How to set up Google Analytics 4

Google plans to sunset Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023 in favor of their newest analytics product, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). We use Google Analytics to report important data in your dashboard, so all publishers will need to set up GA4 and run the new code on your site.

While you have until July 2023 to make the switch, we recommend getting things set up ASAP. Google will eventually remove your historical UA data, so the sooner you set up GA4, the more data you’ll have to refer back to.

Set up GA4 by July 1, 2022 so you’ll have access to a full year’s worth of data when Google retires Universal Analytics!

Setting up Google Analytics 4

Step One: Set up a GA4 property for your site.

In Google Analytics, you may see a notification across the top prompting you to switch to GA4. If so, click the “Let’s go” button.

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If you’ve dismissed this notification or need to get back to the GA4 Setup Assistant later on, go to Admin, and you’ll see “GA4 Setup Assistant” under the middle “Property” column.

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From the GA4 Setup Assistant screen, click the “Get Started” button and then “Create property” in the pop-up window.

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That’s all you have to do to create your GA4 property! But there are a few more steps to make sure everything is set up properly.

Step Two: Connect your new GA4 property to your existing UA property.

We’ll continue to use UA to populate your AdThrive dashboard as we make preparations for a smooth transition to GA4, so you’ll need to make sure your new GA4 property is connected to your UA property. Here’s how:

First, head into your new GA4 account by clicking the blue button that says “See your GA4 property”.

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In GA4, navigate to Admin > Data Streams and click your GA4 property.

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Then click Manage Connected Site Tags, add in your UA property ID (you can get this from the code on your site or in your UA account admin under the Property column), and click Connect.

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Step Three: Set your GA4 property to Eastern Time.

From Admin, click into the Property Settings for your new GA4 property.

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Adjust the “Reporting time zone” field to (GMT-04:00) New York Time and click Save. This will ensure that your data matches your AdThrive earnings data.​​

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Step Four: Replace your old UA code with the new GA4 code on your site.

With your GA4 and your UA code connected, you can now swap out your old analytics code on your site for your new GA4 code.

You can find your new GA4 script in your GA4 Admin. Click on Data Streams, then your GA4 property. 

In the Tagging Instructions section, under “Add new on-page tag”, click “Global site tag (gtag.js)” to open the drop-down with your code.

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Copy that script and use it to replace the existing analytics script in your site’s head code (usually added via your theme settings or a plugin).

Step Five: Give AdThrive permission to access your GA4 data.

We’ll need to be added as a Viewer to your new GA4 property, just as we were for your UA property, to be able to pull your analytics information into the AdThrive dashboard. 

If you previously gave us permission on your Account level, then you may be all set — otherwise you’ll need to give us access to the new property.

In your GA4 account, click into Admin > Property Access Management.

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If you don’t already have AdThrive as a user, click the blue plus button and then “Add users”.

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In the email address field, enter the email address you used to give us permission to your UA property (check in your UA admin to grab that email address — reach out to us if you’re not sure what to use).

Leave the box checked so we get notified by email, select “Viewer” for our role, then click the “Add” button.

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Step Six (optional): Enable demographics in your GA4 property.

If you’d like to gather demographic data on your readers, such as their age, gender, and interests, you’ll need to manually enable that in your new GA4 property. 

While this step is not required, enabling demographic data can make you eligible for additional ad campaigns. Just follow these simple instructions here.

You’re all set!

Google Analytics 4 FAQs

What are the benefits of GA4?

At launch, GA4 provided useful new features geared toward e-commerce sites and publishers who run an app alongside their website. However, GA4 benefits all publishers and will provide valuable audience insights as Google adds new features.

Here are some key features of GA4:

  • Improved controls for better data management, collection, and retention
  • Automatically-surfaced insights using machine learning
  • Cross-platform reporting across web and mobile apps
  • Privacy-centric design to align with industry changes such as ITP and GDPR

As technology evolves, GA4 will adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future it will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete.

Will I still be able to see my historical data and the old Analytics dashboard in Google Analytics?

Yes, you will still be able to see your historical data and switch between the new GA4 dashboard and the old dashboard. Google plans to remove access to UA data in early 2024, so you may want to export any UA data that is important to you.

Will connecting a GA4 property cause Google Analytics to track pageviews twice?

No. If properly implemented, Google Analytics will only track pageviews once per property.

Why does the data not match up between the old Google Analytics property and the new GA4 property?

GA4 uses slightly different measurements, so some data doesn't track or calculate the same way as previous GA versions.

I already upgraded to GA4 and installed the new code. How can I connect my GA4 and Universal Analytics so my AdThrive dashboard will continue to report my pageviews?

As we work to ensure a smooth transition to GA4 in your AdThrive dashboard, we’ll continue to track pageviews based on your Universal Google Analytics property — so it’s important for you to link the two properties. 

To do this, you’ll just want to follow the instructions for step two above and connect your UA ID to your new GA4 property.

Once you’ve made that connection, you should be all set, but feel free to reach out to us to make sure everything is reporting correctly.

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