only visible if you have access)

Access & Permissions: GTM access is limited to those with technical knowledge of setting up code tracking. Because changes to this enterprise-wide GTM container may cause significant damage to everyone’s tracking, not to mention system-wide slowdowns, advanced permissions (Edit, Approve) are granted on a limited basis. If you have access to our GTM container (buffalo.edu), you will see it when you log in to Google Tag Manager. To request access, please submit the Request Access to Universal Analytics form or submit a request to dcthelp@buffalo.edu.

  • READ access is our default access level. 
  • EDIT access may be granted to UB users with experience using GTM.  
  • APPROVE access is available to UB’s advertising agency of record and users with demonstrable proficiency in using GTM.
  • PUBLISH access is not available to UB units.

Publishing of all tags and triggers will be done by University Communications (UC) after review of the tag/trigger scope. This is to ensure settings are restricted to your sites, and to avoid any system-wide slowdowns. 

Templates for Tags, Triggers and Variables:  UB’s master GTM container contains many templates for tags, triggers and variables. Feel free to copy them and change the settings for your particular purpose. Be sure to store your active tags in your folder or else they may be deleted.

GTM Container is Shared University-wide:  In our GTM container, you will see a set of folders as well as many individual tracking tags, triggers and variables. Unless otherwise indicated, all of this tracking is active and is being used by other units.

IMPORTANT: do not make any changes to any existing tags, triggers or variables unless they are yours and are stored in your folder.

Creating New Tags:  It is unlikely that you will need to create new tags. Check the Template folder in our GTM container and you will undoubtedly find an existing set of tags, triggers and variables that are easily copied and configured for your needs. If you do create new tags, triggers or variables, please note the following requirements:

  • Make a copy of any tags, triggers and variables before you alter them.
  • Do not change any existing tags, triggers or variables belonging to any other unit than your own. 
  • Store all of your tags, triggers and variables in the folder for your unit. Tags, triggers or variables not stored in individual unit folders are likely to be removed.
  • Please restrict your triggers to relevant pages only (e.g. engineering.buffalo.edu). No “All Pages” tags are permitted.
  • Once you are done adding tags and triggers, please notify dcthelp@buffalo.edu and we will review and publish your tags.
  • Publishing of all tags and triggers will be done by University Communications (UC) after review of the tag/trigger scope. This is to ensure settings are restricted to your sites, and to avoid any system-wide slowdowns. 
  • If you need help setting up new tags, please contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu

Adding Tracking Code:  UB’s master GTM code has been added to all web pages in the UBCMS. For owners of those pages, there is no action required to add any analytics tracking code. No other tracking codes may be added to UBCMS pages. Web pages that are outside the UBCMS should add UB's master GTM tracking code in the appropriate place. Please contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu for instructions on where to add this code and for access to our analytics platform.

Facebook Pixel Tracking:  UB uses a single Facebook Pixel tracking code. If you would like access, please contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu. 

Visually Stunning Reports

Google Data Studio (GDS)

datastudio.google.com

Google Data Studio (GDS) is a separate analytics reporting tool available for free from Google. GDS links directly to your Google Analytics data and creates far more robust and visually appealing reports than Google Analytics. While GDS seems intimidating, it doesn't take long to master the basics. Once you learn it, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

University Communications has several Google Data Studio templates available upon request. To get started:

1. Set up an account at datastudio.google.com

2. Take GDS training

Here's a quick walkthrough of GDS. You'll find more training in the Analytics Training section.

3. Use GDS report templates

For copies of GDS templates, please submit a request to dcthelp@buffalo.edu.

Search Engine Optimization

Google Search Console

search.google.com/search-console/

Google Search Console tools and reports help monitor your website performance, optimize our rankings in Google search, and understand how our users see us on Google search platforms. It also serves as an effective alert system for technical issues that may negatively impact our appearance in searches. 

UB University Communications recommends that all site owners review their Google Search performance periodically, understand the search terms used to find us, and rectify any issues that may be affecting appearance in user searches. Most importantly, be sure you use common search terms widely in your web content.

All sites in the UBCMS have been added to UB’s Search Console account, and search term data from Search Console is available to all users of our Google Analytics master property (Acquisition>Search Console). UB site owners who are seeking more detailed search data may request access to your site’s search console data by submitting a request to dcthelp@buffalo.edu.

Learn more about Google Search Console.

Google Search Console screenshot.

Google Search Console