How Google Analytics 4 Properties Work

Breaking Down Google Analytics 4 For Marketers

Google has announced the release of Google analytics 4. The last time Google Analytics had an update was some time ago. This latest update comes with a laundry list of powerful upgrades and from the chatter I hear from my network, this has my marketing colleges worried.

The key point is that this free tool that's been so beneficial to my business has just provided an even more powerful feature set that provides even more data and metrics to be used for marketing my business online. Yew that's music to my ears.

Google's analytical tool is the most widely used tool by marketers, websites, and business owners to track the performance of their website. There are alternatives but this Google Analytics platform is the most used platform in the world.

You can learn more about marketing tools and techniques here.

This updated version of the tool will allow marketers to analyse performance and trends even more in-depth as they happen. Harnessing the power of AI this instal of the popular data platform will be a marketer's best friend.

Google analytics dashboard view

The user interface is much cleaner and easier to navigate than the previous version. For bigger data sets you need a clean interface. I feel having a wider feature label on the left-hand nav panel helps access the right tool for the job much faster.

It is still the early days of the rollout and many third party tools have not yet adapted and added integrations to collect and work with the data in GA4.

The big switch is moving from a UA - universal analytics to a G - Google analytics property label. UA properties deal with cookies rules where the newer version has less reliance on cookies.

Why Should You Switch to Google Analytics 4?

The future of website performance monitoring is Google Analytics 4. The insights that can be reviewed and integrated from the dashboard will power the strategy behind marketers decisions to construct campaigns.

Gleaning insights from performance tools is real enjoyment for me and GA4 provides that extra look behind the curtain.

I do like the way this was rolled out, you are presented with an option to run the UA version and the G version side by side without any double handling. When you build a new property the option is only to set up GA4 but once that's set up you can come back in and build a UA property if you need to integrate any third-party tools that have not yet adapted.

I don't suggest rushing ahead and just using the new GA4 property without a good reason. I do suggest running parallel monitoring with a Google Analytics 4 property and a Universal Analytics property.

How Google Analytics 4 Properties Work

Google analytics 4 navigation dashboard

Key Features of Google analytics 4 (GA4)

GA4 will permit advertisers to alter and adjust to how events and marketing campaigns are followed in analytics without any coding required.

Importing data will now be easier as it incorporates getting information from a wide variety of non-website sources (example:- Apps) all with just one property.

With Google Analytics 4 cross-domain tracking of the website is easier. It can be done without codes (adjusting codes) and can be done inside UI.

The biggest and predicated to be the most impactful change in GA4 is “The Life Cycle Report” for all accounts and focuses on showing the visitor or user journey on site. The feature “Templated reports for e-commerce funnels” gives advertisers an approach to show and view information – a component of analytics that was earlier accessible to only Analytics 360 accounts.

GA4 will work with AI as the fundamental process for collecting information and analysis, utilizing “machine learning and modeling” for measuring data, that can extrapolate from existing information and make suggestions about site traffic/client conduct. A new feature of AI-controlled “insights” will analyze on its own and will suggest relevant and supportive data for advertisers.

It’s centered around giving advertisers a “more complete comprehension of the client venture and behavior on various devices.” And it appears to be that it’s more focused on estimating a start to finish customer venture, and not simply focus on singular measurements across gadgets or pages.

The design intends GA4 to be “future immune” and work in a world with no cookies or distinguishing information.

Google Analytics 4 highlights “streams of data” rather than the “views” and fragments utilized by Universal Analytics properties.

The “view” level part is removed in GA4. While conventional Universal Analytics broadly has three levels (Account, Property, and View). As it might show biased data hence “view” hence removed and GA4 just has Account and Property levels.

While “tracking events” in conventional Analytics required Analytics code, editing, or gtag.js content, Google Analytics 4 professes to empower editing, following, and adjusting of events inside the UI. This implies interactions like page scroll, clicks, and more, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Google analytics 4 properties

GA4 is focusing on “events”. These events are the principal way in which the information is introduced in the new Google Analytics.

AI handling the procedures in this new Analytics implies that it can fill in gaps that organizations can’t comprehend and are not able to deliver to their best abilities. A lot of their customers and traffic that visit websites are choosing without cookies and hence companies are not able to get all data about their visitors it will be resolved with GA4 and its AI-driven process. Users and even browsers are getting more protective and do not allow analytics to collect data. For instance, Mozilla Firefox has moved to introduce “Block Analytics”, and a lot of sites are beginning to prioritize visitor agreement to characterize their Analytics. People are opting out of consent for using cookies and analytics is changing it hindering organizations to collect all data and keep track.

The requirement for something like Google Analytics 4 to a great extent comes from new security assurance laws (like the GDPR and CCPA) and the falling apart of universal analytics. Many organizations are utilizing Universal Google Analytics which could frequently run into issues with mistaken or missing information because of consent issues by users for cookies because of these privacy laws.

Google stated that the reason for the new Google Analytics is the advancement of new technologies and the rise in demand for “privacy as a priority”, following, x-channel estimation, and AI-based usage in information collection at the same time. By applying Google’s AI models, the new Analytics can fill data gaps for website traffic and client/customer behavior without depending on having “hits” coming from each page.

Google Analytics 4 is based on the “Mobile Application + Web” framework that they delivered in 2019. The App + Web adaptation of Analytics was fundamentally developed around cross-channel information, implying that it gave advertisers an approach to follow clients across applications, programming, and a site.

This implies that its fundamental objective is to change how information is presented to customers from the beginning to their conversion as clients.

How To Setup Google Analytics 4

Google analytics 4 navigation dashboard

Setting up Google Analytics 4 follows the same path as if setting up the Universal Analytics but with some small twists to the end setup. I've been using Google Tag Manager for the instal process. GTM allows for an easy configuration of the GA4 platform.

A neat feature that GA4 has is some out of the box conversion elements like tracked link clicks and scroll depth pre-filled when you set it up. This saves me a good 30 minutes setting that up manually.

Another change is instead of picking a web or an app tracking selection you can now track both web + app as one.

Let’s take a look at how you can set “GA4 property” with your existing Universal Google analytics:

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account within your website’s existing property.
  2. Search for the Admin section.
  3. Now, in the Account column, you can see “account” select the account. Choose the account in which you want to create the GA4 property.
  4. Click in the Property column, select the Universal Analytics property for your site that you desire.
  5. Now here you will see the ‘GA4’ option and select “Upgrade to GA4” and follow the steps. If you can not see any such option fear not as in some cases this button is not visible.
  6. Now you have to select “Create a property” and then follow the steps and create a new property for “Web + App”. Using this default setting you will be taken to the new “Google analytics 4” property and your account will upgrade to GA4.
  7. Once this step is completed you will have the new version of Google analytics-GA4. There will be few others steps to follow before the property start appearing in your account.
  8. Now for activating “enable data collection” there are two ways: link the existing tracking data from your conventional Analytics, or you can start with new tags. You can add these tags to your website in a similar way as in traditional analytics.
  9. Head over to Google Tag Manager when prompted and start to configure the new GA4 tags and triggers. The GTM template library already has a template for GA4 built in so its really easy to set up.
  10. Once you have set all the options that suit your business best remember to publish the changes.
  11. Test that you have real live activity or events by reviewing your GA4 dashboard and by being on your website just to confirm tracking is working. If it is you are done.

This is my first round guide for getting set up with Google Analytics 4. This will change as I've got more data on best practices for affiliates and eCommerce marketers to use this powerful platform. I hope it helps put some more insight into how to use GA4 for your benefit.

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