A Guide to Setting up New Google Analytics Web + App Property

If you’re looking for a nice introduction to the Google Analytics App + Web Property, please check out our blog which breaks down all of the features and limitations.

Otherwise, it is time to learn how to set up and configure the Google App + Web property (or what we like to call GA 2.0).

This GA App + Web setup guide will hopefully help you set up this new model easily.

Please note that the set up is optional at this point, but Google is starting to make a big push towards standardising this type of property. I strongly recommend considering setting up double tagging now - tracking your data in both properties and data models.

If you’re just tracking web traffic you can use Web + App or the standard Google Analytics Property.

If you’re also tracking mobile app data, this is the perfect choice of property for you.

Let’s start with the basics. There are four different ways to setup the App + Web Property model in your Google Analytics account. 

  • Create a new project using Firebase and then link it to your Google Analytics account
  • Upgrade the Existing Firebase GA property to “App + Web” property
  • Link the Existing Firebase project to the Google Analytics account
  • Create a new “App + Web” property model by using your Google Analytics account

Method 1: Create A New Project & Set up GA 2.0: 

In this section of the guide, we will start by creating a new Google Analytics App + Web property within your Google Analytics accounts.

Here are the steps that you can follow to understand the setup process. 

Step 1: Start with a New Firebase Project:

We will initiate the process by heading to the Firebase Analytics console and creating a new project.

Google Analytics App + Web / Firebase Screenshot 1 - Add a new Firebase Project

This Firebase project will be used for the new property model. Choose a unique Project Name and ID and read the Firebase Terms carefully.

Once you have reviewed the terms, accept the terms, and click on the “Continue” button. 

Now, you will see the “Set up Google Analytics for my project” option on the screen.

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase Screenshot 2 Enable Google Analytics

You will see the list of features that will be enabled when you set up Google Analytics for this new project. Tick the option and continue. 

Note: If you already have a Google Analytics account, then you can select it and create the property directly.

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase Screenshot 3 Link Google Analytics Property

Or you can create a new account for Google Analytics altogether.

For the account creation, you will have to accept the GA’s terms of service, and you can move forward with the project. 

Hit the “Create Project” option and wait for it to finish loading.

Once the project is ready for work, head to the Google Analytics interface to find the new “App + Web” property. 

Step 2: Create A New Web Stream:

The most important aspect of the new Google Analytics 2.0 model revolves around streams.

These streams are incoming information from the Android & iOS apps and the web. Click on the “Data Streams” option under the Property Column and choose “Web.” 

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase - Create Web Stream in Google Analytics

Firebase configures the stream; you need to provide your website URL and give a descriptive name to the stream.

Enable the Enhanced Measurement Settings by toggling the Cogwheel.

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase Screenshot 5 Setup Enhanced Measurement in Google Analytics

This feature allows the users to add some tracking capabilities to the site automatically.

As you create a base configuration tag, the feature will be activated instantly. 

Under the Enhanced Measurement Settings, you can choose the data you wish to track, including Page Views, Scrolls, Outbound Clicks, Site Search, video Engagement, and File Downloads.

For site search, you can further narrow down the Search Term Query Parameter and Additional Query Parameter.

Choose the settings as per requirement and press the “Create Stream” button. 

Once the GA 2.0 stream is created, you will see several Tagging Instructions and some other details.

You can use your current Google Analytics / Tag Manager on-page tag or you can note down the Measurement ID for a new tagging setup.

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase Screenshot 6 Locate your Measurement ID In Google Analytics

Keep the tab open as you will need the ID later for the Google Tag Manager tags. 

Step 3: Create Base Configuration Tag:

Now, it is time that you create a base configuration tag inside the Google Tag Manager.

While setting up the tag, you will get two new templates for the GA App + Web setup and GA App + Web Event setup. 

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase Screenshot 6 Create a New Tag in Google Tag Manager

Select the "GA App + Web Configuration" and open the template.

This App + Web configuration is analogous to the “config” command used in gtag.js implementation.

The command is used to configure the tracker, persistent values of all the events, and sends the initial Page View. 

As the template opens up, you won’t see abundant options.

You will see a field to enter the Measurement ID, a toggle to choose if you want to send the initial Page View or not, and some configuration fields to set. 

Paste the Measurement ID that we created in Step 2 and paste it here.

In case you need to pave the path for cross-application & cross-device measurement, set the User ID field to some value that is associated with the User Authentication ID. 

An important note about App + Web configuration tag is that you can include parameters in it which will be sent with every other event for App + Web property!

Step 4: Set Up User Properties:

Now, you need to create and set User Properties. You can see the User Property option under the Reporting Interface.

Click on it and select the “New User Property” option to create one. 

To configure the Properties, go to the “Fields to Set / User Properties” section and give a name and value.

For the Value field, you must use a custom JavaScript variable that returns an object or a custom variable template.

Under the variable, each key of the object will correspond to the name you created in the Reporting UI. And the value represents what you want to send as a user property. 

Once the configuration tag is ready, set it for All Pages and enter the Preview mode.

