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Setting up Google Analytics (gtag) for Gatsby Website

Gatsby, Google Analytics2 min read

So I've just set up my website and hopefully will start blogging. During the process I encountered some difficulties and trying to set up Google Analytics was one of them. So I thought why not write the first post for this.

When setting up a blog we normally want to have some simple analytics tool integrated to see who is visiting the website. Google Analytics is the go to service, and most of the Gatsby starters come with the GA plugin.

The problem is Google seems to have changed the terminology and how things work since the GA4 update in October 2020, according to this article. You just cant find the tracking id as in the plugin docs or in any other tutorial. We use the new measurement id instead.


First instead of the gatsby-plugin-google-analytics we will be installing gatsby-plugin-google-gtag. Install it by

1npm install gatsby-plugin-google-gtag

Then we need the measurement id in our dashboard. Go to Admin menu in the Analytics Console and create your website as a property if you haven't done already. If you already created it you need to go to Data Streams:

Image showing where to click in the Analytics dashboard

There you will see the Measurement ID. We just need that.

Image showing where to find the Measurement ID

Then go to your gatsby-config.js and add the plugin config as follows:

2 resolve: `gatsby-plugin-google-gtag`,
3 options: {
4 trackingIds: [
5 process.env.GOOGLE_MEASUREMENT_ID, // Google Analytics / GA
6 ],
7 },

We use an environment variable since we don't want to publihs our ID when we push the code to the repo. To do that we additionally need the dotenv library. Install it with

1npm install dotenv

if you don't have it in your project and add the following line to the top of your gatsby-config.js.

2 path: `.env`,

And to add the key, create a file name .env at the root of your project directory and add the Measurement ID in following line:


See it in action

To check if it's working you need to build the project. It won't work when you gatsby develop. Instead execute

1gastby build && gatsby serve

Go to localhost:9000 and click the Realtime in the Google Analytics console menu on the left. When you refresh below you should see yourself in the statistics.

Alternatively you can connect with another device (e.g. mobile) if you serve the website in your local network. Instead of the command above, execute

1gatsby serve --host

This will accept connections from all network interfaces including Wireless LAN. You need to be connected to the same network in your phone as your computer. Now head to localhost:9000 in your phone. You should see 2 devices online.


And there you go! You've successfully integrated Google Analytics to your Gatsby site.