What is GA4 you may ask? Simply put, GA4 is the future of Google Analytics and the future is now. Well, sort of.
GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics that is more privacy-focused and designed to comply with Google’s more stringent new privacy regulations as well as introducing more AI capabilities to ‘fill in the [data] blanks’ for more accurate reporting. It is also a complete re-write of the current version. GA4 is currently out in beta, but will replace the current version at some point in the future.
What this means to you is that there are things you will have to do now to make sure you are not left out in the cold when GA4 is ready for prime time. To that end we are going to show you how to get started with GA4 on your site.
How to create a GA4 property in google analytics
1 – Log in to your Google Analytics account and click on the ‘Admin’ link on the bottom left of your screen.
2 – On this screen under the Property section you will click on the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant’ link
3 – On this page, we want to choose the ‘I want to create a Google Analytics 4 property’ so click on the Get Started button
4 – Today we just want to make sure we get GA4 set up and start collecting data so we will want to select ‘Create a new Google Analytics 4 property’ and not use the option to enable data collection with existing tags
5 – On this screen we will select ‘Tag Installation’
6 – Now from the Data Streams screen we want to select the ‘Web’ setting which will create the data stream and the tag you will need
7 – You can choose to employ the tag by either adding a global site tag to the site or through Google Tag Manager
8 – This is what the global site tag option looks like. This code will need to be placed in the head section of your site. Since that will vary by platform, this tutorial will end here. You may need to contact your Web Developer to help with the code addition.
Of course, you can always contact SEO Rocket if you need help with installation.
9 – As always, you should check to make sure data is being collected and appearing for the new GA4 property. You can do this by looking at the Realtime option.
I can’t stress enough the importance of setting up a GA4 property on your site ASAP. While we don’t know the official date when GA4 will completely replace the current version, the one thing that appears to be certain is that your legacy data from the current version will not be rolled into GA4.
By installing GA4 now, you can continue to use the current version for your reporting now. Both instances will be able to run concurrently on your site while building up historical data for when GA4 replaces it.
We will be writing more about GA4 as the product becomes more fully developed, so stay tuned!