Effective July 1, 2023 Google is discontinuing Universal Analytics in favor of the new Google Analytics 4. Existing UA properties will need to be converted to new GA4 properties. It’s recommended that you configure your website to ‘dual tag’ both your existing UA property and the new GA4 property until this time to build up historical data on the new property for as long as possible. This sounds more complicated than it really is – and let’s be honest, Google’s directions for things generally pretty terrible. This tutorial will step you through exactly how exactly to accomplish this.
If you don’t have an existing analytics property created and are looking to just setup analytics for the first time, I’ve got a tutorial on that as well.
Before We Begin
A few quick notes before we begin …
Once again, I’m using my wife’s website (Mommy Thrives) as the example for this tutorial … seeing as I needed to update the analytics for her website anyway.
On the screenshots in this tutorial, I’ve outlined the important parts on the images with red rectangles to make them easier for you to locate.
Make Note Of Your Existing UA Tracking ID
Having the tracking ID of your existing Universal Analytics property handy will be useful to you in this tutorial. If you aren’t aware already, this ID will begin with UA followed by 6 digits and another single digit. It will look something like this:
Find Where To Install Your Analytics Code
If your website uses a content management system, like WordPress, be sure you figure out before you begin where your analytics code is installed – or – if you use a plugin to connect your analytics how to connect your new analytics property to this plugin. Because of the many varied ways this code can be applied, I cannot demonstrate exactly how this would be done on your website.
With that all out of the way now, let’s begin!
GA4 Setup Assistant
Start by logging into your Google Analytics account and going to the admin panel (click on the little gear in the bottom left corner if you’re unaware of how to get there).
If you haven’t already dismissed the banner at the top of the page, you’ll see the notice about Universal Analytics and a blue button that says Let’s Go. If you have multiple analytics properties, be sure you’ve selected the one you wish to update. Once you’re ready to start, click the Let’s Go button to start the GA Setup Assistant.
If you have already dismissed the top banner, you’ll find an option for GA Setup Assistant under the options for your GA property.
Once inside the GA4 Setup Assistant, click the blue Get Started button.
This will bring up a pop-up window titled Create A New Google Analytics 4 Property. Click the blue Create Property button.
Connecting Universal Analytics to GA4
You now have a Google Analytics 4 property created. Next, we need to link your existing Universal Analytics property to the new GA4 property in order to dual tag your site (record data in both properties).
Click the blue See Your GA4 Property button.
Find Data Streams and click on your GA4 property.
Find where it says Manage Connected Site Tags and click on it.
Here, enter your Universal Analytics tracking ID that I told you to make note of at the beginning of this tutorial. and then click Connect.
You’ll see your UA tracking ID appear under Connected Tags when done.
Set GA4 Country & Time Zone
Next, you need to set the country and time zone settings for your new GA4 property. From the admin panel (remember how to get there from the gear icon?) find the Property Settings for your property. You can set the country and time zone settings there.
Apply New Code To Your Website
Configure Property Access
One last thing – if your website is part of an ad network, you’ll likely need to give them access to view your new analytics property. Under the admin panel go to Property Access Management. There you can click the blue button to add access to additional users (you’ll need their email address).
If you aren’t sure what settings to use for this, you can view these existing settings in your Universal Analytics property and then recreate them in your new GA4 property.
You’ve successfully dual tagged your analytics! You want to make sure to go back and check that Google is receiving analytics data. If you found this article helpful or have any questions, I encourage you to please share this article with others and/or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and I hope you visit again soon!