How to Connect to Google APIs

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This post is part of the Guide on Python for SEO and the guide on the Google Search Console API

You want to be able to use Google Analytics API or Google Search Console API but you are struggling to use Google APIs?

Can’t find any good beginner documentation on the subject?

I understand exactly how you feel…

This is why I made this absolute beginner guide to help you connect to your Google Analytics API.

Let’s start, I will show you the easy steps to connect to the Google Analytics API (or any google API).

How to connect to the Analytics API

If this is your first time using an API, don’t worry, I will make it as easy as possible to help beginners understand how to use the Google Analytics API.

What is an API?

An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a way of communication between various software components. Basically, someone creates a software, and gives you access to parts of it via an API. In our situation, Google gives us access to some functionalities of Google Analytics via their API so you can use them from another platform.

Step 1: Create a Project in Google API

The first step to connect to the Google Analytics API is to create your project.

There are 3 simple steps to follow to do that.

1. Sign-in to Google’s developers console

2. Create a new project

Click Select a project > New Project

Here, I will call my project google-analytics-api

Step 2: Activate the Google Analytics Reporting API

Now we will search for the Google Analytics Reporting API and activate it.

1.Go to your Dashboard and click “Enable APIs and Services”

2. Search for “Google Analytics Reporting API”

3. Click on the API to create

4. Click on “Enable”

enable api

Step 3: Get Your API Keys


Congratulations, you have enabled your Google Analytics API. You will now learn how to download an API key and create your credentials within the developer console.

What is an API key? 

The API Key is the equivalent of your password when you log-in Google Analytics. A single API key gives you access to all of the Google API services. This is the equivalent of using the same Gmail address to log into Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

How Can I Get an API KEY?

Depending on the API and the application that you are using to call the API, you will have three different types of keys:

Choose 3A or 3B ( whichever you need for your project)

Step 3A: Get your API Keys (via client ID and client secret)

Now that we have enabled the Analytics API, you will get your API Key by creating your credentials. Basically, you want to create your client.id and your client.secret.

Remember, this is your “password”. you will need it to connect to the API will ask you for your client.id and client.secret.

1. Create credentials

Go in the “credential” tab on the left, click on “Credentials in APIs & Services”.

Create Credentials – Google Analytics

2. Select OAuth client ID

Click on the blue box “create credentials” and select “OAuth Client ID”.

auth client id
OAuth Client ID

3. Set product name on the consent screen

Now it is time to give a name to your project. This will help you know that you try to connect to the right API.

To do this, click on “configure consent screen”. Here I will call this Knime Credentials since it is part of a previous project on How to Make Google Analytics Queries from KNIME.

  1. Give the product a name
  2. The rest is optional, leave it blank if you want
  3. Click Save.
Give a name to your consent screen.

4. Select Your Application Type

Now we choose the application type that we will be using.

  1. Select “other” and name it.
  2. Click “Create”
Select Application Type

Splendid! There is your client.id and client.secret .

5. Save your client.id and client.secret

Splendid! you have generated your client.id and your client.secret. Keep it somewhere close, you’ll need it to make your first API call from KNIME or RStudio and import Google Analytics Data.

copy client id and client secret

Step 3B: Get your API Keys (via Service Account)

If you use an application to read Google Analytics Data, you will need to create a service account key.

A service account is a special type of Google account intended to represent a non-human user that needs to authenticate and be authorized to access data in Google APIs.

Google

1. Create Your Credentials

Again, go in the “credential” tab on the left, click on “Credentials in APIs & Services”.

Create Credentials – Google Analytics

2. Select Service Account Key

Click on the blue box “create credentials” and select “Service Account Key”.

Service Account Key
Service Account Key

3. Create New Service Account

Under “service account”, select “new service account” and give a “service account name”.

You can choose whatever you want.

Then, select a role.

Click “select a role”>”App Engine”>”App Engine Admin”.

For the Key type, choose “JSON”.

Note that your Service Account ID will be useful later to connect to Google Analytics API. Store it somewhere safe.

4. Give Your Service Account Access to Google Analytics

In the previous step, a JSON file was downloaded.

You will need to open this file to copy the “client_email” that will look something like this.

"[email protected]"

Then, go to Google Analytics > Admin > View > User Management.

Google Analytics User Management
Google Analytics User Management

Click the plus “+” button > “Add user”.

Then add the copied service account email as a user and click “Add”.

Give Your Service Account Access to Your Google Analytics Data
Give Your Service Account Access to Your Google Analytics Data

This is it!

You now have downloaded your JSON API key to your service account and granted access to Google Analytics.

Other APIs You Might Be Interested In

Looking for the next steps to improve your skills using APIs?

This guide is part of the complete tutorial on the Google Search Console API.

Conclusion

You are now ready to start using Google Analytics API with Python and to use Google Analytics with R.

To learn more read how to connect to the Google Search Console API or the Google AdWords API.