Updating Analytics To Dual Tag Google Analytics 4

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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.

Tutorial Screenshots

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:

UA-000000-0

Find Where To Install Your Analytics Code

At the end of this tutorial, you’ll need to install new JavaScript code for your analytics properties. This code generally goes at the very beginning of the <head></head> of every HTML page that should be tracked by analytics.

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.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Start GA4 Setup Assistant
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Start GA4 Setup Assistant

Once inside the GA4 Setup Assistant, click the blue Get Started button.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Get Started
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Get Started

This will bring up a pop-up window titled Create A New Google Analytics 4 Property. Click the blue Create Property button.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Create Property
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Create Property

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.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - See Your GA4 Property
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – See Your GA4 Property

Find Data Streams and click on your GA4 property.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Data Streams
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Data Streams

Find where it says Manage Connected Site Tags and click on it.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Manage Connected Site Tags
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Manage Connected Site Tags

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.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Connect A Tag
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Connect A Tag

You’ll see your UA tracking ID appear under Connected Tags when done.

Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 - Connected Tags List
Update Analtyics to Dual Tag GA4 – Connected Tags List

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.

Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 - Set Country & Time Zone
Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 – Set Country & Time Zone

Apply New Code To Your Website

You’re now ready to apply the new analytics JavaScript code to your website. Navigate back to the Data Streams for your property as we did above and then scroll down to Tagging Instructions and expand Global Site Tag(gstag.js). Copy this code and and paste it into your website, replacing your existing analytics code.

Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 - Global Site Tag Code
Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 – Global Site Tag Code

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.

Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 - Property Access Management
Update Analytics to Dual Tag GA4 – Property Access Management

Conclusion

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!

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