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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Google Configure Google Analytics 4 For You

If you have a website that has Google Analytics installed – and who doesn’t – you recently received an email from Google saying that soon they are going to configure Google Analytics 4 for you. If you are like most business owners you value the data you get from Google Analytics but don’t really want to sit down and try to configure it, right? I mean, it’s not all that intuitive and everyone knows that GA4, while a better product and more accurate than the current iteration of Google Analytics, is more daunting than its predecessor to set up and configure. Why not just let Google do it, right?

illustration of computer monitor with data

Wrong. And here are a few reasons why you don’t want Google to set it up for you.

  • Google is going to install GA4 using the current existing gtag.js that is already on most sites. While this will work, it’s not the best way to install GA4 on your site. Even Google says the preferred method of installation is through Google Tag Manager. If you let Google install using gtag.js you will be leaving a lot of reporting features on the table that are not available with gtag.js.
  • Google is going to import for you your current events and convert your goals to GA4 conversions. Without getting too far into the weeds it’s important to understand that GA4 has been completely designed from the ground up and, as such, your current goals and events won’t translate smoothly. We used this ‘feature’ when it first became available and quickly realized that we would have been much better off starting from scratch, which is what we ultimately did.
  • Speaking of Events and Goals, this is an ideal time to reevaluate what is actually important for your company. As your business evolves, so should your goals. While importing your old ones may at first sound enticing, you are really just kicking the can down the road and missing a great opportunity to track what is really important for your business growth.
  • They are going to import all your users over to GA4. While on the surface that may sound good in most cases it isn’t. I can’t count how many times I’ve logged into a client’s Google Analytics account and found users that haven’t worked for the company in years as well as logins for web developers and marking companies that they have not done business with in a long time. This poses a security risk and is something you really want to look at yourself.

If you want to be more proactive about your business and not let Google configure GA4 for you it’s important that you opt out by February 14, 2023. If you are unsure of what to do, we are here to help. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about Google Analytics 4.

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