[UA] Set up Analytics for a website (Universal Analytics)

Universal Analytics has been replaced by Google Analytics 4. Unless you have a Google Analytics 360 account that is linked to a Google Marketing Platform organization with an active 360 order, any Universal Analytics property you create will not process data going forward.

To use Google Analytics 4, the current version of Analytics, go to [GA4] Set up Analytics for a website and/or app.

Create an Analytics account

Your first step is to set up an Analytics account, unless you already have one. Skip to creating a property unless you want to create a separate account for this website. For example, you might want to create another account if this website belongs to a separate business.

  1. In Admin, in the Account column, click Create Account.
  2. Provide an account name. Configure the data-sharing settings to control which data you share with Google.
  3. Click Next to add the first property to the account.

 Create a property

  1. Are you continuing from "Create an Analytics account", above? If so, skip to step 2.  Otherwise,
    • In Admin, look at the Account column to make sure that you've selected the right account. Then, in the Property column, click Create Property.
  2. Enter a name for the property (e.g. "My Business, Inc website") and select the reporting time zone and currency. If a visitor comes to your website on a Tuesday in their time zone, but it's Monday in your time zone, the visit is recorded as having occurred on Monday.
    • If you choose a time zone that honors Daylight Savings Time, Analytics automatically adjusts for time changes. Use Greenwich Mean Time if you don't want to adjust for Daylight Savings Time.
    • Changing the time zone only affects data going forward. If you change the time zone for an existing property, you may see a flat spot or a spike in your data, caused by the time shift forwards or backwards, respectively. Report data may refer to the old time zone for a short period after you update your settings, until Analytics servers have processed the change.
  3. Click Show advanced options (below the property-setup fields).
  4. Turn on the switch for Create a Universal Analytics property.
  5. Enter the website URL. Select the protocol (http or https).
    Most domain hosts support only UTF-8 characters in URLs. Use either UTF-8 characters or punycode for symbols and any non-UTF-8 characters (including Cyrillic characters) in your domain name. Try a punycode converter for help with this.
  6. At this point, choose to create
    • Both a Google Analytics 4 property and a Universal Analytics property. This option
      • Sets up a parallel Google Analytics 4 property that collects data alongside your Universal Analytics property. Once you add the tag for the Google Analytics 4 property to your site, data will be sent to both properties.  You can switch back and forth between properties using the property selector or Admin screen.
      • Establishes a connection between the two properties that allows you to migrate configuration settings from your Universal Analytics property to your Google Analytics 4 property later on.
        How to identify each property: If you named your property "Example" in step 2, your Universal Analytics property will be named "Example (UA-1234567)" and your Google Analytics 4 property will be named "Example - GA4 (98765432)".
    • Only a Universal Analytics property. Choose this option if you only want a Universal Analytics property.
      If you need a "UA-" tracking ID, choose this option.
  7. Click Next and provide information about your business. 
  8. Click Create.

Accept the Analytics Terms of Service and the Data Processing Amendment if prompted, and click Finish.

Set up data collection (i.e. add the Google tag to your site)

Add the Google tag to a website builder or CMS-hosted website (for example, WordPress, Shopify, etc.)

If you elected to set up only a Universal Analytics property (i.e. you did not elect to set up both a GA4 and Universal Analytics property), simply paste your "UA-" tracking ID into the Google Analytics tracking ID field that your website builder provides.

OR

If you elected to set up both a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property and a Universal Analytics property, you should follow the instructions below and paste your entire Google tag into the custom HTML field that your website builder provides. By doing this, you'll be able to see data in both your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Universal Analytics properties. In contrast, if you simply provide your "UA-" ID to your website builder, you'll only see data in your Universal Analytics property.

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Click Admin.
  3. At the top of the Property column, select your property.
  4. In the Property column, click Data streams > Web.
  5. Click the data stream for your website.
  6. Under Google tag, click View tag instructions.
  7. On the Installation instructions page, select Install manually:
    • On the screen, you’ll see the JavaScript snippet for your account's Google tag. Your Google tag is the entire section of code that appears, beginning with:

      <!-- Google tag (gtag.js) -->

      and ending with

      </script>

Copy and paste your Google tag to your website using your CMS's custom HTML feature.

Use the Realtime report to verify that you're receiving data.

Website builder / CMS Options to add custom HTML
Blogger Instructions
Cart.com Contact Cart.com support for instructions
Salesforce (Demandware) Contact Salesforce support for instructions
VTEX Contact VTEX support for instructions
Weebly Instructions

Data collection may take up to 30 minutes to begin. You can then use the Realtime report to verify that you're receiving data.

Add the Google tag directly to your web pages

You'll need access to your web pages HTML. Ask your web developer to perform these steps if you're unable to do this yourself.

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account.
  2. Click Admin.
  3. Select an account from the menu in the ACCOUNT column.
  4. Select a property from the menu in the PROPERTY column.
  5. Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

    Your Tracking ID is displayed at the top of the page.

    Your Google tag is displayed farther down the page in a text box under Website Tracking > Google tag (gtag.js)

The Google tag

The Google tag is several lines of code that you need to paste into each webpage you want to measure:

<!-- Google tag (gtag.js) -->

... (several lines of code) ...

</script>

To add the Google tag to your webpages:

  1. Copy the entire contents of the text box.
  2. Paste it after the opening <head> tag on each page you want to measure.

Data collection may take up to 30 minutes to begin. You can then use the Realtime report to verify that you're receiving data. 

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Choose your own learning path

Check out google.com/analytics/learn, a new resource to help you get the most out of Google Analytics 4. The new website includes videos, articles, and guided flows, and provides links to the Google Analytics Discord, Blog, YouTube channel, and GitHub repository.

Start learning today!

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