With Google Analytics sunsetting Universal Analytics starting July 1st, 2023, it’s imperative that businesses migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as soon as possible so companies can start collecting data using the all-new Google Analytics right away and become familiar with the GA4 interface.
To help you get started on GA4 migration and setup, here are four tips and tricks you can use.
- Set up Google Analytics 4 Using Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a Google-powered tool that lets you add further tracking or enable integration with different tools on your website. GTM also lets you set up Google Analytics 4 through it with the benefit of being able to create additional tracking using GTM and integrate it with GA4. For example, you can set up event tracking to track button clicks on your website and collect and display the data in GA4. By setting up GA4 via GTM, you can integrate them with each other and include additional tracking to collect website data and thus learn more about your website visitors.
- Enable Google Signals
When you enable Google Signals, you’re letting GA4 collect additional data about your website traffic and display additional information such as cross-device audiences and insights.
For example, your GA4 can collect demographics and interests data of online users who have consented to sharing such data with GA4. The data in demographics and interests can be output in reports so you have a better understanding of where your website visitors are coming from and what their interests and demographics are.
You can also create remarketing audiences once Google Signals have been enabled. Remarketing audiences are lists of website visitors who have been to your website to whom you can serve ads. This is an effective advertising approach because you’re showing ads to prospects who have expressed interest in your products or services.
- Change Data Retention to 14 Months
The default data retention timeframe is only 2 months. You can extend the timeframe to fourteen months. This extension allows you to look at your historical data up to fourteen months in your historical reports. It’s important to change the data retention timeframe so that you can analyze data in the last fourteen months to identify trends, perform comparison analysis or engage in other data analytics approaches to unravel consumer insights. Performing data analysis using two months of data won’t be enough to derive any trends or insights.
- Link GA4 with Google Ads and Google Search Console
You can link your GA4 account with your Google Ads and Google Search Console (GSC) so that you can analyze your Google Ads and Google search Console data directly in your GA4 account.
For example, you can link your Google Ads account to your GA4 account and segment your Google Ads traffic in your GA4 account using geographic locations and see which age group of your Google Ads visitors is more likely to convert on your website. Moreover, you can view how Google Ads is contributing to conversions on your website. For example, you can use the GA4 conversion path feature to see that Google Ads plays a heavy role in bringing website traffic to your website and influencing these visitors to convert on it.
You can perform a similar analysis for your organic search performance data once you’ve linked your GA4 account with your GSC account. For example, you can segment your GSC organic search traffic data using geographic locations to see where your organic traffic is coming from. You can also see which browser or device category that users are landing on your website organically. These insights help you understand how users are visiting your website so that you can ensure that your website is optimized for the best user-experience in all devices or browsers.
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Written by Ray Wang.