This article is the second of our three-part series devoted to the new Google Analytics 4. You can read the first article here.
In the previous article in this series, we talked about some of the reasons why you should upgrade to the new version of Google Analytics—Google Analytics 4—and about some of the new features it introduces for its users. Basically, we realized that this powerful tool is no longer focused only on measuring what happens on a web page, but is rather a transversal, comprehensive and complete way of knowing what's happening on all our platforms through different devices, giving a great degree of relevance to interaction measurement through events. Thus, with GA4 we can do much more exhaustive analyses of our defined customer journeys so that we can attribute our conversions more accurately.
In this second part of the content, we want to show you how to configure this Google Analytics 4 update in an existing Google Analytics Universal account in a few simple steps as well as encourage you to continue learning about this new version in continuous evolution. Additionally, we want to show how this change has impacted the implementations and measurement plans in Modyo.
How do I set up Google Analytics 4 in an existing account?
Most commonly we already have a Google Analytics Universal account and property for our digital product. In this case, Google recommends upgrading to GA4 and keeping both Google Analytics Universal (UA-XXXX-X) and GA4 (XXXXXXXX) ownership. Google knows that in the short term users still rely on Universal, but they want to imply that GA4 is the future. The steps to perform this upgrade are as follows:
1. In the Admin section of your Universal property, you should look for the GA4 Setup Assistant option and click on it.
2. Select Get Started to create a new property linked to the Universal property you are currently on. A pop-up will appear and then select Create Property.
And now... how do I connect this new property to Google Tag Manager?
3. At this point you have already created the GA4 property linked to your GAU property. Below this view you will see what the ID of this new property is. When you open See your GA Property, you will be redirected to the configuration wizard.
4. In the setup wizard, click on Tag Installation.
5. Now you must create a data-stream for your website, indicating the URL and the name of the stream. By default, page views, scrolls, outbound links, site searches, video engagement and file downloads will be measured as events, but you can remove or add events if you want more things to be measured in the data-stream.
6. When creating the stream you will get a measurement ID, G-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Below, and depending on whether you are already using Google Tag Manager to tag the site or not, or if your site already has a Google Analytics tracking code, you must click on Add new on-page tag or Use existing on-page tag. To carry out this part of the configuration, you must follow the steps indicated below each option.
7. If you already have an account for the site in Google Tag Manager, you must create a new tag with the measurement ID (G-XXXXXXXXX), to connect both tools and this new GA4 property. To do this, go to Tag Manager and select create a new tag. Then, you must choose the Google Analytics tag type: GA4 Configuration.
8. In this tag you must paste the measurement ID and choose the trigger type All Pages and then save this new tag.
9. From here, we need to check that this new tag is triggering correctly with the Tag Manager Preview. If so, we need to publish it (Submit), so that this new GA4 property starts recording data.
The dual configuration of two properties, one with Google Analytics Universal and the other with Google Analytics 4, is not retroactive, which is why it is important to do this now in order to have a history.
In the next article in this series about Google Analytics 4, we will cover step-by-step how to create customized events.