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Google Analytics 4 Setup Made Easy

Welp, Google Analytics 4 is starting to get *seriously* tempting. In my opinion, actually, it's becoming necessary.

If you're unaware, Google Analytics 4 was announced in October of 2020. Right away, Google was pushing people to be all in. Any new property created from then on was going to be encouraged to be a Google Analytics 4 by default.

screenshot of google analytics setup screen

Before getting too far into anything, you have to understand, this is what Google does. They release new products and push it on new users, and aggressively encourage current users to use it. Universal Analytics will continue to be around for awhile, but functionality will dwindle while Google pushes people to Google Analytics 4. It's just the circle of analytics life.

If that isn't reason enough to get started with Google Analytics 4 then this ought to do the trick...

One day Google will FORCE you to use GA4. Whether or not you have any data to work with at that point, is up to present day you.

It's true. GA4 brings in zero retrospective data. Zero. Have 5 years of data in Universal Analytics data? Too bad, it ain't transferring. Everyone starts with a bunch of 0s.

screenshot of google analytics 4

So, even if you aren't going to use GA4 today, tomorrow, or even this year SET. IT. UP. Future you will appreciate it.

Setting up Google Analytics 4

The good new is set up is super easy. Just about anyone can do it.

  1. Login to Google Analytics

  2. Go to the admin module

  3. Under property, select "GA4 Setup Assistant"

  4. Create a Google Analytics 4 Property

  5. If you are using "gtag.js" tracking will start automatically (ie-not with Tag Manager), if not collect the "Measurement ID" it will look like G-XXXXXXXXXX

  6. Open Tag Manager

  7. Create a Google Analytics 4 Configuration Tag

  8. Fill in your Measurement ID, set the trigger for all pages

  9. Save and Publish

Event Tracking in Google Analytics 4

Now, perhaps the best part of Google Analytics 4 set up is that most of your work is done as soon as you put the tag on your site. This is because there are over 100 events automatically collected in Google Analytics 4, even more if you turn on Enhanced Measurement.

You can see all of the events being tracked on your site in the events tab.

screenshot of google analytics 4 events tab

If you look at this list and don't feel that it's exhaustive for your site, you're in luck! Google Analytic 4 allows you to create custom events. IN PLATFORM!

How to Create Custom Events in Google Analytics 4

  1. Go to the events tab of Google Analytics 4

  2. Select the "Create Event" button in the top left corner

  3. Name your event using either predefined names or a name of your own

  4. Set the parameters/filters you want to trigger the event

  5. Save your new event

How to Set Conversions in Google Analytics 4

Now, if you thought event tracking was easy, just wait and see how easy it is to set conversions.

  1. Go to the events tab

  2. Find the event that should be a conversion

  3. Toggle it on using the toggle to the right of the event

Seriously, it's that easy! But fear not, if you're having any issues with anything, I am more than happy to help you out. We can work together to get GA4 doing exactly what you want it to. 👍

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