Is your Google Analytics not working? Or does it seem like it’s not showing data correctly?
Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool that you can use to help understand your website visitors in a really amazing, deep way. You can find out what pages they’re looking at, how much time they’re spending on your site, what they’re clicking on, and much more.
It can be really frustrating if Google Analytics isn’t working.
In this article, we’ll show you some common errors that might cause Google Analytics 4 to not work properly. We’ll also show you how to fix these errors.
Troubleshoot Google Analytics 4 Tag Issues
The Google Analytics tag or tracking code is how Analytics collects and sends data for reporting. Once you’ve set up the tag on your website, you should start seeing your visitor’s data in about 24 hours.
But what if you don’t see any data? If that’s the case, then you might be facing any of the following issues.
1. Where Should You Enter the Google Analytics Tracking Code?
One of the most common mistakes new users make is when adding the Google Analytics tracking code. Not knowing where to place the code can lead to many errors, and entering it in the wrong place will lead to Google Analytics not work properly.
Other issues users sometimes have is placing the code more than once on their website or forgetting to add the code at all.
So, if you’re setting up Google Analytics without a WordPress plugin, then make sure you paste the tracking code before the closing </head> tag.
However, keep in mind that there are a few problems with adding your Google Analytics tracking code this way. If you update your theme, your header file will be replaced by a new one, taking your code with it.
And if you’re not familiar with coding, you can cause problems by editing your site’s files.
Overall, it’s better to use a WordPress plugin that does the job of adding the code for you. That way, you don’t have to mess with any site files, and your code is sure to work through any theme updates.
With MonsterInsights, the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, simply connect your site with Google Analytics and never worry about manually placing tracking codes on your site again.
Grab a license to get tons of extra tracking features like form tracking, eCommerce tracking, author tracking, a Search Console queries report, and much more. Or, get started with our basic version for free.
To get set up, check out our guide on how to properly set up Google Analytics in WordPress.
2. Did You Select the Right Tag or Property?
If you have multiple websites or have access to different Analytics accounts, it’s not too difficult to accidentally grab the tracking tag from the wrong one. Since the tag and property do not match, you’ll get errors in data reporting.
To fix the issue, make sure you use the right tag for your property. You can find the tag by first navigating to the correct account and property:
Then, go to the Admin cog:
Next, in the middle column, choose Data Streams and click into the correct one for your site:
On the next screen, scroll down to View tag instructions:
Finally, toggle to the Install Manually tab to find your tracking code:
3. Are There Extra Whitespaces or Characters in the Tag?
When you’re copying the Google Analytics tag, it’s important that there are no extra spaces between the code or additional characters. Any changes in the format or contents of the code can lead to an error in tracking.
So, when you’re pasting your code into your header, make sure you’re not accidentally hitting a key or modifying it in any way before saving.
This is where MonsterInsights can also help WordPress users out. Using its simple step-by-step wizard, you can configure Google Analytics without having to worry about accidentally changing the code.
4. Is There an Error in Your Custom JS Code?
If you’re customizing the Google Analytics code, then it’s important to note that function names are case sensitive and Boolean values (like true or false) shouldn’t be placed in quotes.
Google Analytics will not work properly if you don’t meet these two requirements.
5. Do You Have Other Scripts on Your Page?
Another reason why your Google Analytics is not working is that it might be conflicting with another script on your webpage (even another instance of a Google Analytics tracking code).
If you have other scripts running on your website, make sure they don’t use the same variables as Google Analytics. You can check out the developer documents for gtag.js instructions to be sure.
6. Has Your Website Gotten Non-Internal Traffic?
After 24 hours of setting up Google Analytics, you should start seeing your data showing up. However, keep in mind that you do have to actually get traffic to your site to see data.
If you’re a MonsterInsights user, the plugin automatically filters out internal traffic (you visiting your own website) from Google Analytics. So, you’ll need to get traffic from users who aren’t signed into your site for data to show up in Analytics.
7. Are ALL Your Pages Properly Tagged?
If you manually inserted the Google Analytics tracking code into your header file, are you sure that header file is used on ALL pages on your website?
