How to Setup Google Analytics 4 in Existing Universal Google Analytics?

Posted By: Sophia Andrew

Posted On: May 3, 2023

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Are you ready to upgrade from Universal Analytics to the new and improved Google Analytics 4? With the new GA4, you can get deeper insights into your website traffic and user behavior, allowing you to make more informed decisions to improve your online presence. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up GA4 and migrating your existing Universal Analytics data.

What is Universal Google Analytics?

Universal Google Analytics

Universal Google Analytics is the previous version of Google Analytics, which is a web analytics tool that helps website owners and marketers track website traffic and user behavior. Universal Analytics was introduced by Google in 2013 and provides more advanced tracking and reporting features compared to the previous version of Google Analytics.

One of the main benefits of Universal Analytics is its ability to track user behavior across multiple devices and channels, including mobile apps and offline interactions. This provides a more comprehensive view of user behavior, allowing website owners and marketers to make more informed decisions about their website and marketing strategies.

Universal Analytics also offers advanced features such as custom dimensions, which allow users to define their own metrics and track specific data points. It also includes enhanced ecommerce tracking, which enables users to track product impressions, clicks, and purchases.

Overall, Universal Analytics provides a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of user behavior, allowing website owners and marketers to optimize their website and marketing strategies for better results.

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics, which is a web analytics service that allows website owners to track and analyze their website traffic. GA4 was launched in 2020 and is designed to provide businesses with more accurate and in-depth data insights than its predecessor, Universal Analytics. It offers new features and capabilities, such as event tracking, machine learning, and cross-device tracking, among others. GA4 is expected to be the future of Google Analytics and offers better user engagement tracking, enhanced data privacy, and improved integration with Google Ads, among other benefits.

Universal Google Analytics vs Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Universal Google Analytics vs Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Universal Analytics and GA4 are two different versions of Google Analytics. While Universal Analytics has been around for many years and is still widely used, GA4 is the latest and most advanced version of Google Analytics. There are several key differences between the two:

  1. Data Collection Method: In Universal Analytics, data is collected using cookies, while in GA4, data is collected using an event-driven model.
  2. User-centric Approach: GA4 takes a user-centric approach, meaning that it tracks user behavior across multiple devices and platforms, while Universal Analytics focuses on sessions and pageviews.
  3. Advanced Data Analytics Capabilities: GA4 offers advanced data analytics capabilities, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, that are not available in Universal Analytics.
  4. Improved Integration with Google Ads: GA4 offers improved integration with Google Ads, making it easier for businesses to track and analyze their ad campaigns.

Overall, GA4 offers more accurate and detailed data insights than Universal Analytics, and is expected to be the future of Google Analytics. While Universal Analytics is still a great tool, businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve and get the most out of their data should consider upgrading to GA4.

Understanding Google Analytics 4

Before diving into the setup process, let’s briefly discuss the differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics. The new GA4 is designed to be more user-centric and privacy-focused, while providing more advanced insights and analysis features.

Some of the key differences include:

  • GA4 uses a different data model that focuses on users instead of sessions
  • GA4 includes more advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to provide deeper insights
  • GA4 includes more privacy controls and data protection features
  • GA4 has a different interface and navigation than Universal Analytics

Now that we have a basic understanding of GA4, let’s move on to the setup process.

Step 1: Create a New Google Analytics 4 Property

Step 1: Create a New Google Analytics 4 Property

The first step in setting up GA4 is to create a new property in your Google Analytics account. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account and select the “Admin” tab.
  2. In the “Property” column, click on the dropdown menu and select “Create Property.”
  3. Select “Web” as the property type and enter your website name and URL.
  4. Click on the “Show Advanced Options” link and select “Create a Universal Analytics property.”
  5. Select your reporting time zone and currency.
  6. Click on the “Create” button.

Congratulations! You have now created a new GA4 property.

Step 2: Add the GA4 Tracking Code to Your Website

Step 2: Add the GA4 Tracking Code to Your Website

The next step is to add the GA4 tracking code to your website. This will allow GA4 to collect data from your website and provide you with valuable insights. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In your GA4 property, click on the “Measurement ID” link to copy your tracking code.
  2. Log in to your website’s content management system or website builder.
  3. Locate the header section of your website’s code.
  4. Paste the tracking code into the header section.
  5. Save the changes and publish your website.

Once you have added the tracking code, GA4 will start collecting data from your website.

Step 3: Set Up Data Streams

Now that you have added the tracking code to your website, you need to set up data streams to define what data GA4 should collect. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In your GA4 property, click on the “Data Streams” link in the left-hand menu.
  2. Click on the “Web” data stream and select “Configure.”
  3. Enter your website name and URL and click on the “Create Stream” button.
  4. Copy the Measurement ID that appears on the next screen.

You have now set up a data stream for your website.

Step 4: Link Your GA4 Property to Your Universal Analytics Property

To migrate your existing data from Universal Analytics to GA4, you need to link your new GA4 property to your existing Universal Analytics property. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In your GA4 property, click on the “Admin” tab and select “Property Settings.”
  2. Scroll down to the “Google Analytics Property” section and click on the “Show Advanced Settings” link.
  3. Select “Create a new Google Analytics 4 property” and enter your Universal Analytics property ID.
  4. Click on the “Save

Congratulations! You have now linked your GA4 property to your Universal Analytics property.

Step 5: Enable Data Import

To ensure that all your historical data is available in GA4, you need to enable data import. This will allow GA4 to import all your historical data from Universal Analytics. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In your GA4 property, click on the “Admin” tab and select “Data Import.”
  2. Click on the “Set up data import” button.
  3. Select the “Google Analytics” option and click on the “Continue” button.
  4. Enter your Universal Analytics property ID and click on the “Connect” button.
  5. Select the data you want to import and click on the “Continue” button.
  6. Configure the data import settings and click on the “Create” button.

You have now enabled data import for your GA4 property.

Step 6: Verify Data Collection

To ensure that GA4 is collecting data correctly, you need to verify that it is tracking website activity. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In your GA4 property, click on the “Realtime” tab.
  2. Visit your website in a new tab and perform some actions, such as clicking on links or filling out forms.
  3. Return to the GA4 tab and check if the Realtime report is showing any activity.

If you see activity in the Realtime report, congratulations! You have successfully set up GA4 and migrated your data from Universal Analytics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I use GA4 and Universal Analytics at the same time?

A. Yes, you can use both GA4 and Universal Analytics on your website simultaneously.

Q2. Will I lose my existing data if I migrate to GA4?

A. No, you can migrate your existing data from Universal Analytics to GA4 using the data import feature.

Q3. Is GA4 better than Universal Analytics?

A. GA4 provides more advanced insights and analysis features, and is more privacy-focused than Universal Analytics.

Q4. Can I switch back to Universal Analytics after migrating to GA4?

A. No, once you have migrated to GA4, you cannot switch back to Universal Analytics.

Q5. Do I need to upgrade to GA4 if I am happy with Universal Analytics?

A. No, upgrading to GA4 is optional, but it provides more advanced insights and analysis features.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the process of setting up Google Analytics 4 and migrating your existing data from Universal Analytics. By following these steps, you can upgrade to the new and improved GA4 and get more advanced insights into your website traffic and user behavior. Remember to enable data import and verify data collection to ensure that GA4 is working correctly.

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