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Google Analytics with react-router v4

nodefiend profile image chowderhead ・2 min read

image by: https://unsplash.com/@davidclode

The Problem :

Google analytics requires a Page URL to track analytics inside of the GA dashboard. Single Page applications only have mock transitions and are not actually changing there URL like classic webpages.

The Solution:

Using React-router , we have access to the powerful History API that uses the browser to manipulate the URL to look and function like an authentic page change.

Sources:

How to make Google Analytics work in a Single Page Application (SPA)

index.html

in the header of the index.html page, load the script to load google analytics


<script>  
    (function (i, s, o, g, r, a, m) {
        i['GoogleAnalyticsObject'] = r; i[r] = i[r] || function () {
            (i[r].q = i[r].q || []).push(arguments)
        }, i[r].l = 1 * new Date(); a = s.createElement(o),
        m = s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0]; a.async = 1; a.src = g; m.parentNode.insertBefore(a, m)
    })(window, document, 'script', '//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js', 'ga');
</script>  

app.js

Inside app.js on componentDidMount() create an instance of GA script and attach it to the window so we have access to it at all times.


componentDidMount(){

    window.ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXX-X', 'auto');

}

app.js

create a method that takes in a url and sets the page view , then sends the view to google analytics:


setPageAndSendToGA = url => {
    window.ga('set', 'page', url);
    window.ga('send', 'pageview');
  };

Next, Create a method that takes in the location provided by this.props.location.

Build a conditional that fires our setPageAndSendToGA() whenever a specific URI path is passed in.

...



  trackGoogleAnalytics = location => {
    if (window.ga) {
      if (location.pathname == '/sign-up') {
        let url = location.pathname;
        this.setPageAndSendToGA(url);
      }

      if (location.search.length == 10) {

        // here we are using search Params, so we concat it to the url string

        let url = location.pathname + location.search;
        this.setPageAndSendToGA(url);
      }
    }
  };

...

app.js

Then in the render() we call the function, and it will fire every time the page location changes


render(){

 this.trackGoogleAnalytics(this.props.location);

}


Checkout the article listed above in the sources, for a more detailed explanation, this is just my adapted implementation I used for our app.

TROLL ME:

  • there is probably a better time to run this function , instead of the render. for our use case, this render is in the top most component in app.js

  • there might be a better way to listen for page changes in browserRouter object , instead of using the props.location

  • please feel free to critique me below in the comments so i can learn to! or make adjustments to the article.

Discussion (5)

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ewingd profile image
David Ewing

How does implementing Google Analytics this way impact your application if Google's script fails to load?

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nodefiend profile image
chowderhead Author

Nice observation !

I actually didn’t even plan for google to fail at anything hahahahaha

But , luckily this method will be unphased by google analytics failing because what it’s doing is checking to see if the ga function is loaded in the first place .

If you look at trackgoogleanalytics() you can see that the first conditional checks if the method is attached to the window object , if not then none of the code runs

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