Updated on October 26, 2020
No matter if you need it to track your Youtube videos, Shopify store or WordPress site, the Google Analytics property tracking ID plays a critical role in your site’s tracking. That’s why in this article, we’ll explore what is the Google Analytics tracking ID and where to find it.
What is Google Analytics property tracking ID
Google Analytics Tracking ID (aka Property ID) is the unique identifier of a GA property. It allows Analytics and other apps to distinguish your property from other properties. This allows data to be sent specifically to your property, which can be later viewed in your Analytics account.
That is why when sending data to a GA web property, you need to specify the property ID. However, this is not the case when using GA4 properties, but more on this in the sections below.
The GA tracking ID is made up of 3 elements: Analytics version, account ID and property index number.
Each element is separated by a dash. GA version, which is the first element of the property ID, usually has a value of UA which stands for Universal Analytics.
The account ID is the second element of the tracking ID while property index is the third element.
How to find it in Universal Analytics (old) properties
In a Universal Analytics property, the tracking ID is located on the “Property Settings” page. To access it, go to Admin and from the Property column, click on “Property Settings”.
You can also get the property ID from the “Tracking Code” page located in Admin -> Property Column -> Tracking Info -> Tracking Code.
Beside it, you can also get the Global Site Tag from that page, allowing you to install the basic pageview tracking.
How to find it in Google Analytics 4 (new) properties
Google Analytics 4 is the latest GA version, launched in October 2020. With it, Google hopes to provide smarter insights so that businesses would take better marketing decisions and improve their ROI.
In a way, we may view this as Google’s response to the various consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes that occurred lately (GDPR, ITP, increased user awareness about tracking and privacy, etc).
While in beta testing from 2019 to 2020, Google Analytics 4 properties were called “App + Web properties” but with the official launch, they changed the name.
Starting October 14th 2020, GA4 properties are the default when you create a new property.
For users used to previous GA versions, it might come as a surprise but GA4 properties do not have property IDs. At least not for Android and iOS Data Streams.
That is because data collection principles of these properties are a little bit different than that of previous Universal Analytics properties.
And these differences also bring new options and terminologies, like Data Streams.
A Data Stream is a data connection created specifically to track an app or a website. GA4 properties do not have views like regular Universal Analytics properties so they use Data Streams instead.
Depending what you want to track, you can add an Android app, iOS app and Web based Data Streams.
Android and iOS app Data Streams do not have property IDs as they get the data from Firebase instead of GA libraries (ga.js, analytics.js, gtag.js).
Because of this, Android and iOS Data Streams from GA4 properties do not need a tracking ID to work, as all their data comes from the Firebase SDK.
So to have the data available in a Google Analytics 4 property, you need to add Firebase to your app and link it to Analytics.
After this the GA4 property will start getting data. And all of this without a tracking (property) ID.
For GA4 properties using Web based Data Streams, the data collection principles are the same as for Universal Analytics properties, as they use the gtag.js library. Because of this, Web Data Streams also have property IDs, however they are called “Measurement IDs”.
To get the Measurement ID, from the property column of your GA4 property, go to Data Streams and click on a Web based Data Stream of your choice. If you don’t have a Web based Data Stream, you need to add one first.
On the next screen you should see the Measurement ID in the top right corner.
Now you can install the tracking for this Data Stream using the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) script available on that page or via Google Tag Manager using the “GA4 Configuration” tag type.