How to Upgrade to Universal Google Analytics & get Demographics and Interests Data

If you’ve signed in to your Google Analytics account and been seeing the message informing you to upgrade to Universal Analytics, you may be wondering if it’s something you should bother to do, and how to make the upgrade.


Universal Analytics includes the new categories of Demographics and Interests along with all the rich analytics you’re already receiving from Google Analytics.

If you visit your Google Analytics Dashboard, you’ll see menu items for Demographics and Interest, and can click to enable. But to make your Google Analytics start tracking this new data, you need to upgrade your tracking code.


Upgrading to Universal Google Analytics

Step 1 in upgrading is to determine which version of Google Analytics you currently have: Classic or Universal. This help center link will show you a couple ways to identify which version you have.

One way to tell is to look at your Property information. Google says, “A Classic Google Analytics account has an option in this column called Tracking Code. A Universal Analytics account has an option called Tracking Info that includes more Admin settings like Session Settings and Organic Search Sources.”


We can identify from this information that we currently have Universal analytics installed. The process to upgrade to add Demographics and Interests is dependent upon what version of Google Analytics you currently have, so this first step is crucial in the process.

Now we can follow this Google Analytics help link to learn what line of code we need to add to our existing Google Analytics tracking code as our Step 2.


The code that needs to be added is in the dark grey line of text above.


Once you copy and paste that extra line of code into the existing tracking code on your site, it’s time to validate it! A note here…validation is not immediate. I’d suggest giving it a day, then returning to click the “validate tracking code” button.

Once you are validated, you’ll receive the message below.


Here are a couple examples of the new Demographics and Interests Reports.



If needed, here’s a link to their Upgrade Center Guide.


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