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#1 What is google analytics 4 (GA4) & how to Set up?

Updated: May 11, 2021

Understand how your digital consumers behave on your site using GA4. GA4 comprises web as well as app data to provide you with cross-device capabilities which can aid in customer journey stitching. Just installing a small snippet of JavaScript code on your sites, can get you started.

First of all, what is Google analytics?

Google analytics capture your site or user-related information (does not include PII data) which is later processed and saved into reports, graphs and other visualizations. Apart from using these reports to measure your business objectives, they can also be used to analyze certain patterns/trends as well as to detect any anomaly in the data. It is also very useful to derive meaningful insights from millions of interaction which would have otherwise gone unnoticed.


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What is Google analytics 4 or GA4?

GA4 is based on a new data model which has a brand-new interactive interface and lots of exciting new features. It is the fourth iteration within google analytics. The current live version is not called GA3 but is referred to as universal analytics.

GA4 follows the event-driven model which is more dependent on Firebase than before.


How is GA4 different from universal analytics?
  • Cross-device tracking

Google Analytics refers to a user’s visit as a session. And a single user could have multiple sessions across different devices. Cross-device tracking is what stitches these multiple sessions together and links it back to a single user.


User A: cross-device tracking enabled

Cross-device tracking is simplified in GA4, unlike the universal analytics (current live version) where the data were captured in different properties. Website related data would be sent to the web property and application related data would be sent to the mobile/app property. To establish cross-device tracking in universal analytics additional configuration is required. A new web + app property needs to be created which would tie the data from web and app based on user-id.

This is not the case in GA4. In GA4 a single property can have both web + app data integrated. No additional property is required. It uses Google signals to link a single user across different platforms.

  • Data stream

Structure -

Google analytics universal: Account > property > view/s

Google analytics 4: Account > property > stream


In GA4 view/s has been replaced with data stream/s. Data streams can be connected to different data sources. It is inclusive of both website and application data. Each GA4 property can have up to 50 data streams with different web and app combinations.

  • Session expiry

In GA the user session expires after the user has left the site or after 30 minutes of inactivity. If the user returns to the site within 30 minutes, it would still be considered a single session. The session would also end after midnight even though the user is active on the site but this criterion is no longer applicable in GA4. The GA4 wouldn’t start a new session post midnight if the user is actively interacting on the site.

  • Enhanced eCommerce

Enhanced eCommerce includes automatic tracking functions such as scroll depth, site search, exit links (Outbound), video interactions – play/pause/resume/progress/complete, downloads, etc.


How to set up GA4 (Google Analytics4)?

Here is how you can set up GA4 by following these 5 simple and quick steps.


01. Log in to analytics.google.com

Head over to analytics.google.com. Create a new account or use your existing credentials.

Note: You can log in with Gmail or even your work account.

02. Account set up

The next step is to create an account. Add in the account name.


In addition to the required Account name configuration, you can even manage your data sharing options.


You can opt-in/opt-out from


a. Google products & services

When you turn this setting ON, Google can access and analyze data to better understand online behavior and trends, and use this data to improve Google products and services. For example, this data can be used to improve the Google Ads system tools that you use to create, manage, and analyze your ad campaigns.


b. Benchmarking

Aggregated and anonymous data can be used to help create features and publications that can give you a better understanding about what’s happening across your entire industry. When shared for benchmarking, data is aggregated with data from other websites and apps, and made anonymous so it cannot be used to identify your account, organization, or users.

When you turn this setting OFF, data can still flow between Analytics and the other Google products that are explicitly linked to any of your account properties.

You benefit when this setting is ON because Analytics data could be used to help build better tools and provide guidance that can help your marketing and analysis efforts. Benchmarking data lets you know where you stand in your industry and contributes to research analyses that uncover important market trends, like year-over-year increase in mobile traffic.


c. Technical support

Analytics support representatives sometimes need to access your account to provide service and resolution to technical issues. When you turn this setting ON, support representatives can access your data to help resolve technical issues. If you turn this setting OFF, support representatives might not be able to help resolve technical issues.

You benefit when this setting is ON because Google support could access your account to troubleshoot and help you find solutions if you report an issue in your account.


d. Account specialists

Google sales and marketing specialists are trained to find ways to improve your experience with Google products. When you turn the first setting ON, these specialists will be able to look at and assess the efficacy of different implementation strategies and account configurations. 360 and Standard account users can benefit from improved marketing communications that offer usage suggestions, and 360 account users can ask their sales specialist for optimization tips. When you turn the second setting ON, all Google sales experts will also be able to access your account so they can offer more customized recommendations.

You benefit when both settings are ON because your Analytics sales team could help you find ways to improve your advertising spend, for example, by offering recommendations based on an analysis of your keyword performance. The Analytics marketing team could suggest ways to improve acquisition or other strategic improvements through a monthly email performance report.

03. Property set-up

A property represents the business's web and/or app data. An account can contain one or more property.

04. About your business

You can provide your industry category and business size to get a tailored experience.


05. Accept Agreement

Click Create and accept the Analytics Terms of Service and the Data Processing Amendment.

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Great content, really helpful

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