Should you switch to Google Analytics 4? ( Core Set Up Implementation Explained )

Should I upgrade to Google Analytics 4

In my previous blog, I have explained a bit about comparing Google Analytics 4 to Universal Analytics ( Google Analytics 3 ) and the newest features improvement. If you are using UA, you may have the same questions as I do when learning more about GA 4, which is, should I or not upgrade to the latest version?

Clearly, Google lays all the intriguing benefits of using GA 4. However, while the improvement is pretty GA- 4 centric, there is no public timeline for making GA 4 a mandatory upgrade. And this mean UA has not been abandoned yet. Instead, it is likely to co-exist with GA4 for quite a while, giving a flexible timeframe for users to rely on it during this transition period.

So, does that mean you should ignore GA4? Certainly, no.

Many veteran GA experts recommend adding a GA 4 property to your existing GA account so that you can get familiar with the new functionalities. Note that your UA will remain intact and accessible while running GA 4 side-by-side, which you can enjoy both worlds and experiment with GA 4 as it matures!

Charles Farina, the Google Analytics guru, says that “the best to learn GA4 is actually to experience it by doing it yourself.” So, I’ll share what I learnt from the CXL course and how you can implement these core set up to yours too! Note that the guided implementation is applied to those using GA4 and GTM for the first time. Let’s dive in.

  1. Account setup

Once you are ready, go into your GA account, where it will take you to the last account you were in. But if you are new, you can go to admin settings and create a brand new GA account from scratch. To do that, click Create Account>Give Your Account A Name > Uncheck the organisation link ( since this checkbox associate with a kind of corporate entity and you don't have to worry about it. ) > Leave data sharing option, however, you want. Then you have the first part of the account set up done.

Account Setup. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

2. Property setup

Within Google provisioning, the property has defaulted to GA 4. One little note here — If you want to create the UA version instead, you can click on Show Advanced Options below. But right now, assuming you are going to stick with GA 4, you can start by naming your property after your business. Set reporting time zone and currency upfront and click Next. When heading to the next section, you’ll be asked to fill in a little survey. It is an optional setting, so you can fill in or skip it — it’s up to you. In this case, we’re just going to ignore it and click Create and accept your control and GDPR term.

Property Setup. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

The next thing to do in the property setup is to create Data Streams. Data Stream is a new concept in GA 4, which previously these are views by default in UA. You can use different approaches for Streams, e.g. multiple/single screams on a single website. In this case, we are just going to create a web scream by entering the website URL and giving a descriptive name for the scream as users can’t modify the setup afterwards, so think carefully of what you want to show up in GA 4.

Data Stream Setup. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

The enhanced measurement, a.k.a automatic measurement, is something we’ve covered in the previous blog, which measures many events. On the right-hand corner, you can hit on the gear set, toggling to adjust different measuring or specify your search term parameter. As for now, you can leave it as default and click Create Scream.

Data Stream Setup. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

Now that you do, Google has provisioned the first stream, so this is where we get to the implementation component. Under Tagging Instruction, you have two options: Global Site Tag ( gtag.js) and Google Tag Manager. For the easier control and less confusing setup process, GTM is the preferred approach by far.

Select GTM for further implementation. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4
  1. Account Setup

To do that, head to the GTM Manager Account and set up an account if you are new. You should go through the process as follows: Create a GTM account > Name Your Account and Validate Your Country> Enter Your Website URL Link > Click Web ( whatever is it you’ve selected, it must be the same as the stream in UA) > then click Create and agree on the T&S.

GTM Account Setup. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

2. Installation of GTM tag

After all, it’ll take you into the installation component. The second part of the code is for users who have javascript disenabled on their website, so you can skip that part and copy the first part of the code to your website.

Select the first part of the code. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

Assuming you have a website and know how to access the back end to implement your code and tag. If you are using WordPress, you can check out this link here. If your website is built on scratch, you can also cooperate with your developer to insert the tag. Either way, adding a GA4 tag is relatively easy.

3. Add the first tag in GTM

So, once you have completed adding the GTM code, head back to GTM to create the first tag to fire up the automatic measurement in UA. To start, you must complete the following process:

Tag Configuration

Click new tag > Go to Tag Configuration > Select Google Analytics: GA 4 Configuration ( Google Analytics: GA 4 Event is used when you want to track the ad hoc event, so here you can skip it first.) > Insert Your GA ID ( Find it under your property of the web stream details.)

Triggering

Click on Trigger section > Select All Pages.

Tag Configuration Set up in GTM. Image is taken from CXL mini-course Google Analytics 4

Name Tag

Great tips here — the name convention starts with Alpahet, so keep it as simple yet descriptive as possible. GA 4- Global Config. Then hit Saved and Publish the site.

So this is it, the core implementation set up for GA 4.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
janet wong

“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” Robert A. Heinlein.