Google Analytics 4 Setup: Essential Steps for Implementation

Google Analytics 4 Setup: Essential Steps for Implementation

Setting up GA4 is crucial for data tracking and gaining insights, ensuring integration with Google's ecosystem for user behavior analysis.

By: Menahil Shahzad | 5 mins read
Published: Jul 4, 2024 4:04:00 AM | Updated: Jul 10, 2024 12:52:18 PM

Are you curious how to start with Google Analytics 4 (GA4)? 

Setting up GA4 correctly is key to gaining valuable insights into your website's performance and user interactions.

According to one report, GA4 is presently utilized by 14.2 million websites. This highlights the demand for Ga4 is increasing day by day.

Many marketers are moving toward this new tool finding difficulty and getting lost while setting up Ga4.

We are here to set up your GA4 with our guide.

In this blog post, we'll provide a step-by-step guide to setting up GA4, helping you to fully utilize its robust features and improve your analytics strategy.

Get in touch to learn about Analytico’s Digital Analytics Audit services or GA4 audit services.

Why Set up GA4?

Google Analytics 4 setup is important for several reasons:

1. Future-Proofing: 

GA4 is Google's next-generation analytics platform, designed to provide more advanced insights and capabilities compared to Universal Analytics (UA). It's built to adapt to the evolving digital landscape, including privacy changes and multi-device tracking.

2. Enhanced Tracking: 

GA4 offers improved cross-device tracking, allowing you to better understand user behavior across different platforms and devices. This includes web, mobile apps, and more.

3. Event-Driven Model: 

GA4 operates on an event-based data model, which means it can track interactions and events more granularly than UA. This flexibility enables deeper analysis and more detailed reporting.

4. Machine Learning Capabilities: 

GA4 integrates machine learning for more accurate predictions and insights, such as churn probability and customer lifetime value.

5. Privacy-Centric Design: 

With increasing privacy regulations, GA4 is designed to be more privacy-centric by default, helping you comply with regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

6. Reporting and Analysis: 

GA4 offers a redesigned interface and new reports that provide a clearer view of user journeys and engagement, helping you make data-driven decisions more effectively.

GA4 Setup Guide: Step by Step 

The step-by-step guide for how to set up ga4 is given below:

Step 1: Create a GA4 Account

First sign in to your GA4 account. If you don’t have a GA4 account, create one at analytics.google.com.

Enter a name for your account in the "Account name" field.

Setup Ga4 Account

Use the "Account Data Sharing Settings" to select how you want to share your data with Google then click "Next".

Step 2: Create GA4 Property 

Setup Ga4 Admin Panel

Click the left panel and then click on the gear button at the left-end corner. In the Admin section, click on the + Create bar and select Property.

Setup Ga4 Property

Configure Property Details:

Setting up Ga4 property details

Fill in the necessary details:

  • Property Name: Give your property a descriptive business name.
  • Reporting Time Zone: Select your preferred time zone.
  • Currency: Choose the currency for reporting.

Tip!


You can also utilize the GA 4 Setup Assistant wizard for a step-by-step guide through the setup process.

Step 3: Provide Business Details

  • Fill out the "Industry category" and "Business size" fields and then select next at the bottom. 

Setup Ga4 business details

Step 4: Select Business Objectives

  • Choose at least one business objective that aligns with your goals, and press create. 

Ga4 setup Business goals

Accept Terms:

  • Review the Google Analytics terms of service. If your business is subject to GDPR, select the appropriate checkbox. Click "I Accept" to proceed.

Step 5: Create a Data Stream

GA4 data streams collect data from websites and apps.

Choose Your Platform

Select “Web” if you are tracking a website. For apps, choose either “iOS” or “Android.”

how to Setup GA4 data stream

Configure the Data Stream:

Enter your website URL and name your data stream.

Step 6: Install the Tracking Code

Get the Measurement ID:

After setting up your data stream, you will receive a unique Measurement ID. Click on “View tag instructions” to get the installation instructions.

Install the Code:

Code can be installed in three ways:

1. Manual Installation

Copy the provided JavaScript code and paste it into the <head> section of your website’s HTML.

2. Using a CMS or Website Builder

If you are using platforms like WordPress, you can use plugins like Site Kit by Google to easily integrate GA4.

3. Google Tag Manager (GTM)

If you use GTM, create a new tag, select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration,” and enter your Measurement ID. Set the trigger to “All Pages” and publish the changes.

