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Welcome to the digital world where tracking website performance is crucial for success. Whether you’ve been using web analytics tools for a long time or are a beginner and have recently hopped into the online world, you will need a web analytics tool to monitor your website’s performance. Google’s tools are among the most widely used because of their widespread availability of free versions. The most recent update in Google Analytics’ toolkit is “Google Analytics 4”.  

Google Analytics 4 (GT4) provides a robust, event-based approach to monitor website activities. Unfortunately, due to the deprecation of Universal Analytics, many marketers were forced to re-learn their preferred analytics platform, navigating a completely new setup procedure and a drastically different UI.  

Fortunately, Google Tag Manager (GTM) can make the setup procedure of GT4 on your website easy and reduce the need to customize codes. In this article, we will walk you through the basic setup of GT4 tracking code using GTM! 

Google Analytics 4 vs. Google Tag Manager: What Is the Difference? 

Google Analytics (GT4) and Google Tag Manager (GTM) are two completely different tools that work alongside to provide you with the information you need to make wise marketing decisions. 

  • Google Tag Manager (GTM) – stores and manages code that functions as a container. The tag manager does not offer any options for data analysis or reporting. 
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – is used to analyze data. You can access all reporting in Google Analytics, including sales, engagement conversions, user reports, and more. 

To understand why you need GTM in addition to GA4, you need to understand its features and dig deeper into the topic. 

Getting Started with Google Analytics (GA4) using Google Tag Manager (GTM): Full Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide  

Setting up Google Analytics 4, is quite overwhelming! We’re providing an easy step-by-step beginner’s guide for configuring GA4 with Google Tag Manager to get you started. 

Step #1. Create a New Google Analytics 4 Property 

Firstly, sign into your Google Analytics account. Head over to the “Admin” section and click “Create Property.” 

Google Analytics
Follow the prompts to set up GA4 property, entering details like your website name and industry category.
 

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Step #2. Create a Data Stream for GA4 Property 

Inside your GA4 property, locate the “Data Streams” section and create a new data stream for your website. Select the appropriate data stream type, “Web,” depending on your needs. 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Step #3. Enter The Measurement ID from the New Data Stream 

You will be provided with a Measurement ID during the data stream creation process. Take note of this ID, as you will need it for the GTM setup. 

Google Analytics

Step #4. Create a GA4 Configuration Tag in Google Tag Manager 

Log in to your GTM account and navigate to the Tags section. Create a new tag by clicking on “New Tag.” 

Google Analytics

Provide a name for your GA4 Configuration Tag. Choose the “Tag Configuration” option and select the Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration option. 

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Step #5. Paste Measurement ID and Setup Tag Firing for all Pages 

In the GA4 Configuration Tag settings, paste the Measurement ID you obtained from the data stream creation.  

Google Analytics
Select the built-in trigger option “All Pages” and the Save to ensure the tag fires on all website pages.
 

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Step #6. Preview Your New Tag using GTM Preview Mode 

Before publishing your tag, previewing it to ensure it functions correctly is essential. GTM’s Preview Mode lets you see how the tag fires and captures real-time data without affecting real visitors. Test your tag across various pages and actions to ensure accurate tracking. 

Google analytics 

Enter the “Website URL” you want to connect for testing and click “Connect.” After this, your website will open and connect in another tab. 

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Now, your new GA4 configuration tag appears with other tags on your website.  

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Step #7. Publish New Tag in GTM 

Once you are satisfied with the tag’s functionality and tracking results in the preview mode, it’s time to publish the tag. Save your changes, click “Submit Changes,” and click “Publish” the container version containing the GA4 Configuration Tag. 

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Step #8. Monitor GTM real-time reports 

After publishing the tag, keep an eye on your GTM real-time reports to verify that the GA4 data is being captured correctly. You can access these reports via the Real-Time section in your GTM account. It’s an excellent way to confirm that GA4 is successfully integrated with GTM and tracking user behavior effectively. 

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Final Words 

After completing this whole process, you will effectively record data and events from your website to your new Google Analytics property and your current Universal Analytics property. This will prepare you for when Google stops collecting data through Universal Analytics.  

In your new GA4 property, set your goals and get conversion data for both properties. For more information on Google Analytics 4 (GT4) and Google Tag Manager (GTM), contact seo experts now! 

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) represents a significant shift from its predecessors, offering a more intuitive and user centric way of tracking websites and app analytics. In October 2021, Google revealed its most significant change in the next evolution of Google Analytics Software: Google Analytics 4 that has replaced Universal Analytics on July 11, 2023. Millions of users worldwide now rely on Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as their go-to web analytics tool.  

There is so much to learn from major updates and its normal to question how this may impact your job or business. Compared to previous iterations, GA4 is a completely revamped platform. GA4 brings advanced tracking and reporting features using machine learning model. Consequently, business owners can analyse their website performance across various platforms more precisely.  