The tracking code won’t load on a page that it’s not on, causing that page to not get tracked.
Troubleshoot Event Setup in Google Analytics
Now that you know some basic issues regarding the tracking code and how to fix them, you should also look at errors when setting up event tracking in Google Analytics.
If your events are not correctly configured, you won’t see any conversions in your reports and have issues with Google Analytics not showing data. There are different reasons why this may be happening. So, what are these issues and how can you fix them? Let’s find out.
8. Are Events Marked As Conversions?
In order for conversions to happen, you need to pick and choose events that you want to be marked as conversions. If you miss that step, you won’t be able to see conversions in your Google Analytics reports.
To check that you’ve completed this step, head to the Admin cog in your Google Analytics account, then click on Events in the property column:
On the next screen, you’ll be able to mark any of your events as conversion. Then, whenever that event is recorded, it will also count as a conversion.
9. (MonsterInsights Users) Is Enhanced Measurement Turned OFF?
If you use MonsterInsights, the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, you need to make sure that the built-in enhanced measurement is turned OFF. MonsterInsights tracks those events for you, so having it switched on in your Google Analytics settings creates issues with double tracking.
To make sure enhanced measurement is turned off, head into your Admin area in Google Analytics, then click on Data streams and open the correct stream:
Now, you’ll be able to toggle Enhanced measurement to OFF.
Troubleshoot eCommerce Reporting
Do you have an eCommerce website, and you’re wondering why Google Analytics 4 is not showing data for your eCommerce purchases?
Google Analytics does not track eCommerce events by default. If you want it to track things like items added to cart, abandoned carts, and purchases, you’ll have to set up eCommerce tracking.
10. How to Set up eCommerce Tracking
eCommerce tracking can be a little complicated to set up, especially if you’re not familiar with Google Tag Manager and don’t ever work with code.
If you’re a WordPress user, you’re in luck! MonsterInsights can set up eCommerce tracking for you with the click of a button. To find out how, check out How to Set Up Google Analytics eCommerce Tracking on WordPress.
Other Common GA4 Not Showing Data Issues
11. Data Retention is Too Short
You could miss out on creating really valuable custom reports if you don’t have your data retention set correctly. With Google Analytics 4, you only have two data retention options, and the default one is only 2 months.
If your data retention is set to 2 months and you try to create a custom exploration report, you can only use data from the past 2 months.
So, you’ll want to change your data retention setting to 14 months. To do that, go to Admin » Data Settings » Data Retention, choose 14 months, and click Save.
12. Google Analytics Not Showing Realtime Data
If your Google Analytics 4 is showing activity on other reports but isn’t showing realtime data, there are a couple things you can consider.
First, make sure you’re in the correct property and there’s data in the other reports.
Then, are you trying to see your own visits to your site? Make sure you don’t have an internal traffic filter in place that would be filtering out your visits. Remember, if you’re using MonsterInsights, the plugin will be filtering out visits from your website’s admin team for you.
Another thing to look into is if you’re using an ad blocker or other browser extension that could be blocking the Google Analytics tracking script from running.
13. Can’t Find Enhanced Measurement Data?
When you set up Google Analytics 4, you probably noticed an Enhanced Measurement option where you could turn on some automatic tracking, like scroll tracking, outbound clicks, form interactions, and more:
While it’s helpful that GA4 can track some of these, there’s no report for them in GA4. To locate the data, you’ll actually have to create a custom report. Also, make sure to read to understand what exactly is tracked. The only videos tracked are YouTube videos, for instance, and scroll tracking only tracks when someone scrolls all the way to the bottom of your pages.
If you’re a WordPress user, the MonsterInsights plugin can not only track most of these data points (and many more), but it also gives you reports on them right inside your WordPress dashboard. You’ll find your forms report:
And an outbound links report:
A media (video) report:
And much more.
To simplify Google Analytics 4, install MonsterInsights today!
And that’s it!
We hope you found a solution to your problem with Google Analytics. We think you might also want to check out 9 Google Analytics 4 SEO Hacks to Increase Search Traffic.