Google Analytics Accounts Explained

If you manage more than a few sites – and specifically if you manage sites for others – and you’re using Google Analytics, you’re bound to run into this issue sooner or later. Unfortunately if you’ve setup your accounts the wrong way, Google won’t have a shoulder for you to cry on if you need to move some properties around.

“Google” Accounts vs “Analytics” Accounts

[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]”Analytics” Accounts are not “Google” Accounts. Think of them as baskets or buckets, that hold “Properties” or websites.[/quote]

The first concept to get a big firm grasp on is how your “Google” Account is related to your “Analytics” Accounts. Your “Google” Account is typically your email, that you use to sign into all of Google’s services, in my case –

In order to use Google Analytics, you must have a “Google” Account, which will be attributed with your one ore many “Analytics” Accounts.

You can have many “Analytics” Account Baskets tied to your account. For example, lets just say I have a few “Analytics” Accounts baskets with a few properties each in them.


  • (Property)
  • (Property)


“Trevor’s Websites” (Account)

  • (Property)
  • (Property)
  • (Property)


“City of Greenwood Sites” (Account)

  • (Property)
  • (Property)
  • (Property)


So now, my “Google” Account has three “Analytics” accounts in it, each of which have a few sites that belong to that “Analytics” Account.

Sharing “Analytics” Accounts

Let’s say I get an email from barney at the city of greenwood, and he asks to have access to the analytics account for his site. You’ve got two options:

  • Make Barney a “User” of a property
  • Make Barney an “Administrator” of the “Analytics” Account.


If you make Barney a “User” of a property – he can only see the data related to an individual property on the account and cannot share it with anyone.

If you make Barney an “Administrator” of the “City of Greenwood Sites” account – he can see not only the data for the Property, but the other two properties listed in that account. He cannot see the data for the other “Analytics” Account Buckets (JUMPLITTLEPIXEL or Trevor’s Websites). He can also remove me as an Administrator (something to keep in mind, but obviously if you trust him to Administer the account, you have to be able to trust him not to delete you)

Administrators have full access to all account profiles.

When adding an Administrator to an account, these ominous words are what scare off many Administrators from granting Administrator access. They think that this means by making someone an admin on “City of Greenwood” Account, that they will have acccess to the “Trevor’s Websites” and “JUMPLITTLEPIXEL” accounts. This is simply not true.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to be managing sites for others, its best to create an account for each person’s set of sites, that way you can easily grant them access, without granting them access to your other clients sites. If you can deal with the mess, it may even be safest to create an Account for each individual site you’re going to be managing, that way they can be easily shared on a site by site basis if need be.