Change is on its way.
On March 16th, 2022, Google announced that Universal Analytics, the Google Analytics we all use, is going to retire on July 1st, 2023. Great…what do we do now?
That is a great question. For those of you that have already set up Google Analytics 4, you might be familiar with how different GA4 is compared to the traditional Google Analytics. For those of you who have not set up GA4, follow along.
The goal of this blog post is to help you quickly have Google Analytics 4 running and collecting data in order to have year-over-year data when the deadline, July 2023, is here. So while this is not urgent to complete today, the deadline I would set for myself is to have GA4 collect all of the data you will need by July 1st, 2022.
Over the next few months, we will be publishing additional posts to help you fully set up GA4 and how to use it compared to Universal Analytics.
Important note: If your website is built and managed with O’Neil Interactive, please confirm with their team as they are taking additional steps to ensure as much data is flowing from websites on their platform to Google Analytics 4.
Verify the correct Google Analytics Tag is Installed.
This step is absolutely crucial. GA4 requires you to use the newest Google Analytics Tag. Depending on your web developer, you may or may not be using the newest version, referred to as “gtag.” If you are using Google Tag Manager, you should be all set. But let’s go ahead and verify what tag you are using.
Step 2:Load your website and then click “Enable” in Google Tag Assistant.
Step 3: Then REFRESH the page you just loaded. You can see in the first screenshot there is nota “gtag” being shown. If you see something similar, you will need to update your tag. Updating the new tag is in the section below.
In the second screenshot, you can see the “gtag” is added to the website. This builder would not need to make any changes.
How to Create Your GA4 Property:
Step 1: Go to the admin panel in Google Analytics. In the center property section, click “GA4 Setup Assistant.”
Step 2: Click the blue “Get Started” button.
Step 3: Check the “Enable data collection using your existing tags” option, then click the blue "Create Property" button. The new GA4 property is now created! Now, if you need to upgrade your Google Analytics to the “gtag” see step 4.
Step 4: Open the Admin Panel for your GA4 Property, then click “Setup Assistant” and then “Tag Installation.” You will see your website as a Data Stream, click your site name.
In the next section that is loaded, click “Add new on-page tag.” You will see the “Global Site Tag” at the top, open this panel and then send the tag to your web developer for installation.
Step 5: Link Google Ads to the new GA4 Property - see screenshots below. Click "Google Ads Links."
Step 6. Click the blue "Link" button at the top right.
Step 7: Select the correct Google Ads Account. For most, there will be just a single Ad Account available, for others make sure you select the account that is actively being used.
Step 8: Click the blue "Submit" button. You are done!
Congratulations, you made it! Over the next weeks and months, we will be publishing more blog posts about using Google Analytics 4. These posts will be linked together so you will be able to easily set up everything you need as well as learn the best practices of GA4.