GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4: How to switch to GA4 in 7 steps?


GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4: How to switch to GA4 in 7 steps?
GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4: How to switch to GA4 in 7 steps?
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Do you use Google Analytics? Do you want to upgrade to the new version, namely Google Analytics 4?

Our guide is here to help you.

To track your site statistics, number of visitors, reading time, etc., you use Google Analytics or Universal Analytics. Present since 2005; this service will soon be discontinued in favor of its new, more advanced version, Google Analytics 4.

In this article, you will discover:

  • What are Google Analytics 4
  • The advantages of GA4
  • Reasons to upgrade
  • The 7 Steps to Switch from Universal Analytics to GA4

Are you ready to change your Google Analytics?

Let’s get started without further ado!

What is Google Analytics 4?

Summary

  • What is Google Analytics 4?
  • Why use Google Analytics 4 rather than Google Universal Analytics?
    • The end of Google Universal Analytics
    • A new data tracker
    • A new privacy policy
  • Switched to GA4 version in 7 steps
    • Step 1: Creating your Google Analytics property 4
    • Step 2.a: Installing the manual data collection tag
    • Étape 2.b: Installation Google Analytics 4 Google Tag Manager (GTM)
    • Step 3: Activating signals for your new GA4 property
    • Step 4: Enabling “Enhanced Metrics”
    • Step 5: Configuring the Ignore Sites Directory
    • Step 6: Connecting Google apps
    • Step 7: Verify proper installation
  • Ready to migrate to Google Analytics 4?
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • What are the main differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics?
    • How to configure Google Analytics 4 for a mobile application?
    • How to use Google Analytics 4 audience reports to better understand your target audience?
    •  

Appearing for users at the end of 2020, this improved version of Google Analytics goes by the sober name of Google Analytics 4, often abbreviated as GA4. It will be officially mandatory from July 1, 2023. Indeed, Google has announced the closure of the old UA service (the data will be available until the end of 2023).

This new service is not just an update of the existing Universal Analytics, it’s a brand-new project that brings many new features.

The major new additions are:

  • Inter-device measurement (computer, mobile, or tablet)
  • Cross-platform measurement (web and mobile application)
  • Flexible event measurement (more info on user actions)
  • Deeper integration with Google Ads (us google ads agency can help you)
  • Replacing “bounce rate” with best “SEO for Construction

All its updates are fully adapted to adhere to the standards of respect for user confidentiality. In addition, GA4 is intended to be easier to use in order to allow everyone a good understanding and use of this data.

Note that there are more novelties, more or less relevant. The goal was to give you a brief overview of what Google Analytics offers.

Why use Google Analytics 4 rather than Google Universal Analytics?

The change from UA to GA4 is mainly put forward for the many advantages that this latest version offers, but not only. Let’s explore this in more detail:

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The end of Google Universal Analytics

First of all, Google Analytics 4 will shortly replace the previous version, which was previously deprecated. If you have not switched to GA4 by July 1, 2023, you will no longer have access to the Google Analytics service and will consequently lose crucial information for your enterprises.

A new data tracker

The second point is the monitoring and further understanding of the journey of visitors to your site. Google Analytics 4 will record each event that occurs:

  • Page visited
  • Scroll
  • Reading time
  • Clicks
  • etc.

Unlike its previous version, GA4 will record each action as an event, which makes it much more flexible than Universal Analytics.

A new privacy policy

The third important point is respect for privacy and user data confidentiality rules. This news comes to stick to the standards in terms of confidentiality which have tightened in recent years. So, with Google Analytics 4 GDPR standards, you can:

  • Anonymize your users’ IP addresses
  • Allow visitors to block data collection while using
  • Choose the data you will share with Google services
  • Disable data collection for certain regions
  • Determine the duration of storage of the collected data
  • Use or not, the data collected for advertising purposes

These three points are the most impactful, but GA4 has many other advantages:

  • A more intuitive interface
  • Connections with other simplified Google tools
  • More relevant predictive metrics
  • Cross-platform and cross-device measurements
  • Etc.

The switch to the new version is in any case inevitable, but it is in a sense for the best. It will certainly take you a little time to adapt, but in the end, you will gain in exchange.

Switched to GA4 version in 7 steps

We have seen what Google Analytics 4 is and what it brought in comparison to its previous version which held its role for more than 15 years. So as not to be taken aback on July 1, 2023, we suggest that you switch to Google Analytics 4 version now in a few simple steps.

Whether you want Google Analytics 4 WordPress or for your e-commerce site, make this change simply!

Step 1: Create your Google Analytics property 4

If your Google Analytics account was created before October 2020, you will need to create a GA4 property. Otherwise, it is automatically created.

To get started, log in to your Google Analytics account. Once on the page, go to the “Administration” tab (the gear at the bottom left). Once on this page, you go to “GA4 Setup Assistant” and click on “GetStarted”.

A pop-up page will then open to inform you about the operations that will be performed:

  • “Create a Google Analytics 4 property”
  • “Copy general settings from your Universal Analytics property”
  • “Enable enhanced metrics”

We strongly suggest you to thoroughly read this material to understand the modifications made.

