Google Analytics will soon be known as Universal Analytics. There are two steps to upgrade. Plus, there are several ways to connect analytics to your website. This is not something you want to put off, as Google will eventually deprecate the old analytics code. I’ll show you a quick way to check your analytics account and site code, as well as do updates to your site.
Check Your Analytics Version
There is a super simple way to check which version of analytics you are using.
Log into your Google Analytics account here https://www.google.com/analytics
There are three parts to your Analytics Account. They are:
- Accounts – one for each site.
- Properties – the unique ID for each site where the analytics data is stored.
- Profiles – your reports.
If your Property ID begins with UA, then that Property was either set up on Universal Analytics or has been transferred to it. But you may still need to update the code on your site. (See more in the next sections.)
If the prefix is not UA, then you may need to transfer manually.
Check Your Site Code
There is a super easy way to see if you are using the latest UA tracking code on your site too.
1. Go to a page on your site and view the source code.
Many browsers have a tab for this under View. If not, if you’re using Windows, hit Cntl+U to open a pane with the source code.
2. Look for the same UA ID as the Property listed in your account.
It will be something like UA-16565023-2. You may have to scroll down quite a ways to see it. But it will be in the top section, above the closing </ head> tag.
If You’re UA All the Way
If you see UA in the prefix of your Property ID, and UA in the prefix of your site’s source code, you’re all set. Everything is properly set up for using Universal Analytics.
Two Steps to Upgrade Fully
Changing over to Universal Analytics is a two-step process. The first is mandatory, the second is optional for now.
If the prefix of the Property ID in the step above is UA, then you do not need to do the Step 1 below. But, you may still need to do Step 2.
Step 1 is to create a new Property. In other words, a new ID is required so that all of your analytics data will be collected there.
This step is mandatory! And it must be done before you update the code on your site.
Some properties were automatically transferred to the new system during in Phase 2 of the rollout of Universal Analytics during the last several months. (We’re now in Phase 3.)
None of the auto transfers include typical websites.
They do include:
- Mobile App SDK implementations using versions earlier than v2.x.
- Properties with WAP/server-side snippets or sending data prefixed with YT / MO.
- All other non-ga.js (web) implementations.
Users whose Properties will be auto-transferred will not receive prior notification prior, but will see a status message on the tracking code page in their accounts regarding the progress of the upgrade.
If you need to transfer, see the Manually Transfer Your Property section below.
Step 2 in the process is to update the code on your site, which is optional at this time, but likely will not be later on.
If your Property prefix is listed as UA, that still does not mean that the tracking code on your site is up to date. It will still track all of the stats you had before. But it simply will not pick up any of the new tracking stats available.
For more, see the Upgrading Your Site Code section below.
Manually Transfer Your Property
Google has made it quite easy to transfer your existing Property to Universal Analytics. Simply follow these steps from the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center Guide.
1. Sign in to Google Analytics. From the Admin page, select the account and property you want to upgrade.
2. In the property column, click Universal Analytics Upgrade.
3. In the section called Transfer to Universal Analytics, click Transfer.
4. Read the information in the pop-up. If you can confirm that you’re ready to transfer your property to Universal Analytics, click Transfer. If you’re not ready, click Cancel.
(Optional) Click Show timeout settings and configure your session and campaign timeout handling. If you don’t configure these settings, the default values will be used.
Allow 24 – 48 hours for the transfer to finish. When a note that says Property transfer complete appears in your account, the transfer to Universal Analytics is done. Once you receive this notice, then you can update your site code.
Upgrading Your Site Code
There are multiple ways to connect your site to Google Analytics. I’ll cover the most common ones here, and basics for what you need to do.
If you are currently using a plugin such as Google Analyticator or Google Analytics by Yoast, there will be a new API available for those plugins to automatically update all of the tracking code on your site. (FYI, this is the method I use on BlogAid and all of my client sites.)
What to do – Sit tight and wait for the plugin developers to update. And follow my Tips Tuesday posts and podcasts where I’ll keep you apprised of when these plugins update.
Changing Code in Genesis
Genesis themes have a simple way for you to add code to the header or footer section of your site. (Don’t do this if you’re using an analytics plugin like the ones mentioned above.)
Go to Genesis > Theme Settings. Scroll down to the module for Header and Footer Scripts. Input the new UA tracking code there.
You’ll find the new UA tracking code in your Google Analytics account under Property, as shown below.
Changing Code in Other Themes
The new tracking code needs to be added to the header file that affects your entire site. If you are not a developer, I strongly suggest that you find a coder to do this for you. I have a few to recommend, if you want help. (Don’t do this if you’re using an analytics plugin like the ones mentioned above.)
Or, if your theme has some type of User Interface (UI) that allows you to input scripts to the header, add it there.
If you have a separate mobile version of your theme, you will want to find a developer to change the code for it, as there are special considerations for it.
Once you transfer your Property to Universal Analytics, and then update the code on your site, it will start tracking immediately.
However, it may take at least 24 hours to start displaying the new tracking info in your analytics account. There may be a 48 hour delay in displaying the results in a dashboard module on your site, like the one the Google Analyticator plugin uses.
If you don’t know what all the geek-speak below is, then it’s likely your site is not using any of these things. But, you may want to check with your developer or designer to be sure.
If your site uses custom variables such as version 1.x of Mobile SDKs, then you’ll want to see the Custom Dimensions Help Center for more.
Old Analytics Code is Going Away
The old analytics code will be deprecated in Phase 4 of this transition to Universal Analytics. Google has not yet announced a timeline. I imagine it will be at least six months out. But don’t let that make you complacent about getting this update done.
More Info and Help
For more information about upgrade specifics, see the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center website.
Please be aware that many factors are involved in upgrading analytics on a site. Because I can’t get a whole picture without actually looking at your setup, I will not be taking troubleshooting questions in the comments.
If you need further assistance, please visit my preferred vendor FixMyWP.com where Makis has set up a special intake form for helping my readers with their Universal Analytics upgrades.