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Get Your Google Analytics 4 Set-up Before You Start Losing Valuable Data

website traffic May 01, 2023

GET YOUR GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4 SETUP

The countdown is on. Google’s Universal Analytics is officially getting sunset this coming July.

It’s set to be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

The question is, are you prepared? Don’t risk losing your data.

GA4 is the latest evolution of Google Analytics and is an entirely new application, separate from Universal Analytics.

It may be a little overwhelming for you to upgrade but let me assure you, this new version of analytics is extremely insightful and provides many advanced features (as a standard) that UA didn’t.

If you’re new around here, let’s start with the basics before we get your Google Analytics 4 setup.

WHAT IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Google Analytics is a free Google tool that you install on your website that helps you gain an understanding of what visitors are doing on your website and/or app.

GA allows you to track and analyse critical data on your website or app such who is visiting your site, how they found you, which pages they’re visiting, how they progress throughout your site, how long they stay, as well as track conversions like purchases.

WHY DO I NEED GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Website analytics are extremely powerful (and important) in understanding your audience and how they behaviour on your platforms.

Use the traffic and user behaviour information in GA4 to guide your marketing decisions and make changes on your website that will help you get more conversions and reach your business goals.

It’s imperative you use data to make informed decisions about your business otherwise you are going in blind.

WHY GA4?

GA4 is a massive step up from UA. Let’s look at some of the key GA4 features you won’t want to miss out on with this analytics tool.

Cross-platform tracking

GA4 allows you to track users across different devices and platforms including your website, mobile app, or both. This means that you can get the full picture of how users interact with your brand.

This makes it easier to track conversions as well as the entire customer journey a user takes from start to finish, regardless of what device or platform they’re using.

Advanced Analysis and Reporting

GA4 has advanced analysis and reporting capabilities that you do not want to miss out on. Start using the analytics tool to discover insights about your brand (Google introduced a new toolset to make this possible).

Improved Insights with Machine Learning

GA4 employs machine learning to provide smarter insights for your business. Google uses probabilistic matching. With this feature data is matched and you can get a single view of how your traffic sources e.g., Facebook and Google Ads are performing for the same campaign.

New and improved data model

Data is now collected using an event (action) based model which means actions are now tracked in real time. This makes the data much more accurate. It also allows you to track user interactions that don’t happen on your website such as offline or in-app purchases.

Purchase probability and churn

GA4 allows you to predict the probability an individual user will purchase on your website or app or stop using a product (churn). This allows you to focus your marketing efforts to where it matters most.

DO I NEED TO SWITCH TO GA4?

Without a doubt! You need to make the switch before July 1st, 2023.

If you’re yet to make the move and want to continue using Google Analytics, the time to upgrade is now. Universal Analytics will stop collecting data very shortly.

Even if you aren’t using the data yet, if you start now, you’ll have historical data to use when you are ready.

If you are ready to use the data, you can give yourself a head start on learning the platform.

Currently you can use GA4 alongside UA until July so make the switch today.

It will only take 10 minutes at best to setup.

Don’t risk potentially losing your data.

HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH GA4?

Follow these steps to get your Google Analytics 4 setup:

1. Head to analytics.google.com.

2. Create an account if you don’t already have one.

You need a Gmail account or email account connected to Google to be able get started. The simplest way is to create a Gmail account and sign in.

3. Select Start Measuring and add an account name.

Add your business name as the account name for the website you’re going to be setting up Google Analytics for.

4. Then select what information you’d like to share with Google. You may not mind sharing your information but if you would like a little more privacy untick all the boxes and select Next.

If you already have a Google Analytics account but haven’t yet set up your Google Analytics property (website or app), start at the next step.

Create Property

Next, create your property which represent your businesses website or app data:

1. Name your GA4 property.

It’s easiest to call your property the name of your brand followed by the words website or app depending on which you’re tracking. For example, The Digital Website.

2. Then select the timezone you would like reporting in and your currency. Then select next.

3. Then, add your business information. Select the industry you operate in and the size of your business in terms of employees.

4. Finally select how you intend to use Google with your business.

5. Then select create.

6. You will then need to select the terms and conditions for your country. Select your country from the dropdown, place a tick in the check box if you accept the TC’s and click I accept.

7. It may now ask what your email preferences are in regard to the updates you’d like to receive. Select all that apply and hit save.

Set-up the Data Stream

1. You’ll need to select where you would like Google Analytics to collect data from – is it your website, an iOS or Android App. You'll most likely be selecting website.

2. Go ahead and add your website url e.g., I would add https://thedigitalexchange.co

3. Call the Stream Name what you named your Property. I used The Digital Exchange Website.

Leave on the default enhanced measurement option which automatically measures important actions on your site or app such as file downloads, YouTube videos views or when a user scrolls 90% of a page of your website without any extra work being required to set this up.

4. Finally select create stream.

The initial setup of your GA4 is complete and you have been allocated a measurement ID which tracks the actions users take on your site.

To get the Google Tag measurement ID added to your website, follow the onscreen instructions for your website platform.

Instruction Steps for Switching to GA4 from UA

1. Head to UA Google Analytics and click Admin in the lower left hand corner.

2. In the Account column, make sure the correct account is selected. (If you only have one Google Analytics account you won’t need to change anything).

3. In the Property column, select the Universal Analytics property currently collecting data for your website.

4. In the Property column, click GA4 Setup Assistant. It's the first option.

5. Click ‘Get started’ under I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property. In the Create a new Google Analytics 4 property pop-up screen, click 'Create and continue'.

6. Click Go to GA4 Property

7. In Google Analytics under the new GA4 Property, click Admin (lower left corner) and under the property column, click Data streams.

8. You should see a stream migrated from Universal Analytics.

The initial switch from UA to GA4 is now complete and you have been allocated a measurement ID which tracks the actions users take on your site.

To get the Google Tag measurement ID added to your website, follow the onscreen instructions for your website platform.

You’re all set. Your Google Analytics 4 is now setup and will begin collecting your data in no time. Happy tracking.

If you need help setting up or customising your Google Analytics further, get in contact with our team.

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