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Understanding GA4 Part Three: How To Create a GA4 Property (and Other Important Tricks)

GA4 is upon us as of July 1st, and we’re back with another instalment of our Google Analytics 4 series. In part one, we answered some frequently asked questions. In part two, we put together a list of considerations to take into account when preparing to launch a property in GA4.

In part three, we’re covering how to create a new Google Analytics 4. While we’re sure you’re all set, if you need to create a new Google Analytics 4, here’s how.

How to create a GA4 property (the bare minimum)

  • Create a new GA4 property
  • Set up a corresponding tag in Google Tag Manager, or you can implement the Global site tag (gtag.js) on the <head> section of all the pages; however, we recommend implementing through Google Tag Manager (GTM)

  • Set up currency and time zone

  • Set up cross-domain tracking

  • Set up internal traffic rules

  • Set up the event tracking tags in GTM
  • Link to Google Ads, Google Search Console or Google Optimize

Next, you’ll want to set up conversion tracking to ensure all events (or actions taken on your website or booking engine) are recorded within the platform. This can include everything from purchases to lead generation, and more.

How to set up conversion tracking

  • Go to the correct Google Tag Manager container, create a new tag and select Google Analytics: GA4 Event as the tag type

  • Select the GA4 Configuration tag that was created when setting up GA4
  • For the event names, please refer to Google’s recommended event list as you will want to stick to the naming conventions for all the recommended events such as purchase, add to cart, generate lead etc.
  • Publish the tag and check to see if the data are collected correctly through debug view in GA4.

The three most important things to know when setting up GA4

  • Ensure you are not adding the recommended event in the GA4 custom event section. If so, you will be double counting the events. You only need to set recommended events up in GTM – GA4 will recognize them automatically.
  • Keep in mind that you are NOT going to get the same metrics as in GA3 and you shouldn’t be comparing them. GA4 is all event based rather than session based, so you are likely to see a lower number of sessions in GA4 compared to GA3.
  • Plan your naming conventions. For any recommended event, stick with Google’s list and for any custom events, make sure you think through what custom metrics and dimensions you’d like to track and keep it consistent. It’s a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of all this information. It’s great that Google allows you to name everything freely but it has the potential to get extremely messy if you don’t follow a certain format.

We hope this checklist helps you to feel more comfortable when working within the Google Analytics platform. While everyone working with our digital marketing team can rest assured their GA4 properties are collecting data, if any of this sounds unfamiliar or if you could use a hand with the implementation, please feel free to reach out to your Wallop contact or Linda, our Director of Sales, for more information.