To be on top of your marketing and maximize opportunities on the web, you need insight into the interaction & behavior of users on your website. Thanks to Google Analytics and its search console counterpart, knowing who you visitors are, where they come from, what devices they use, and their behavior on your website has never been this easy. You can even determine what your competitors are doing and how they leverage relevant openings online. Google is even changing the playing field as it rolls out ga4 across board for improved experience. If you are looking to setup your Google Analytics 4, this article is all you need.
How to Setup Google Analytics 4 (ga4)
In the initial setup workflow for Analytics, you need to connect the Analytics account and connect the GA4 and UA properties. Running both analytics properties side-by-side means that you can start collecting historic data before Google ultimately disables UA. The GA4 property will have none of your historic data, so it is a good idea to get that setup and collecting data, even if you are still using Universal Analytics to view all of your reports.
You can proceed by following the GA4 Configuration Assistant to create a Google Analytics 4 property which will collect data along with your existing Universal Analytics properties.
Your measurement ID is what you use to finish the set-up. You cannot pull data from your site into Google Analytics without it. If you have Universal Analytics code already in place on the site, and want to add the GA4 measurement IDs on the site, then you will need to link your GA4 measurement IDs to the Universal Analytics properties under Tracking Code Track info in the Properties column of Google Analytics Admin.
Next, you will add the measurement ID from settings under your Google Analytics GA4 properties, then in Triggers, you need to set GA4 Configuration Tags to trigger on All Pages. If you are using Google Tag Manager, getting GA4 code onto your site is really easy, all you have to do is setup a configuration tag inside of GTM, and set it to fire on All Pages. If the GA4 Setup Assistant wizard provides an option to Enable data collection using your existing tags (and you left that option selected), then your new Google Analytics 4 property should now be collecting data.
Then, head over to your Google Tag Manager container (if you are new to working with Google Tag Manager, heres a tutorial to get started) > Tags > New, and select GA4 Configuration. To begin tracking using GTM, click on the arrow next to the “Tags” install option on the Setup Assistant. To start tracking with Universal Analytics using your Measurement ID, simply head over to your GTM account and create a new tag. For configuring cross-domain tracking using Google Analytics 4, just go to Admin > Datastream > Additional Tag Settings > Configure your domain.
Creating Data Stream
To create a data stream in GA4, go to your accounts settings, and under Properties, choose Data streams. This way, you can take advantage of a data stream created to monitor your web app. From here, you can create your own data stream by selecting Add Stream, and then choosing which type of Entity you want the data to come from (iOS App, Android App, or Web). By the way, if you are ever lost on your Google Analytics Google Analytics 4 interface and you need to revisit this page, just head over to Admin > Data streams > choose the most recently created stream, then you will be back at the same window.
Right inside of your new interface, Universal Analytics, you can turn on enhanced measurement to trigger events for actions that would have required manual events creation before, like scrolling activities, outbound clicks, file downloads, and video views. With a configuration tag and Enhanced Measurement, you are already collecting lots of data in GA4 that is ready-made, but for anything that is customized or unique to your site, you will need to configure additional event tracking. For example, with Universal Analytics, you will have to configure event tracking, such as the Enhanced eCommerce and Conversion Tracking, using a specific code.
Note that you can configure more advanced tracking options via GTM. We are going to use swipe tracking as our sample event configuration here, but keep in mind you can create events with the GA4 Event Tag for any triggers available within GTM.
What Happens When You Switch
If your site is not using GA4, you strongly encourage adding the GA4 property ASAP, so you have significant amounts of GA4 data tracked before stopping. This just means you should immediately begin using the new release to gather data for your new property. The Setup Wizard screen shows that your existing UA properties do not change, and you can start working with your new GA4 properties.
When you use the setup wizard, Google automatically links your existing UA property with your new GA4 property. If you do not have an upgrade option available, you can click on “Create Property” to create a new GA4 property, and then jump ahead to Step 4 once the “Create property” configuration is complete. If you would like to create a new Google Analytics 4 property (and are not using the Upgrade to GA4 option), go to the Admin section of the Google Analytics interface (by clicking on Admin at the lower left) and then (under Properties) click Create Property.
Wrapping Up Google Analytics 4
It is best practice to run GA4 property concurrently with GA3 property, because Google will probably end GA3 support, as well as support for other older versions of GA, at some point. If the Analytics Account, UA Property, and/or GA4 Property are connected to an Analytics Account, you will be asked to choose which account, UA property, and/or GA4 Property you would like to connect.
Regardless of what property you use to monitor data on your website, having Google analytics remains a vital tool for anyone seeking to optimize the search engine result pages.