In today’s digital landscape, understanding the performance of your online presence is vital. Google Analytics is a cornerstone tool for interpreting data and making informed decisions. Two and a half years ago, Google introduced Google Analytics 4 (GA4), upgrading data collection and analysis from the previous Universal Analytics.
Google’s shift to GA4 aims to empower businesses by enhancing measurement standards, enabling the tracking of various data types. This update helps businesses adjust to the ever-changing online landscape by discovering consistent user paths leveraging Google’s machine learning capabilities.
Let’s dive into our comprehensive guide on setting up Google Analytics 4 for your business.
Step 1: Create a new GA4 property
Begin by creating a new Google Analytics 4 property. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 operates solely at the property level, eliminating the need for ‘views’.
To do this, click “Create Property” in the admin section of Google Analytics.
Step 2: Name your property
Provide the necessary details, such as the name of your property. Once submitted, your new property will be generated.
Step 3: How to create a web data stream
Next, create a data stream to determine how data is sent to your GA4 instance. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 allows multiple measurement IDs to funnel data into one account.
You can set up data streams for iOS, Android, and Web sources, allowing for versatile data collection.
Step 4: Finding your measurement ID
After creating your stream, locate your Measurement ID in the stream settings. Here, you can manage various settings including IP address exclusions, event configurations, and timeout settings.
Step 5: Creating a GA4 configuration tag through GTM
Copy your Measurement ID and proceed to create a relevant tag within Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM conveniently offers a native Google Analytics 4 tag type. Ensure this tag has an all-page trigger to capture all areas of your website.
Step 6: Creating and testing the new tag
Test the newly created tag in GTM’s preview mode to confirm it fires on all pages as expected.
Utilise GA4 DebugView for a comprehensive review of interactions.
GA4 is now good to go. It is really as simple as that!
Differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics
Understanding the differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics is crucial for optimising your website’s performance and making informed marketing decisions. It enables you to harness the unique features and capabilities of each platform. Additionally, being aware of these distinctions helps future-proof your analytics strategy, ensuring you stay at the forefront of data-driven insights. We’ve summarised the key differences to simplify the transition for you.
- Google Analytics 4 is event-based, shifting away from sessions.
- Both apps and web data can now be stored together in GA4.
- GA4 offers native integration with BigQuery, even for free accounts.
- Enhanced Measurement in GA4 tracks more than just pageviews by default.
- Analysis Hub introduces additional reports and tools for analysis in GA4.
- Custom dimensions in GA4 are now either hit-based or user-based.
Incorporating Google Analytics 4 may seem overwhelming, especially after using Universal Analytics. If you require support, the DG team is here to help ensure a seamless transition, so you can continue to derive valuable insights from your data. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help.