From version 5.6, Analytics Insights (AIWP) plugin has full support for Google Analytics 4, which is the next generation of Google Analytics. Both, reporting and tracking components, support Google Analytics 4 properties with the new WordPress plugin release.
Google Analytics 4 properties have several advantages over Universal Analytics:
- are privacy-focused and durable for the future
- are using machine learning to give insights about the customers across platforms and devices
- provide seamless integrations with Google advertising platforms
On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data, and will be replaced by Google Analytics 4. While you’ll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after the date, tracking using both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 is highly recommended at the moment. You can achieve this using the dual tracking feature.
What’s new on Analytics Insights (AIWP) 5.6
There are quite a few new features in Analytics Insights 5.6, like:
- the ability to display collected data, on reports, directly from a Google Analytics 4 property
- you can use a Google Analytics 4 property to track users without the need of also having an Universal Analytics property
- options to switch between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 reports, if both properties are present
- Global Site Tag (gtag.js) is now the default tracking method on new installations
- all reports will follow the properties setup; meaning that when only one of the two Google Analytics property types is present, the plugin will adapt accordingly its reporting and tracking features
Recommended setup for Google Analytics
At the moment it is recommended to have the following setup on your Google Analytics account:
- an Universal Analytics property
- a Google Analytics 4 property with at least one Web Stream defined.
From your WordPress admin menu, select Analytics Insights -> General Settings and authorize or re-authorize the plugin. Select the appropriate properties for Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. Afterwards press the Save Changes button.
Click on the Analytics Insights -> Tracking Code and for Tracking Type select Dual Tracking. You should leave the Code Placement to its default value, HTML Head.
Depending on your choice, head back to Analytics Insights -> General Settings and enable the option named use Google Analytics 4 data to generate reports and stats if you want to display reports using the new generation of Google Analytics properties.
You can find more about the Analytics Insights (AIWP) plugin and its options on Analytics Insights for WordPress page.
Please note that Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics are different in many ways, so the numbers won’t match, even for the same dimensions and metrics.
Furthermore, the reports presented will vary between the two because some Universal Analytics dimensions and metrics don’t have a Google Analytics 4 equivalent.
For Google Analytics 4 properties, the Real-Time report refers to users in last 30 minutes. While will display new users in real-time, it will always present a report for the last half an hour.
PS: Due to the amplitude of changes required to implement Google Analytics 4 features, when running a WordPress Network, you may be required to re-authorize the plugin. In rare cases, when updating single sites from a much older version, a re-authorization could be needed as well.