Take a look at the measurement model and how it works for the app and website. 

Step 5: Set Up the Mobile App Tab:

Till now, we have only worked with the web configuration of the GA App + Web setup. Now, we will set up the Mobile App property. 

In the location where you see All Data Streams, there are other tabs of Web and Mobile App.

Switch to the Mobile App tab and click on the “Add App” button.

Google Analytics App + Web Firebase - add app data stream in google analytics

Specify the platform for which you want to create the App Analytics between Android and iOS. Hit the Next button and start the registration process.

You will be asked to download a configuration file and add the Firebase SDK. Then you can run the app directly to verify the installation process. 

The Firebase Analytics will carry out the tasks smoothly so that you don’t get lost during the setup of the Mobile App. 

Step 6: Set Up Data Settings:

Once the app is configured, click on the “Data Settings” under the Property settings column and choose the “Data Retention” option.

Specify the time period for data retention as per the privacy and GDPR policy and save the settings. 

Now, go to the “Default Reporting Identity” feature and make sure that the default setting is “By User-ID and device.” Save the reporting identity, and you are ready for analysis.

There is also a Google Ads Linking feature that synchronizes your Google Ads account with App + Web property. 

And that’s it; you can finish the setup and configuration of Google Analytics App + Web property completely.

Luckily, there are other methods as well that will make the setup process easier for the people who are already familiar with Google Analytics' new model and Firebase Analytics as well.

To help the professional Analysts, we are briefing the other methods here. 

Method 2: Upgrade The Existing Firebase GA

Instead of making you go through all the hassles of creating a new project and integrating Google Analytics 2.0, we can skip all the steps and directly upgrade the existing account profile. 

  • Login to your Google Analytics account and ensure that you have the “Edit” permission for the GA account along with “Owner” permission for the Firebase project. 
  • Navigate through the Firebase UI, and you will see a notification at the top of the screen for the App + Web property upgrade.
  • Google will provide you detailed on-screen instructions while you set up the existing Firebase property to “Apps + Web” property.

Method 3: Link the Existing Firebase Project with Google Analytics Account:

With this method, the GA App + Web setup will further. The steps are clear-cut so that you can understand them easily:

  • Open the Firebase Console and then select the existing project in which you want to integrate the new model. 
    Head to the Project Settings and switch to the Integrations tab within the UI. 
  • Under the Integration menu, you will see the Google Analytics option with an Enable -> icon. 
  • Click on the icon and select the GA account from the menu and press the Enable Google Analytics button. 
  • As soon as you press the button, a new “App + Web” property model will be added to the Analytics account. The Firebase project ID will be the default name of the property, which can be changed whenever you want. 
  • You will see the Property Name, ID, and linked Google Analytics account inside the Firebase Console. As you click on My Sites options, you will be redirected to the new GA 2.0 property. 
  • One significant thing you must keep in mind while you are linking a specific Firebase project with GA App + Web property model is that it won’t be deleted when you unlink the project from GA. To remove the App and Web property in Google Analytics, you need to erase the data manually. 

Test The Property:

Once the GA App + Web setup is complete, you have to make sure that it is running seamlessly. For instance, imagine that we want to create an Event tag. 

The thing about events in the new GA 2.0 is that it functions similarly to gtag.js and Firebase event.

Hence, it will be a combination of collected events, recommended events, and custom events.

There are some prerequisites that you have to verify, such as:

  • Make sure that the event is not collected automatically collected by GA. Check if there is a recommended structure for an event that you can choose instead of creating a custom event. 
  • Keep in mind, nonetheless, that you will lose the flexibility in reporting UI if you choose a customized event name with arbitrary event parameters. 
  • There are strict limitations over the Event name characters and parameters that you have to follow in order to create an event. Here, we will focus on the simple custom event to keep the process simple. 

Create a new GA App + Web Event tag and set the Configuration Tag setting to the tag. As we mentioned above, you will have to configure the tracker settings, which will apply to All Tags. 

Give a custom name to the event and add parameters accordingly. Get a preview of the tag as the page load; you will see the information into batches. 

Let’s assume that we specified a debug_mode parameter in the value. When the parameter is set in the tag, the hits will appear in the respective stream. So, the hits will appear in the DebugView stream in reporting UI. 

As you click through the parameters in the interface, you will see the related event information that is dispatched with Google Analytics.

To wrap things up...

With this Google Analytics 2.0 setup guide, our primary purpose is to show you how you can integrate the App + Web Property Model.

Even though the new model is available for all users who rely on Analytics for their website and app reporting, it is not mandatory.

Alongside this, users are also skeptical about the new integration model, wondering if the limitation will affect their reporting and analysis. 

It expected that the new model would soon replace the Universal Analytics conceptually.

However, the model still needs to justify its importance in the market.

While some users are very excited about bringing the Firebase Analytics to the web, it is expected that it will be a useful model aggregating the features that are already available in the Google Analytics tool. 

If you need help with your Google Analytics 360 or App + Web properties, please get in touch. Internetrix are Google Analytics 360 and Google Marketing Platform Certified Partners of 13+ years.