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Starter Guide to Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is the new standard for website analytics, and will eventually replace Google’s Universal Analytics. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to install GA4 on your site and start tracking your traffic within this more advanced platform.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is the newest iteration of Google’s analytics platform, which offers several improvements over Universal Analytics. GA4 is designed to give you a more holistic understanding of your website traffic and activity, including data on user behavior, conversions, and more.

Why is Google Analytics important for emerging businesses?

It’s important to have access to website use data to make informed decisions about how to grow and improve your businesses online. With Google Analytics 4, you can track your website traffic in more detail than ever before, and gain insights into what’s working and what isn’t on your site.

GA4 offers a variety of reports that you can use to track your data, including conversion reports, attribution reports, and cross-device reports. You can also use Ga4 to segment your data and create custom reports.

What are the key differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is similar to Universal Analytics in that it offers a way to measure your website traffic and activity, but it also has some key differences that make it a valuable tool for website owners and businesses.

One of the key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics is the way data is collected. GA4 uses a “container-based” approach, which means that it can be used to collect data from any number of websites or apps. This makes it ideal for businesses that have multiple websites or apps, as it allows them to track all of their traffic in one place.

Another key difference is the way GA4 handles user data. Ga4 offers a more privacy-conscious approach to data collection, which means that it is less likely to collect personally identifiable information (PII). This makes it a good choice for businesses that are concerned about protecting their users’ privacy.

Finally, GA4 offers some new features that are not available in Universal Analytics. These include the ability to measure conversions across devices, attribution modeling, and cross-device reporting. These features make GA4 a more powerful tool for businesses that are serious about data-driven marketing and decision-making.

Installing Google Analytics 4 on your Business' website

If you’re ready to get started with GA4, the first thing you need to do is create a new account. You can do this by going to the Google Analytics 4 homepage and clicking on the “Create an Account” button. Once you have created an account, you will be able to add your website or app and start tracking your data.

Once you have added your website or app to GA4, you will need to install the GA4 tracking code. The code is different than the Universal Analytics code, so make sure you are using the correct code. You can find the GA4 tracking code by going to the Admin section of your GA4 account and clicking on the “Tracking Info” tab.

If you are using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, you can install the GA4 conversion tracking code by using an integration plugin. There are many plugins available for different CMSs, so be sure to check your CMS’s plugin repository or search for “Google Analytics” in your favorite plugin search engine.

Once you’ve installed the tracking code, it will take a few hours for Google to start collecting data. After that, you can begin analyzing your website traffic and activity using the GA4 platform.

Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics 4

The GA4 dashboard offers a “Conversions” section that allows you to track and analyze your website’s conversion data. This data can be used to help you optimize your website for conversion and improve your overall marketing strategy.

Google Analytics 4 conversion tracking is often implemented by default if you install GA4 via a CMS integration. Conversion and Event Tracking can also be implemented manually, but that requires additional effort and skillsets, so is best left to your website developer.

Custom Installation of Conversion Tracking Code

If you are not using a CMS or if you want more control over how the conversion tracking code is installed, you can also install it manually. This involves adding the conversion tracking code to all of the pages on your website where conversions occur. You can find instructions for doing this on the GA4 website.

Exploring the Google Analytics 4 Dashboard

After you have installed the GA4 tracking code on your website or app, you will be able to access your data through the GA4 dashboard. The dashboard is similar to the Universal Analytics dashboard, but it offers some new features and options that make it a more powerful tool for data analysis.

  • The Home tab is where you will find an overview of your website traffic and activity; it also includes Insights and Recommendations from Google
  • The Reports tab is where you will find pre-made detailed reports on your website data, including details on user acquisition, website engagement, monetization, user demographics, and more.
  • The Explore tab is where you will find tools for more open, customizable data exploration and analysis.
  • The Advertising tab is where you will find information about your website’s advertising activity.
  • The Configuration tab is where you will find information about your GA4 account settings.

Segmenting Data in Google Analytics 4

Another useful feature of the GA4 dashboard is the “Segments” tool. Segments allow you to filter your data so that you can see how different groups of users interact with your website or app. For example, you can use segments to see how users who come from organic search differ from those who come from paid search.

What other resources are available to learn about Google Analytics 4?

If you’d like to continue learning more about Google Analytics 4, I would highly suggest checking out the following resources: