In its regular fashion of rolling out new and improved tools every year, Google launched an upgrade of its popular web-based analytics site in 2020.
The new Google Analytics dubbed GA4 is a more advanced and better version of the old Universal Analytics. This new platform promises a better approach to data handling and more return on investment for marketers.
In a blog post on Wednesday 16th of March Google announced that UA will sunset from July 2023.
The good news is that you can run it concurrently with the former GA version – Universal Analytics until July 2023. This makes for an easy transition without any data loss.
Now is the right time to make the switch, set your Google Analytics 4 properties. start tracking and capitalising on its many features.
As you get started with Google Analytics 4, you will quickly realise that it is somewhat different from what you know in the old GA. But no need to worry. This article demystifies the complexities involved, helping you set up Google Analytics 4 easily and effectively.
Getting started with Google Analytics 4
Step 1: Create a Google Analytics 4 account
- To start enjoying GA4 features, new users are expected to create a Google Analytics account. It is very simple and there is a setup wizard to guide you through it.
- Simply log in to the Google Analytics platform and click on the Start Measuring option.
- Once in, you will be asked to input the name of your business or company. Be sure it is your business name, not your name.
- After that, simply click on Next to take you to the tab for creating GA4 properties. Without these properties, there is nothing to measure. So don’t stop at creating an account. You need to create a property too.
For those who already have the old GA account, chances are you currently use the Universal Analytics properties. So, you will need to upgrade the property to the new GA4 property. Or simply create a new property for GA4. Since you already have a GA account, there is no need to create a new one. But you can create a new one if you want.
People using the old Universal GA account can easily upgrade to GA4. To do that, you need to visit your Admin section and check for the GA4 Setup Assistant option under each property. It is that simple.
Step 2: Create a Google Analytics 4 property
Upon upgrading or creating a new GA4 account, the setup wizard will direct you to create a property which can be tracked. This is not so different from UA properties. In fact, you can create a UA property alongside a GA4 property.
Visit the Account tab in the Admin section to get started. Users who have more than one account will find a list of the accounts in this column.
Choose the desired account and navigate to the Property column to set up Google Analytics 4 property. There, you will find the option for GA4 Setup Assistant that will guide you through the next steps until the property is fully ready.
Previous UA users can transfer existing data to this new property if they have gtag.js enabled.
Otherwise, you will have to optimise your property afresh. This includes inputting;
- The name of the property or business
- Your current timezone. This will be the default timezone irrespective of the time in visitors’ countries.
- Your local currency
- The desired data stream should be your website’s URL. This ensures every event that happens on the listed site is tracked. If you only include a page link, then only the page will be tracked.
- Business details such as industry category and business size are important to personalise your services.
- You also need to tell Google how you want the account to function. Be sure to tick all the boxes that apply to you e.g measure lead generation, optimise my site or app experience, measure data across multiple devices, measure customer engagement, etc.
- Then click on Create and accept the Terms of service. This should get your account up and running.
Step 3: Get your measurement ID
Getting your measurement ID is the primary reason to setup Google Analytics 4. A measurement ID is similar to the UA tracking ID but the code is a bit different from the code name you get with UA because there is no UA attached this time. Your Measurement ID will be automatically generated once you create your property. This is the very point of the entire process. Now, it is time to start tracking!
Step 4: Start tracking
To start tracking, you need to add your measurement ID to the head section of every page you want to track. To do this, you will need to go back to the Admin section and select the Data stream option. Once in, navigate to Web Stream Details and choose the Tagging Instructions option. This should take you to an interface to Add New On-Page Tag. Here, you will find the gtag.js (Global Site Tag). Simply paste the copied Measured ID in the head section of every page you desire to track.
The key to maximising your marketing result is to properly set up Google Analytics 4. We are positive these quick steps will help you achieve your marketing goals without sweating it. For professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact FOME. We are here to help!