Getting started with Google Analytics 4

In a push to understand website visitors’ behavior much better, Google has recently introduced Google Analytics 4. This transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 might be slightly confusing for some time, so we put together a quick guide on the difference between UA and GA4. We also wanted to make sure you are able to use WooRank's Google Analytics sync and other 3rd party tools during the transition!

Google’s new analytics software platform very different from what most users have ever seen. While there are many new features that are appealing to anyone interested in gathering analytics for their website, it's advised to run both GA4 and UA in parallel.

Google’s official advice is as follows:

The new Google Analytics is now the default experience for new properties and is where we’re investing in future improvements. We know there are capabilities many marketers need before fully replacing their existing Analytics setup, so we encourage you to create a new Google Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) alongside your existing properties. This will allow you to start gathering data and benefit from the latest innovations as they become available while keeping your current implementation intact."

So, how should you proceed if you’d like to continue to sync your Google Analytics with your WooRank account?

You will need to make sure you have a Universal Analytics property and that the UA code is on your site. We've gone into more detail below for users just getting started with Analytics.

What is the difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics (UA) is the type of Analytics that most people are used to. It focuses primarily on traffic; UA properties have regular page views, bounce rates, sessions and all of the metrics people are used to acquiring for their website(s). This is also the version that all software APIs use (including WooRank).

The new GA4 properties are geared towards understanding website visitors better. In the future, it will give the Analytics user much more information about how people are behaving on their site. New metrics include engagements, screens and views. There is no current API for this system.

As Google suggests, the best recommendation would be to use both, side-by-side. A Google Analytics "account" can hold multiple properties, and we’re going to teach you exactly how to get the best of both worlds.

Installing Google Analytics for the first time:

Google will encourage you to sign up with GA4. If you’d still like WooRank to be able to access your G.A. information to show you all of your relevant traffic metrics within your Project, you will need to also enable a Universal Analytics property.

Simply go to your "Advanced" option when setting up your property and toggle the “Create a Universal Analytics property” on (see below).

Google Analytics 4 Advanced Set-up

Upgrading your current G.A. properties:

We at WooRank also encourage you to keep your existing Universal Analytics (UA) account so we can still show your valuable traffic data in your Project. Google isn’t letting any other software systems read data from GA4, so it’s important to be aware of this before upgrading.

By all means, feel free to use GA4 and explore what the new software has to offer. We advise setting up your new GA4 property to sit alongside your current Google Analytics property.

This will mean that you will have two sets of code on your website - Universal Analytics and GA4.

Universal Analytics and GA4 properties

If you upgrade to GA4 and realize you’re having problems with your Google Analytics sync on your "Settings" page, check that your old code is on your site. If it’s not, be sure to add your old UA code and resync your account.

For the moment, there is no API for the GA4 platform for any 3rd party software. As always, we will keep you updated and do our best to deliver the best experience with Analytics as possible!

Google’s official GA4 information can be found here and you can read the official API advice here.

Questions? Let us know at support@woorank.com.