Google Analytics 4 (formerly known as “App + Web”) is a new kind of Google Analytics, with different reports than what you're used to seeing in Universal Analytics properties. One advantage of a Google Analytics 4 property is that you can use it for a website, an app, or both a website and app together. Universal Analytics properties only support websites. Read the announcement from Google to learn more.
Note: If you want to set up Universal Analytics alone, please click here.
What's covered in this article:
- Setting up Google Analytics 4
- Troubleshooting Google Analytics 4
Setting up Google Analytics 4
The process for setting up Google Analytics 4 will vary depending on if you only want to use Google Analytics 4 exclusively or if you want to use it in tandem with Universal Analytics. We recommend exclusively for the vast majority of businesses.
New Sites- exclusively
For new sites that only want to use Google Analytics 4, the process is straightforward. You just need to go through Setup Assistant. Please use this link to get step-by-step instructions on how to create a Google Analytics account.
For people installing any type of Google Analytics for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create a new data stream based on if it is a web or an app.
Note: In Google Analytics 4, you can track both web and app views!
- Select “Web”
- Then, you’ll be prompted to enter details – like your website URL – to set up the new data stream.
- For configuring a new website data stream, the two most common ways to set this up is through a global site tag (gtag.js) or via Google Tag Manager.
In tandem with Universal Analytics
Google Analytics 4 isn’t just a redesign. It is a brand new product that is events-driven instead of pageview-driven. It uses machine-learning algorithms to do predictive modelling. Or, put it another way, there will be data discrepancies and different reports between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.
For sites that are already on Universal Analytics, we recommend setting up a new property for Google Analytics 4 (using the same process that we outlined above) that runs in tandem with your existing Universal Analytics setup.
By creating a new property in Google Analytics, this will allow you and your team to get used to the new UI, make sure that the new setup is capturing data correctly, and fix any issues with events you are tracking (very common if you do any sort of custom eCommerce tracking) or other integrations you are using that sync with Google Analytics.
How to create a New Property
- In your Google Analytics account, Go to Admin > Create a property.
- Name your new property.
- Follow the steps outlined above (for new sites) to set up Google Analytics 4 on this property.
Note: Once you have finished the setup process, it will start collecting data from that point forward. It is not possible to backfill historical data from prior days, weeks, or months into this new property. You’ll need to rely on your Universal Analytics property for ALL historical data.
- Make sure you copy and paste the Gtag.js tag verbatim to your website. DO NOT copy it first to a Word or Google Doc and then copy and paste it from there to your site. This can add extra spaces or characters that will cause it to break.
- Make sure you add the Gtag.js code into your opening head or you are using a Google Analytics approved plugin through your CMS (like Wordpress).
If you are setting it up through Google Tag Manager, make sure it is configured and tracking properly
- You can use the Google Tag Assistant free Chrome plugin to verify that the tag is working.