Unfortunately, setting up GA4 is much harder and time consuming! That’s why in this article, we will discuss how to set up Google Analytics 4. 

What Is Google Analytics 4? 

Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4, is the next generation of Google Analytics1. It is a new kind of property designed to provide businesses with a comprehensive view of customer behaviour across both websites and apps. GA4 uses an event-based data model, which means it collects data based on user interactions (events) rather than session-based data like the previous versions of Google Analytics.  

In Google’s perspective, GA is designed to be the analytics programme of the future, with a primary emphasis on data visualisation and machine learning. Compared to UA, GA4 offers greater insights, predictive analytics, and data visualisations. 

Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics: What has Changed in The New Update? 

In short…. a LOT! 

GA4 features a very distinct data structure and data collection logic. Now, everything is built around events and users – not sessions, as we’re accustomed to. Every user interaction is treated as a separate event in an events-based approach. Earlier, we used a session-based approach, which categorised user interactions during a specified time period. Thus, this is a big change.  

Let’s learn about the changes made in new GA4 update by directly comparing it with Universal Analytics: 

  • Multi-platform Measurement: With GA4, you can collect data and track user interaction across multiple platforms like Websites, iOS and Android apps. This provides a comprehensive view of the customer journey across different devices. 
  • Privacy Configuration: GA4 offers privacy controls and configurations including features like “cookie less measurement, data deletion control, granular consent” that ensures website owners can save user data more ethically. Additionally, the platform will stop storing IP addresses. 
  • Event-based Tracking: In the new GA4, session-based tracking is replaced by event-based tracking allowing you to measure user behaviour and conversions allowing to have a complete view of user’s journey. 
  • Predictive Metrics: GA4 incorporates machine learning technology to provide predictive metrics and automated insights. This lets you predict the future behaviour of the user – like purchase or churn possibilities and revenue prediction.  

Thus, by switching to an “event-based model”, Google Analytics 4 has become more flexible and has improved its ability to predict user behaviour. 

How to Set Up GA4: Step-By-Step Guide 

There are two ways to set-up Google Analytics 4 – one with “Google Tag Manager (GTM)” and another by updating configuration settings by “Setup Assistant”.  

For new users, the Google Tag Manager method is the best option. Current users should migrate Universal Analytics with GA4 as they already have it installed. Here’s how to connect new GA4 using both the methods: 

#Method 1: Setup GA4 with GTM 

In this method, we will go over how to install Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with Google Tag Manager (GTM). Since this method is intended for new users, let’s begin by downloading GA4.  

  • STEP 1: Create GA4 Property 
  • Visit Google Analytics website and Sign In to your account 
  • Click on “Admin” and ensure that the correct account is selected 
  • Go to property column and click “+Create Property”  
  • Now, enter your website name, select a reporting time zone, currency, then click “Next” to create your GA4 property 
  • STEP 2: Configuring GA4 Property in GTM 
  • Open a new tab, and Sign In to your Google Tag Manager account 
  • Select your website’s container and click on Tags > New > Tag Configuration 
  • Choose “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration” 
  • Enter your “Measurement ID” from your GA4 property 
  • STEP 3: Setup Triggers 
  • In GTM, under your GA4 Configuration tag, click on “Triggering” 
  • Select the triggers that determine when this tag will fire (e.g., All Pages for page views). 
  • STEP 4: Publish Changes In GTM 
  • Once your tags and triggers are set, click “Submit” to publish these changes. 
  • Name your version and click “Publish” 

#Method 2: Configure GT4 with Setup Assistant 

Owners of active Google Analytics accounts can simplify the configuration procedure with the help of the GA4 Setup Assistant.  

This is because you don’t have to modify your Universal Analytics account to create a new GA4 property. Then, both your new GA4 property and your current property will continue to gather data for your website. 

  • STEP 1: Access Setup Assistant 
  • Visit your Google Analytics account. 
  • Click on “Admin”, and under the “Account” column, select the correct account. 
  • In the “Property” column, find your Universal Analytics property and click on “GA4 Setup Assistant” 
  • STEP 2: Create a New GA4 Property 
  • In the Setup Assistant, click on “Get Started” under the “I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property” section. 
  • Follow the prompts, and a new GA4 property will be created with basic settings
  • STEP 3: Link To Your Existing Data Streams 
  • The assistant will prompt you to link any existing data streams (like your website or app). 
  • Follow the instructions to ensure your data is accurately tracked 
  • STEP 4: Review Property Settings 
  • After setup, review your property settings. 
  • Adjust data collection settings, user property definitions, and events as needed 

Conclusion 

Whether you choose to set up GA4 using Google Tag Manager or the Setup Assistant, both methods offer a streamlined process to harness the power of Google Analytics 4. Remember, transitioning to GA4 is a significant step towards understanding your audience better and making data-driven decisions for your online presence. If you haven’t already, start using GA4.