Should the default URL include a trailing slash, and why?
I'm trying to ensure that my GA property is set up correctly, but I'm getting very confused about a few things.
Firstly, should my default property URL include a trailing slash (i.e. example.com/) or not? I'm trying to track my BlogSpot blog, if that's relevant. The help article (point 7) seems to suggest that you shouldn't include it. What is the reason behind this? Is it connected with how pages other than the homepage are tracked? Other things I have read seem to suggest the opposite, but I've probably misunderstood. Likewise, this is confusing me when it comes to connecting Search Console to my GA property. Should the Search console URL also not include a trailing slash?
Secondly, my default blog URL does not include www., but that version also exists if you try to access it. Will GA also track any traffic to the www. version of my pages, or do I somehow need to add that separately?
Sorry if this is answered elsewhere, but I couldn't find anything (that didn't confuse me further) when searching.
Re: Should the default URL include a trailing slash, and why?
You should not include the trailing slash in the default property URL field as the pages are recorded with a leading slash so if you include the trailing in the property URL and you try to open a page from the reports there will be a double slash after the domain name.
Regarding your question about www and non-www GA will track them as separate pages. You need to set your preferred domain in webmaster tools and to 301 redirect the non preferred version.
Hope this helps.