Get to Know Google Analytics 4: A Complete Guide

Last year Google announced that its next-generation measurement solution, Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics. Standard Universal Analytics will process hits till June 30, 2023.

To help you understand the latest iteration of Google’s web analytics platform, we have put together the definitive guide to Analytics 4. Take a look.

GA4: What’s Changed?

Google Analytics 4 uses a different, more advanced data structure and data collection logic than its predecessor. Its events- based model allows it to process every user interaction as a standalone event. Everything is built around users and events instead of sessions.

The change is significant and can enable cross-platform analysis. GA4 is more flexible than Universal Analytics and better able to predict user behavior. According to Google, GA4 has better security settings than Universal Analytics. It facilitates seamless integration with Google advertising platforms to optimize campaign performance.

Should you Make the Switch From Universal Analytics to GA4?

If you are still using Universal Analytics, switch to GA4 as soon as possible to avoid missing out on important campaign performance insights. You will be able to process your previously saved data in Google Analytics for at least six months.

In the meantime, you can set up your GA4 property to run in parallel with your Universal Analytics so it starts collecting data straightaway. Data paves the way for better analysis and eventually better decision making.

How to Set up GA4?

You can configure GA4 with just a few clicks. After you have set up GA4, your old Analytics property will still be there and will collect data as usual. You will still be able to access your UA view through the admin screen.

Follow these steps to configure your GA4.

  • Sign in to your GA account
  • Click Admin and confirm that you have selected your desired account
  • Confirm that you have selected your desired property
  • Click GA4 Setup Assistant in the Property column

After you enter the Setup Wizard, click Get Started. Next click Create Property.

Remember the GA4 Setup Assistant works automatically with gtag.js. If you use a website builder, you will need to add the Analytics tag.

Once you have created your GA4 property, the setup assistant will automatically activate enhanced measurement. Your property will still need custom codes to track third-party elements and form submissions.

GA4 helps with reporting by creating a single user journey for all data linked to the same identity. Thanks to the simple reporting interface, marketers can now identify key trends more easily.

GA4: Some Useful Features and Reports

  • Realtime report: Helps confirm that the tracking code is working. You can also use the report to view the performance of a YouTube video and new product drops in real time
  • View user snapshot: This cool feature allows you to view a snapshot containing important information such as real time engagement and location for individual users
  • Life cycle reports: Answer important questions such as how do users enter the funnel and how they behave once they are inside

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