There are many how to blog posts available, so this won’t be the first. Instead of giving technical steps-by-step guidance, this will be a shared experience with GA4 implementation with Google Tag Manager (GTM). What to remember when activating the GA4 property.
How to configure GA4 correctly and what to do about Universal Analytics (UA/GA3) Do I need to replicate my tracking tags? What happens if I start from scratch? Professionals in the analytics industry have examined the pros and cons for GA4, and compared it to GA3. They also tested it. This blog post will provide more information about the differences and details between the GA properties. After configuring several GA4 property, after reading the blog posts that were helpful, and after listening carefully to the opinions of other experts on the topic at this year’s Messuresummit I will give you my opinion.
Why GA4 is essential
Google has announced that all standard properties and UA/GA3 properties will cease processing new hits as of July 1, 2023 . It will be the only property in Google Analytics. The earlier you begin to collect data and learn how to use it, the better.
The default property for creating a new GA4 property is currently the GA4 property. You can however open Universal Analytics (GA3) in an “advanced” mode. Click on the Setup Assistant if you already have the GA3 Property. Follow the instructions. There are many tutorials online that will show you step-by-step how to set up the GA4 property . I also recommend this GA4 setup tip.
How important are these basics when setting up GA4
Increase event data retention to fourteen months
Data retention defaults to being set at 2 months. It can be increased to maximum 14 months.
Activate the Internal Traffic data filter.
The Internal Traffic filter setup is another area where I’ve been remiss. It’s easy: click on Data Streams > Additional tagging settings > Define Internal Traffic > Create. Enter e.g. Your company IP address, as you don’t wish to include clicks in visitor analytics data. And voila! Your internal clicks continue appearing in GA4. Why? The reason is that the default does not activate the Internal Traffic option. The Data Filters must activate the Internal Traffic data filter. The default value is Testing.
You should verify that you only receive data for the hostname you wish to track.
Make sure you verify from which hostname GA4 is collecting data. It should be your webshop’s hostname. GA4 doesn’t have views options like GA3, where you can filter hostnames. GTM is the best way to filter hostnames in GA4. This step-by_step procedure is well described.
Enhance eCommerce Events in GA4.
GA4 now tracks some events automatically, such as page views, scrolls and outbound clicks, site search, file downloads, video engagements, site searches, site searches, site searches, and site searches. You can set enhanced eCommerce events such as product views, checkout options, and add to cart.
GA4’s event concept is slightly different from GA3, but you can still set up GA4 events with your existing enhanced eCommerce setup (precisely with your existing enhanced eCommerce data layer).
Google Analytics describes the structure and parameters of all events. The parameters for Enhanced eCommerce events differ from those in the GA3 enhanced eCommerce Data layer. You would normally need to contact a developer to update the key-value pairs of the Data Layer. You can instead use Simo Ahava’s custom variable template to convert enhanced eCommerce purchase data into the GA4 purchase data parameters. This guide will show you how to properly configure enhanced eCommerce events in GA4 using the GA3 enhanced eCommerce data layers on your webshop. This is a quick and temporary solution until you either get the matching data layer data for your GTM extension, or your developers set the GTM extensions data layers to comply with GA4. You will need a GTM extension compliant with GA4 after the depreciation in Universal Analytics. Inchoo has developed a GTM extension that is free to use and maintain for clients.
If this all sounds too technical for you or you don’t have enough time to set up the GA4 properties properly yourself, then you can assign it to someone who has done it before, like Inchoo. Contact us to discuss your tracking needs and assist you in achieving your business goals.