Ready to integrate Google Analytics GA4 on your website? The process is pretty straightforward, whether you’re already using legacy Universal Analytics on your existing website or starting over with a new website.
If you already have Google Analytics on your website, setting up GA4 is a little easier.
Sign in to Google Analytics and click Admin. Look under the Properties column and you will see the GA4 setup wizard as the first option. If not, make sure you select the correct account and property.
Confirm that you want to create a new property in Google Analytics 4 by clicking Get started. Then follow the wizard as it adjusts everything for you.
Once done, you can visit the admin page again. The GA4 setup wizard can help you with tags, events, and anything else that wasn’t set up during the initial installation.
WordPress custom settings
WordPress and other CMS users may experience additional difficulties with GA4. If your real-time metrics are not updating, you may need to manually place the tags on your site.
Under Admin > Properties > Streams > Web, click your stream. Now on the page under Bookmarks Instructions, search for Add New Bookmark and you will see your global bookmarks on the site (gtag.js).
Copy and paste this into your WordPress site’s header.php file, just below the <head> tag. You can do this by going to Appearance > Editor > Theme Headers (header.php) in your WordPress dashboard, or by using an FTP client to access the files on your server and tagging them with a code editor for editing.
Your real-time metrics should now work fine.
To get started, you will need to create a Google Analytics account and set up Google Analytics. Create a new property for your website in your admin menu and add a data stream from the website or app. You will need to follow the instructions above to get your global bookmarks and place them in your header.
If you’re having trouble, you can always install a plugin like the Google Analytics Dashboard to help connect GA4 to your website.
Get the most out of Google Analytics 4 – quick tutorial
Setting up GA4 is easy enough, but from there you have a new interface to explore and lots of features to play with. There is a problem? Here are some of the important things you can do in the new Google Analytics.
Navigate the new Google Analytics interface 4
On the user side, perhaps the biggest change in GA4 is the user interface. Of course, there are commonalities and familiar points that will help you navigate, but many have changed or been omitted altogether.
To get started, look to the left to see your menu bar. Let’s take a look at the main elements in the menu bar on the left:
Home – the familiar home menu with all its charts and reports, now with a slightly different look.
Real-Time – See what your users are doing right now.
Life Cycle – This subsection covers Acquisition, Engagement, Monetization, and Retention. Its purpose is to collect statistics about the entire user lifecycle, in other words how they found your website, what they did on it, and if they came back to it later.
Users – This subsection covers demographics and technology. It provides an overview of who your users are, while the lifecycle menu shows what your users are doing.
Events – The Events subsection includes transformations and events. It tracks your users as they browse your website. This data is then transferred to the life cycle.
Explore – These charts allow you to use visualizations to describe user behaviour and get an overview of their actions.
Configuration – In the Configuration subsection, you can segment your audience and set up custom dimensions, similar to events.
Admin – Finally you have the settings menu right where it was.
Most important change
- The old Universal Analytics only had a home menu, customizations, subsections for real-time reports, audiences, acquisitions, behavior and conversions, and finally admin settings. Much remains but may have been moved and renovated.
- The real-time menu is now a single page.
- The Acquisition and Behavior menu has become part of the Lifecycle subsection. The new engagement menu covers most of what Behavior has done before.
- The audience menu is now a custom menu.
- Ask Analytics Intelligence is now Insights.
On the admin page, you will notice that the View menu has disappeared. There is no direct equivalent, but Data Filters, Data Streams, and Audiences can replicate some of the legacy functionality.
On the overview screen, the Edit Comparison button in the upper right corner replaces the custom segment.
While some changes are included in the indicators and measurements themselves, you will find that many of them are purely cosmetic. In some cases, the data you’ve been tracking has been rearranged and rearranged to make it more efficient.
Although GA4 looks more complex than ever with more submenus, it saves a lot of fat and is in many ways easier to understand.
You should also check:
How to use GA4 in real-time?
One of the most important changes in real-time. There have been real-time metrics in the past, but having some custom sections can be confusing. The new Real-time combines all of this in one simple menu with the same valuable data.
You can find the menu directly under Home. The immediate highlight of this site is the large click-and-drag map that shows where your users are coming from. If you scroll down, you’ll also see data and graphs about your demographics, events, conversions, and user views.
To get the most out of this data, learn how to use comparisons. Add a new one by clicking Add comparison at the top left or by clicking the Edit comparison icon at the top right. Then adjust your comparison based on user demographics, events, or other parameters and click Apply.
This will take you to a screen where you can compare the demographics of your particular user with all the users who visited your site. Comparisons are a big part of GA4 and you can find them on almost every page.
Another great thing you can do in real-time is to click View Custom Snapshot in the top right corner. This will take you to a random anonymous user and show you what events were triggered and where they came from.
Create an event in GA4
Events are a big thing in Google Analytics 4 and, frankly, they could use their lessons. As the system focuses more on the user as they descend into the funnel, many automated events are now created to help you track what people clicked and watched. You can also make your own.
Google Analytics Event Report 4
The first way to create an event is to build it on top of an existing one. For example, you can base a custom event on first_visit but activate it only under additional parameters.
Find Configuration > Events in the menu and click on it to see what’s available on your site. The list should now contain many automated events. Click the Create Event button at the top of the list and specify the parameters.
Creating custom events in Google Analytics 4
If you want to create custom events completely from scratch, you should use Google Tag Manager. This lets you set up custom tags and triggers when people interact with your site. There is a special GA4 event token that collects analytics and sends them to your dashboard.
Google Analytics Lesson 4: Last Thoughts
GA4 introduces dozens of new ways to track your users in real-time, all powered by powerful machine learning. While it may take some time to get used to the new interface, additions, and shortcuts to existing features, the switch is worth it.
Use the new Google Analytics to monitor your users across platforms and adjust your forecasts to make changes that will explode your growth. They can keep up with the old Universal Analytics, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Will you move to Google Analytics 4 after completing the tutorial above? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in the comments!