How To Set Up Google Analytics 4 - and why now
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
That time has arrived.
I know, I see you don’t want to migrate to Google Analytics 4, but trust me when I say, this is the last chance for you to migrate productively, so you can give Google Analytics 4 the time it needs to collect data and help with the new AI feature.
Google is really pressing everyone to update to Google Analytics 4 now, because, from July 1, 2023, the free version of the current Universal Analytics will no longer be available.
Additionally, Google is pressing us to update now. As of July 1, 2023, the free version of Google UA will no longer collect data.
As Google Analytics 4 works with machine learning, it takes more time for it to create the data you’ll need to optimize your strategies. This is why the sooner you make the transition to Google Analytics 4, the better for the data you’ll manage to obtain in time.
Good news: all the Google Analytics 4 tracking can be set up through Google Tag Manager!
Let’s see how to quickly set up Google Analytics 4
Step 1: Create Google Analytics 4 property
To do this, you’ll just need to go to Google Analytics 4 website and create a property, then add it to your website or app through Google Tag Manager.
New: now you can add Google Analytics to your Website, Android app or iOS app. If you have a desktop app, you’ll be able to add both domains to the same Google Analytics 4 property, this way you can collect the data from the website and app all in one place.
The property will start collecting data from the moment you create it, it won’t work retroactively. This is why we suggest keeping your Universal Analytics running until you see that Google Analytics 4 is ready to replace it completely - or until Google will remove UA completely.
Step 2: Set up your most important KPIs tracking
Identify the most important conversion or actions you want to track on the website. The most important for us are:
Thank you pages
Depending on what your business does, these can help you track Purchases, Contacts, Leads or simply interest in a specific topic.
If you’ve been tracking KPIs like Goals (conversions) and Events with the Universal Analytics using Google Tag Manager, you’ll just need to duplicate those Tags and connect them to Google Analytics 4.
Google Analytics 4 limits you to 30 conversions per property, and you’ll have to set up each one of them in Google Analytics 4 as well, as they won’t be transferred from the old UA.
If you can’t find your way around this, reach out for help.
NEW: Some events that you needed to manually set up in the old Analytics, will be automatically tracked here. Some are:
Clicks - although it’s not specified where, so if you need to know where they click you’ll have to create custom events.
Step 3: Set up Audiences
If you’re advertising, you need to consider this step.
For example, before you could retarget on Google based on website visitors, or past purchases, so based on website visits or conversions.
Now the retargeting gets more specific, and you’ll be able to retarget people that, for example, visited your website one week ago and scrolled over 50% of the page. This way you make sure that the retargeting is not for everyone, but just for those who were actually interested in the content on the page.
You can use audiences in your advertising, to target or retarget users or people that made a purchase based on dimension, metric and event data. See full guide here.
Machine learning in Google Analytics 4
What does it mean that Google Analytics 4 is using machine learning?
It means that Google Analytics 4 is able to analyze website traffic and behaviour without accessing the user's personal data.
All the data collected in the analytics is made available anonymously and grouped based on visits and engagement on the website. Elements such as IP address are automatically made anonymous which makes it safer for you to use, while also protecting the data of your visitors.
Other features of Google Analytics 4
In the next article, we’ll talk a little bit more about other important features of Google Analytics 4, such as Insights, Events, and Exploration Reports, where you can build your own reports based on Funnels, Segments, and much more.
This article was meant to remind you to set up Google Analytics 4 today if you haven’t already done so, together with the main conversions and events you’d like to track. Machine learning takes time to give accurate data, and this means the sooner you set Google Analytics 4 up, the better.
If you can’t wrap your head around this new version of Google Analytics, we can help set it up.