Step 7: Link to Google Ads and Other Google Products

1. Google Ads:

In the Admin section, navigate to “Google Ads Linking” and follow the prompts to link your GA4 property with your Google Ads account. This enables better tracking of ad performance and conversions.

2. Search Console and BigQuery:

Link your GA4 property to Google Search Console and BigQuery to gain deeper insights into your website’s performance and perform advanced data analysis.

Step 8: Enable Enhanced Measurement

GA4’s Enhanced Measurement feature automatically tracks interactions like page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, and video engagements without additional tags.

1. Navigate to Data Streams: Go to “Data Streams” in the GA4 property.
2. Enable Enhanced Measurement: Toggle the switch to enable this feature.

Essential GA4 Set-up Implementations

 

Set Up Conversions

Navigate to the “Events” section in the GA4 property. Mark important events as conversions (e.g., purchases, form submissions).

Custom events can also be created and marked as conversions based on your business goals.

Setup Audiences

Use the “Audiences” feature to create segments of users based on specific criteria (e.g., users who visited a specific page, users who made a purchase).

These audiences can be used for targeted marketing campaigns and personalized experiences.

Setting Up GA4’s Cross-Domain Measurement Feature

Enabling cross-domain measurement in GA4 allows you to track user interactions across multiple related domains seamlessly. 

This setup ensures that GA4 uses cookies to assign a unique ID to users, maintaining consistency as they move between different domains, resulting in more accurate data collection and deeper insights into user behavior.

1. Access Data Streams:

Go to the Admin panel and select "Data Streams."

2. Open Web Stream Configuration:

Click on your web stream and choose "Configure tag settings" under the Google tag section.

3. Configure Your Domains:

Select "Configure your domains."Under "Include domains that match the following conditions," choose a match type and enter the domain's identifier.

Click "Add condition" to add more domains. Click "Save" to finalize your setup.

This ensures consistent user tracking across domains, providing comprehensive insights into user behavior and the customer journey.

Configure User Permissions

In the Admin panel, navigate to “Account Access Management” or “Property Access Management.”

Add users and assign roles based on their responsibilities (e.g., Admin, Editor, Viewer).

IP Filters

In the "More Tagging Settings" view, you can define IP traffic to filter out. To set up internal (or other specific IP) traffic filters in GA4, navigate to:

  1. Admin Panel
  2. Data Stream
  3. More Tagging Settings
  4. Define Internal Traffic

Here, you can specify the IP addresses you want to exclude from tracking.

Domain Referral Filters

Below the "Define Internal Traffic" option, you'll find "List Unwanted Referrals."

This filter is beneficial for those using third-party services like payment processors, landing page platforms, or blog platforms. 

To define referrers to ignore, you can choose from these match types:

  • The Referral domain contains
  • The referral domain begins with
  • The referral domain ends with
  • The referral domain exactly matches
  • The referral domain matches RegEx

These match types can be combined using and/or conditions.

Adjust Session Timeout

The last option in the "More Tagging Settings" screen is "Adjust Session Timeout." The default session timeout is 30 minutes, which might be too long if a user remains idle for extended periods. You can adjust this setting to better suit your needs.

Additionally, you can adjust the timer for engaged sessions. By default, this is set to 10 seconds. GA4 considers sessions of 10 seconds or longer as engaged sessions. 

Engagement metrics, which have replaced behavior metrics like bounce rate, are based on these engaged sessions. Therefore, adjust the timer cautiously, as it affects your engagement metrics.

Test Your Setup

Use the real-time reports in GA4 to verify that data is being collected correctly. Perform actions on your website and ensure they are tracked in real time.

Analyze Your Data

GA4 offers a variety of reports under the “Life cycle” and “User” sections. These include reports on acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention. Utilize the “Analysis Hub” for custom analysis and deep dives into your data.

Utilize GA4 Features

GA4 provides predictive metrics such as purchase probability and churn probability, which can help in making informed business decisions.

Conclusion

Implementing Google Analytics 4 involves several critical steps, from setting up a new property and data streams to configuring tracking and analyzing data. 

By following these essential steps, you can leverage GA4’s advanced features to gain valuable insights into your website’s performance and user behavior, ultimately driving better business decisions and optimizing your digital presence

Do you like what you read? Learn more about Digital Analytics on our blog here.