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Giving Read-Only GA4 Access to Agencies: Benefits and How-To

January 25th, 2024 | 3 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

Hands at a keyboard screen sharing read-only access to GA4, represented in an overlay of data

Is my website engagement growing? Where’s my traffic coming from? What about bounce rates?

These are a few questions Google Analytics, aka GA4, can answer. You’re likely familiar with it if you’re a small-to-mid-sized business. But unless you have in-house experts or lots of experience, decoding it can be tough.

If you’re working with a marketing agency, though, they can help, thanks to “read-only” access. Here at Zoe Marketing & Communications — and our sister companies Chicago Parent and Metro Parent in metro Detroit — we manage GA4 data for a variety of clients.

“It allows us to get more insights for you,” says Zoe’s marketing analyst Carlos Figuera. “We can show you the value.” Plus, since it’s read-only, “We can’t mess anything up.” Let’s look at why exactly it’s worthwhile to grant GA4 access to your trusted agency partner — and how to do it:

You’ll better understand how GA4 collaboration with your agency works. And you can apply this knowledge to whichever agency you choose, whether Zoe or another.

Benefits of Sharing GA4 Read Only3 benefits of sharing read-only GA4 access

Why is sharing GA4 “read-only” access with your marketing agency important? It comes down to trust and transparency; collaborative efficiency; and expert analysis and strategy.

1. Trust and transparency

This level of access ensures your agency can monitor performance and analytics — without the ability to alter data or settings, preserving your data’s integrity. 

“With read-only, you can’t change conversions — that’s a big deal,” Figuera says. In other words: “If I create a campaign and set up a conversion that benefits traffic you’re getting from my efforts, I’m going to look ‘good.’” Fortunately, your agency can’t do that as a “viewer.”

2. Collaborative efficiency

Read-only lets your agency directly observe your website performance, traffic patterns and user behaviors. From there, they can make informed recommendations based on actual data. 

“Otherwise, on our end, we can only see views, clicks and time spent on page,” explains Figuera. Other essential pieces are only accessible with “viewer” access.

3. Expert analysis and strategy

Your agency has training and specialized expertise in interpreting GA4 data. When they can access it in full, they can fine-tune your strategies.

Insights GA4 Provides4 key insights it provides your agency 

What are your users doing? What are their demographics and interests? How often are they converting, and how? And how’s your website performing? These are all crucial insights.

“Viewer access gives access to all the activity that exists on your website,” says Figuera. He can create reports, for instance, to see how content, eblasts, programmatic ads and more are performing. All without disrupting your existing reports or settings.

In a nutshell, your agency can review (and improve):

  1. User behavior and engagement: Your agency can analyze page views, time spent on site and bounce rates. It learns what content resonates and fixes possible issues.
  2. Demographics and interests: Age, gender, location and interests are all accessible. Your agency uses this info to tailor your message to the most relevant audience.
  3. Conversion tracking and attribution: How are different tactics helping people convert? Your agency can evaluate channels and campaigns to spend money smarter.
  4. Website performance and SEO: An agency can access metrics like page load times and SEO rankings. This helps them maintain and improve your organic search visibility.

How to Share GA4 Read Only Access6 simple steps to granting read-only GA4 access

So, how do you do it? First, find out the email your trusted agency rep will be using. They may have a general account, such as [webteam] @ []. Next, follow these steps:

1. Access your GA4 property: Log into Google Analytics. Choose the correct “property” (i.e. account) at the top left. If you have one company, it’ll likely be the only option:

1 Select Property in GA4

2. Navigate to Admin settings: In the bottom left corner, click the "Admin" gear icon:

2 Go to Admin Settings Gear

3. Manage users: In the “Account” or “Property” column (depending on your setup), select “Account access management”:

3 Account Access Management

4. Add users: Click on “+” and then “Add users.” Enter the email address of your agency's marketing representative/team:

4 Add Users

5. Assign roles: Under “Standard roles,” check the round button by “Viewer.” This permits them to see data for reports and configurations but doesn’t allow them to change settings:

5 Add Roles and Data Restrictions

6. Finalize and notify: Ensure the “Notify new user by email” checkbox is selected. Finally, click the blue rectangular “Add” button at the top right to finish the process. It’s also good to notify your agency that they’ve been granted access.

Bonus: 3 best practices for read-only access

Your GA4 data is sensitive, so it’s important to check in on how it’s being used.

  1. Encourage your agency to view, analyze and create custom reports based on the existing data.
  2. Ensure your agency schedules regular check-ins to discuss insights on your data.
  3. Regularly review who has access to ensure it’s still relevant and secure.

Next steps for collaborating with a marketing agency in GA4

Untangling GA4 can feel unwieldy. If you have a marketing partner, granting them read-only access to your account can provide deeper insights while keeping your data secure.

Also, granting this “viewer” access takes only 6 simple steps.

Are you interested in collaborating with a marketing partner? Talk to us. Zoe Marketing & Communications has 15+ years of experience in digital marketing data. We can even manage your Google Analytics for you.

Digging deeper into analytics solo — or want a better understanding of what your agency is reviewing? Learn:

Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.