You’ve likely already heard the news that Google is planning to sunset the Universal Analytics platform we’ve all grown to know & love with the plan to replace it with their latest analytics solution – Google Analytics 4.
While Universal Analytics won’t be shut down until July 1st of 2023 it’s crucial for businesses to get familiar with GA4 before the bell tolls. The good news is that you can set up your Google Analytics 4 property alongside any existing UA properties.
So what do you need to do to set up your Google Analytics 4 property?
Setting Up A New Google Analytics 4 Property
If you’re starting from scratch with Google Analytics on your website the first step you’ll want to take is to create a Google Analytics account (if you don’t have one already).
- Head over to Analytics.Google.com
- In the Admin settings in the Account column, you should have a prompt to Create Account
- Name your account something relevant for your website or business & configure your data-sharing settings for Google
- You will then be able to create your Google Analytics Property in the column next to your Account settings
If you already have a Google Analytics account (or have just created one from above) you’ll be able to get started on creating your GA4 Property.
- Name your property after the site you want to associate with it & select your time zone & currency
- Select the relevant industry category & size of your business
- Accept the Google Analytics Terms Of Service
- Navigate back to your Property settings & select Data Streams – then Add Stream.
- Associate your website URL & enable Enhanced Measurement and create your Data Stream
Now that you have your account, property & data stream created – the fun begins! You’ll need to set up your Analytics tag to collect the relevant data for your website. This can be accomplished a couple of ways.
- Add the Analytics tag to your website builder or CMS platform (i.e. Google Sites, WordPress, Shopify, Wix, etc.)
- In the Property column select your Data Stream & grab the “G-” ID from the upper right corner
- Plug your G-ID into the field provided by your CMS platform
- If your site doesn’t have a G-ID field then you can add the tag by placing a line of HTML code on the site – simply select Add new on-page tag and grab the code for your Global Site Tag and paste it immediately after the <head> line of HTML code for each page of your site.
- Add your Analytics tag via Google Tag Manager (recommended)
- You will need to login to Google Tag Manager to create your tag & container
- Under Tags select New & enter Tag Configuration
- Select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration & enter your measurement ID and select “Send a page view event when this configuration loads”
- Add the recommended event parameter names & any other custom user properties you’d like to capture
- Select your GA4 triggers most relevant to your events (page views, form submissions, video views etc.)
- Save the tag configuration & publish the container
- Place your Google Tag Manager container HTML code into the header of your website pages
Once you have completed these steps you will want to test your data stream by navigating the site & checking it against the data showing in your Google Analytics 4 property!
Adding A Google Analytics 4 Property Alongside Universal Analytics
If you have an existing Universal Analytics property already set up for your site and would like to create a GA4 property alongside it you will be able to do so with the GA4 Setup Assistant. Note that the GA4 property will collect data in parallel with your UA property.
- Access your Analytics properties and select “GA4 Setup Assistant” to get started creating your Google Analytics 4 property
- Enable data collection using your existing tags & create the property
- This will copy the relevant information from your UA property to the new GA4 property
- Be sure Enable Data Collection Using Your Existing Tags is enabled
- You should receive a confirmation that the property has been created & linked
If your tags and data stream are not pulling data after 30 minutes or so you may need to follow the process outlined above to add the GA4 tags via HTML code on the site or from Google Tag Manager depending on your platform.
Adding A Google Analytics 4 Property To Your Website Builder Or CMS Platform
Some CMS & website builder platforms do not yet support Google Analytics 4 properties in which case you will need to connect your GA4 property via Global Site Tag
- Google Sites
If your site is not yet supporting GA4 IDs you’ll need to follow the process outlined in the first section of this post to create your GA4 property & data stream to generate a GA4 Global Site Tag that can be placed in theof your website pages or add the GA4 tags to your Google Tag Manager and publish the updated container.
Contact Blayzer Digital About Setting Up Your Google Analytics 4 Properties
We know that we’ve thrown a LOT of information at you about Google Analytics & with the importance of gathering data for your website and users it can be a daunting task to make sure everything is set up correctly!
If you’re looking to have Google Certified experts handle your Google Analytics 4 setup & integration – Blayzer Digital is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help prepare your business to make the leap from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4!