Additionally, you have the option of gathering the data using your current tags; this option is optional, but you can tick it if you want to take advantage of it.

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This option will only work if your site has your Google Universal Analytics gtag.js tag. If you used the tracking code UA-XXXXXX-X, do not check the box.

Once done, click on “Create a property”. That’s it; you have your GA4 property. Now you need to configure it to start collecting data.

So, let’s move on to the next step!

Step 2. a: Installing the manual data collection tag

To begin installing the tag, you need to retrieve the ragtag. To do this, look for the tab on your left named “DataFeeds” and choose your property. A page will then open.

On this page, you will find several information about the URL of the feed, the name of the feed as well as the measurement ID. Here, we are going to look at the lower part of the page, where it says “Tagginginstruction”. Click on “Add a new tag on the page”, then copy the code.

This code must be pasted in the header on all the pages of your website. The header is the first part of your source code; it is included between the <head> and </head> tags just before the <body> tag.

Étape 2.b: Installation Google Analytics 4 Google Tag Manager (GTM)

To install via Google Analytics 4 Google Tag Manager, go to your Google Tag Manager account in the “Tags” tab and add a new one by clicking on “New.”

You can name this tag here by modifying its name which is basically “Basil without title”. Click on the first “TagConfiguration” area and select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration”.

In the Metric ID box, copy your Metric ID (It is available in “Data Streams”). You can then save and then “Send” to activate GTM directly and automatically.

Step 3: Activating signals for your new GA4 property

These Google signals are user session data from sites and apps directly linked to Google and harvest data from users who have enabled ad personalization with their Google account.

In other words, these signals will allow you to collect data, regardless of the platform and the location of the user, and to create a follow-up of the latter more extensive than with the old version of Google. Analytics.

In order to configure it, click on the “Dataparameter” tab and the “Data collection” sub-category. You just have to activate “Data collection by Google signals” as well as “Collection of precise data on the device and the geographical area”.

You also have the option of changing the retention period for this data. For this, still, in the “Data settings” tab, click on the “Data retention” sub-category and choose the desired duration.

Step 4: Enabling “Enhanced Metrics”

These improved measures will allow you to collect more data without modifying the code of your website. To do this, go to the “Data feeds” tab and click on your GA4 property.

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In the “Events” section, activate if this is not the case, “Enhanced measures”. Thanks to it, you will collect data at each:

  • Seen pages
  • Scrolls
  • Outbound clicks
  • Search on the site
  • Interactions with forms
  • Engagement with videos
  • File download

If you don’t want to collect information, you can click on “Configure enhanced metrics” and uncheck unwanted options.

Step 5: Configuring the Ignore Sites Directory

This step is especially for Google Analytics 4 e-commerce. During payment, the user is redirected to the site that makes the payment, and once the transaction is completed, the latter is redirected to your site.

In order not to reference its operations via the site (leaving our site then entering our site from the site of the payment solution), you must notify it.

Go to your “Data feeds” and click on “Additionalsettings” and “List referrals to ignore”. On this page, write down any referrals you want to ignore.

Step 6: Connecting Google apps

One of the main arguments of this new version of Google Analytics is the ease of association with other Google products. And for once, it is indeed the case.

Basically, you have the option of associating Google Analytics 4 with:

  • Google Ads
  • Ad Manager
  • Big Query
  • Display & Video 360
  • PPC for Fencing Business:
  • Merchant Center
  • Search Ads 360
  • Search Console

To do this, in the “Administration” tab, scroll down to the “ProductAssociations” category and select the desired tool. You just have to click on your already existing account to associate the two together. Easy right?

Step 7: Verify proper installation

The last step, and arguably the most important, is to verify your configuration. It is important to note that the implementation can take 48 hours maximum.

To perform this verification, go to the “Report” tab of Google Analytics 4 and choose “Realtime”.

Now visit your website, either on web or mobile. To do a good check, use another browser, or private browsing. This way, you make sure that you don’t visit the page with a cache.

Two options:

You see an activity: everything is well configured, it’s perfect.
You don’t see anything on GA4: There is probably a beacon problem.

In the second case, you must restart the installation from the beginning. Make sure the code is in the right place and complete if you did a manual install.

Ready to migrate to Google Analytics 4?

We are coming to the end of our article dedicated to switching from Google Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. This guide will show you the steps to switch versions to continue to benefit from Google Analytics when the old version is obsolete.

You have also seen, what new GA4 offers and the advantages it offers compared to its predecessor.

If you’ve carefully followed this tutorial, you now have the most recent version of Google Analytics, enabling you to gather useful data for your website and your company.

To benefit from GA4’s features as soon as feasible and avoid being without data on July 1, 2023, move as swiftly as you can towards this migration to GA4.


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Ahmed Raza

SEO Expert and digital marketing maven. Elevating clicks, boosting brands, and redefining online success. Dive into the realm where his expertise shines brightest