How to set up User-ID in Google Analytics

About the User-ID feature

Connect multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data to the same users.

User ID lets you associate a persistent ID for a single user with that user's engagement data from one or more sessions initiated from one or more devices.

Analytics interprets each unique user ID as a separate user, which provides a more accurate user count in your reports.

When you send Analytics an ID and related data from multiple sessions, your reports tell a more unified, holistic story about a user’s relationship with your business.

How User-ID works

User-ID enables the association of one or more sessions (and the activity within those sessions) with a unique and persistent ID that you send to Analytics.

To implement User-ID, you must be able to generate your own unique IDs, consistently assign IDs to users, and include these IDs wherever you send data to Analytics.

For example, you could send the unique IDs generated by your own authentication system to Analytics as values for User-ID. Any engagement, like link clicks and page or screen navigation, that happen while a unique ID is assigned can be sent to Analytics and connected via User-ID.

In an Analytics implementation without the User-ID feature, a unique user is counted each time your content is accessed from a different device and each time there’s a new session. For example, a search on a phone one day, purchase on a laptop three days later, and request for customer service on a tablet a month after that are counted as three unique users in a standard Analytics implementation, even if all those actions took place while a user was signed in to an account. While you can collect data about each of those interactions and devices, you can’t determine their relevance to one another. You only see independent data points.

When you implement User-ID, you can identify related actions and devices and connect these seemingly independent data points. That same search on a phone, purchase on a laptop, and re-engagement on a tablet that previously looked like three unrelated actions on unrelated devices can now be understood as one user’s interactions with your business.

Session unification

Session unification is a User-ID setting that allows hits collected before a user ID is assigned to be associated with the ID.

Set up User-ID

First enable User-ID in your account, then implement it in your code.

To set up the User-ID feature, you must first enable it in your Analytics account and then implement it in your tracking code.

Set up User-ID in your account

You must have Edit permission for the property.

To set up User-ID:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Admin, and navigate to the property in which you want to implement User-ID.
  3. In the PROPERTY column, click Tracking Info > User-ID.
  4. Follow the steps outlined in the next sections.

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1. Agree to the User-ID Policy

  1. Read the User-ID Policy.
  2. Under I agree to the User-ID Policy, set the switch to ON. Agreeing to the policy enables the feature in your account.
  3. Click Next Step.

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2. Set up User-ID in your tracking code

After you enable User-ID by agreeing to the policy, you must implement User-ID in your tracking code.

To employ User-ID, you must be able to generate your own unique IDs, assign IDs to new users and consistently reassign the same IDs to returning users, and include these IDs in the data you send to Analytics.

In this step, you can see the line of code that you have to add to your Analytics tracking code:

ga('set', 'userId', {{USER_ID}}); // Set the user ID using signed-in user_id.

The tracking-code update should be completed by a developer.

You can employ User-ID for both websites and mobile apps. Both types of reporting views (web and app) will accept both web and app hits and report them together. With User-ID, we recommend that you maintain a consolidated view that includes all types of hits, and that you configure filtered views to isolate web and app hits as necessary.

If you're not able to assign an ID to a user, do not send the UID parameter. If you set the UID parameter to null or none when you can't assign an ID, then all of those users for which you do not have the necessary data count against your data limits and can cause discrepancies in yourreporting.
 

Session unification

Session unification lets you associate hits that are collected before the User ID is assignedwith the User ID when it is assigned, so long as those hits occur in the same session in which the ID is assigned for the first time.

Session unification is on by default.

When session unification is off, only hits that are collected when the User ID is already assigned are associated with an ID.

  1. Turn session unification ON or OFF as necessary.
  2. Click Next Step.

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3. Create a User-ID reporting view

User-ID data can appear only in a dedicated User-ID view.

  1. Click Create.
  2. Enter a Reporting View Name.
    You might want to include the term "User ID" in the name to help you remember that this is a special User-ID view.
  3. Select a Reporting Time Zone.
  4. Under Show User-ID Reports, set the switch to ON.
  5. Click Create.

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You can create more User-ID views anytime by following the standard process to create a new view.

User-ID Views can't be converted to standard views, and standard views cannot be converted to User ID views. Only new views added to a User-ID enabled property can be designated as User-ID Views.

All reports in a User-ID view display data from sessions in which a User ID is assigned and related data is sent to Analytics. Use a different view to see data from sessions in which a User ID is not sent to Analytics.
 

How to use User Explorer data

To open the User Explorer report:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Navigate to your view.
  3. Open Reports.
  4. Select Audience > User Explorer.

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For each client or user ID, you see the following initial data:

  • Sessions
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate
  • Revenue
  • Transactions
  • Goal Conversion Rate

When you drill into an ID, you see the acquisition date and channel for the user, along with an activity log that details which actions the user took on your site during each session.

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For more details, please refer to the official website from Google.
  1. About User-ID
  2. About User Explorer
  3. Device Overlap
 
**Remarks: Google Analytics User-ID will not be shown immediately. Page View data will be shown in Google Analytics dashboard in around one to two hours. Conversion data will be shown in 12 to 24 hours.
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