If you’ve not yet set up Google Analytics 4, then this is the time to do it. Let’s look at how to do this from scratch and get you started collecting data into your GA4 property today.
Before we start
Always make sure where you are setting up your GA4 account. Is it for work or business? Use your Google Account linked to your business. It keeps everything in one place and is better for data management.
Double-check that Google Analytics is not already installed on your website. You can do this by installing the Google Tag Assistant in the Chrome Store. Head over and download it, Add it To Chrome. Now click the extension and click Enable. Now refresh the page. You should then see if you have GA4 on your website.
Account Set up in Google Analytics
Log into your Google Analytics account. Remember if you’ve not done this before you’ll need to set one up. If you have one open it and head to the gear icon.
Click Create Property.
If you need to set up an account follow these steps, if you need to set up a Property then you can jump ahead.
Make sure you use an Account name that is descriptive to your website or business.
The Account Data Sharing Settings are important when looking to comply with privacy legislation. Here you’d be looking to keep “Modeling contributions and business insights” as this gives you access to predictive metrics in GA4. You can have a total of 100 accounts set up. So there is a lot to play with here.
Now let’s look at setting up a property in GA4. In GA4 a property is for a website and/or a mobile app. The great thing here is you can have one property for both your website and app in one place.
When filling in the property name, you can add the domain or the name of your site. Whatever works best for you. If you have several sites for a business you want a logical naming convention.
In this example, we would put something like ‘GA4 – purplesmudge.com’. This can be changed at any point in the future.
Now make sure that you select the correct timezone. We’ve seen many times that a business has the wrong timezone and this can throw out your reporting when users come to your site and when conversions are acquired for example.
Then set your currency, this is only really useful when you’re monetising or selling on your site or app.
Fill in the industry you’re in and the size of your business. Then click next.
Now fill in the business objectives of your GA4
Here we want to select the data collection. You can skip this step but it’s pretty straightforward which one you’ll want to select. In our case, it would be Web
Now we have selected Web fill in the details for your website URL and Stream name.
After you have added your website URL and Stream name you can choose to turn on or off Enhanced Measurement. Previously in Universal Analytics, these options were not available. In GA4 these Enhanced measurements automatically allow you to track actions on your site that were previously manual to set up.
One word of caution is the Form Interaction, we would recommend turning this off as there are cases where the Form Interactions are triggered due to Facebook pixels etc being fired on your site. This can cause false numbers of who is actually interacting with your forms.
To turn the Form Interactions off click the gear icon.
Then turn off the Form Interactions and click save. This can also be done after you’ve set up your Property. So not to worry if you miss this now.
Lastly, make sure you accept the Google Terms of Service. Make sure you have read the small print before clicking accept.
Adding GA4 to your website
- GA4 will not start collecting data until you have added the GA4 tag to your website. If you’ve followed the process above you’ll land on this page. There are a few different ways to implement it on your site:
- Using Google Tag Manager. This is most likely the hardest way to implement GA4 on your website. You can add the scripts to your site. It’s one of our preferred methods, giving you the greatest control.
- Speak with your development team to implement.
- You can also one of the platforms and follow the instructions on implementing it.
Testing that GA4 is collecting data
Once you have added the GA4 code to your site with one of the preferred methods you’ll likely need to wait 24 to 48 hours to see data roll in. You can also check with DebugView immediately if you want to start testing your implementation.
- Head to GA4 and select Reports > Real-Time Report.
- Now head to your website in a different browser.
- If you have zero visitors in your report then it’s quite likely you have something wrong with your setup and implementation.
Now if everything is working, you may want to start sharing
How to share your GA4 account with others
To share the GA4 account you have setup with your business and team members, select either select Account Access Management or Property Access Management in the Admin section of GA4
In your GA4 account, you can manage and assign different roles for different users. Here a quick explanation of those roles.
- Administrator: full control.
- Editor: similar to administrator but cannot manage users.
- Analyst: no access to account settings.
- Viewer: cannot create reports.
- None: no specific role for this account, but can have a role for another.
Depending on who you have granted access to and what information you want them to see you can restrict this on the property level. You can exclude access to certain sensitive business data such as:
- No Cost Metrics
- No Revenue Metrics
Important areas to consider when sharing your GA4 account
When performing an audit of a GA4 account, think about these questions for better data management:
- Does the business owner have an admin role?
- Do all users need to have access?
- Are there other ways to present the data for their job requirement such as Looker Studio report.
- Does everyone have the right access?
- Do the users still need access? People in your business come and go and so do external businesses you work with. Ensure you keep on top of who has access to your sensitive data.
Now you’ve finished the steps outlined here, your GA4 account is collecting data.
The next step is to learn how to use GA4 to your business and website advantage.