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Understanding GA4 Part Two: What We’ve Been Doing and What You Should Do Too

In the first part of our series digging into Google Analytics 4 we answered some hot-topic questions, looking at why Google is even making the change from GA3 to GA4, and what it means for you as a user. We discussed some of the features offered in the platform (including insights provided by AI and new options for custom reporting), and what you can do with them. 

Now, we’ve put together a list that details the most important things to get a start on as quickly as possible, so you’re ahead of the game come July 2023.

Do I really need to create a GA4 property now?

Yes! We want to make sure that we can start collecting data as soon as possible in GA4, so that we have enough historical data to compare to in the future. Ideally, we’d recommend that you have a full year’s worth of data prior to July 2023. That way by the time GA3 is sunsetted, you would be able to immediately start a YOY comparison within the platform. This is important for us, as it allows us to show these trends in our monthly reporting.

Here’s what we’ve been doing so far.

We have been:

  • Migrating existing GA3 accounts to GA4 accounts
  • Setting up cross domain tracking
  • Coming up with a tracking plan
  • Setting up custom dimensions/metrics
  • Linking GA4 to Google Search Console
  • Linking GA4 to Google Ads
  • Ensuring that when importing GA4 conversion events to Google Ads, the conversions are not counted twice
  • Looking into linking Google Analytics with BigQuery, a multicloud data warehouse
  • Customizing the default report interface to better meet our reporting/analyzing needs

And here’s our top four recommendations for you to start on now

  • Start creating GA4 properties so that you get enough data to work with, and ensure that cross domain is set up so you are not double-counting the sessions.
  • Start rethinking what information is needed to be tracked. Your website probably has changed a lot from when you first set up the universal Google Analytics now, have a tracking plan and send the relevant metrics to GA4.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the recommended events and naming conventions in GA4 – you will want to follow Googe’s naming convention to get the most out of GA4.
  • Explore the debug feature in GA4 to see if your initial setup is correct, as nothing is worse than analyzing data that is double-counted or missing key information.

As our industry shifts, with big differences year-on-year, it’s important to keep up-to-date on how this affects your business and what lessons you can take from it. GA4 is certainly a big change from Universal Analytics but will be extremely useful, for instance, in tracking users cross-platform, giving a fuller picture of the user journey.

Keep an eye out for part three of our series to learn even more about Google Analytics 4.

If you’re looking for help with this, please reach out to your Wallop contact or Linda, our Director of Sales.