GA4, or Google Analytics 4, is the latest version of Google's analytics platform, and it brings a host of fantastic features and improvements. Designed to offer a more comprehensive view of user behaviour across various devices and platforms, GA4 is set to make it easier than ever to track and analyse user interactions.
Whilst many may be content with letting Google automate the process of updating your website’s analytics, it’s also true that you won’t be able to unlock its full potential without a few steps to get everything GA4 ready.
We’ve outlined and broken down the tips below to help you get started with GA4, and tapping the full potential of your site’s analytics, to tell you the story of how customers are (or in some cases more importantly - are not) using your website.
1. Create a new GA4 Property
To ensure a seamless transition, it's recommended to run GA4 alongside your existing UA implementation. By doing so, you can compare data and gradually adapt to the new platform without losing any valuable insights. Creating a new GA4 property will mean that you can grow used to the new UI and that you won’t lose any valuable data between the UA > GA4 transition.
2. Implement your new Snippet
GA4 requires a new tracking code snippet to be installed on your website. Make sure to update your code by replacing the UA code with the GA4 version. If you're not comfortable with the back end of your website, don't worry - we’re always here to lend a hand.
3. Add IP filtering
In order to avoid duplication and to make sure you are filtering out internal traffic it is also important to turn on IP filtering within your GA4 property. To check that IP Filtering is active, go to Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters.
4. Make sure your UA events aren’t collecting automatically
As part of the migration process, some of your previous Universal Analytics events may be being collected automatically, meaning that you risk duplicating your events across UA & GA4. You’re going to want to set up brand new tags for GA4, so that you can ensure your data is as accurate as possible.
5. Set up tags in the right places & 6. Configure your conversion events
This is part of every standard analytics setup and ensures that you have tagged up all of your forms and triggers properly. This is going to help you track the right conversions and make sure you’re keeping tabs of all the important actions that users are taking on your website.
7. Connect to your other Google Accounts
Integrating this activity with Google Ads will allow you to utilise Enhanced Conversions Tracking, which will allow you to target a more granular group of users, based on those who have already made conversions on your website, making your ad spend more cost effective. Connecting your GA4 account to tag manager and search console will streamline the conversion tagging process if you already have conversion tracking set up, and Search Console will ensure you can cross reference your ongoing SEO and ranking activity against your web analytics.
8. Create custom reports
If you want your GA4 dashboard to display certain graphs, or particular cross-sections of data, GA4’s fully customisable reports will allow you to either shape the updated platform to appear in a way that you are familiar with, but custom reports will also allow you to take advantage of GA4s new and updated features, such as insights, which uses AI to ask simple questions of your analytics that produce simple answers.
Don’t be daunted by any of the steps above. If you’re looking to get control over your web analytics and want help wrangling GA4 into place ahead of the update from Universal Analytics, give us a call on 01206 803999 or drop us an email at [email protected]