GA4 Google Analytics Integration: 8 Easy Steps

on Business Analytics, Google Analytics, Google Analytics 360, Google Analytics 4, Marketing Analytics, Sales Analytics • August 26th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Online businesses consider Marketing a topmost priority when it comes to increasing Sales and revenue. To tackle the increasing competition, companies use many tools to smartly run their Marketing Campaigns. Google Analytics has changed the entire way of managing Marketing and Sales. With the new GA4 Google Analytics property, a significant change can be seen in the way customers are tracked across the company’s website.

With the increase in traffic and data generation on mobile devices and other platforms, it becomes difficult for businesses to track traffic on apps and software. The previous generation of Google Analytics was compatible with tracking traffic on websites only. GA4 solved this problem with its “Web + App” property to track visitors across various platforms. It also added many features that help businesses grow faster and increase their ROAS (Return on Ads Spend). ROAS is a Marketing metric that measures the amount of revenue earned on every dollar spent on advertisement.

Google Analytics helps Marketers and business owners track visitor activities on their website and optimize their marketplace accordingly. Most businesses that are using the previous generation of Google Analytics want their websites and apps to be tracked with GA4 Google Analytics. In this article, you will learn about Google Analytics and GA4. You will also see how to integrate GA4 Google Analytics and its benefits.

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

Introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics Logo
Image Source

Google Analytics is a Web Analytics tool offered by Google that helps companies, website owners, and Marketers track traffic on their website or apps. It is a part of the Google Cloud Marketing Platform and provides a wide range of Marketing Services. Google offers basic services of Google Analytics for free and Analytics 360 as a paid enterprise solution. It provides tools to help users optimize their websites, apps, and the marketplace. The main objective of Google Analytics is to help you generate higher ROI (Return on Investment). 

Google Analytics tracks all your visitor’s activity on your website with the help of JavaScript tracking code embedded in your website code. Google Analytics sends all the clicks, actions, page views, user behavior, and other information on every visitor to your Google Analytics account. It helps users to visualize all the visitor traffic data into dashboards. Google Analytics uses many advanced Machine Learning algorithms and Data Mining techniques to analyze data and generate insights for you.  

Universal Analytics and GA4 Google Analytics are the fundamentals that support traffic tracking. Google Analytics also offers one-click integration with other Google products to orchestrate the workflow. 

Key Features of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a top-notch tool for analyzing web traffic. It allows businesses to optimize their marketplace and also increases their Sales. Marketers highly recommend using Google Analytics due to its plethora of features. A few key features are listed below:

  • Reporting and Visualization: With the help of AI and various Machine Learning algorithms, Google Analytics delivers detailed reports. The reports are an essential part of any business analysis, which is made effortless by this tool.
  • Robust Integrations: To help enterprises organize their workflow and save time. Google Analytics features integration with other Google products and partnered services.
  • Easy Data Collection: Collecting data from various sources is a time-consuming process. Google Analytics provides easy data imports with the help of its Collection APIs support.

To learn more about Google Analytics, click here.

Introduction to GA4

GA4 Google Analytics 4 Cover
Image Source

GA4 stands for Google Analytics 4, which is a new generation of Google Analytics. It’s the extension of the “Web+App” property launched by Google back in 2017. Previously Google Analytics was only able to tackle traffic over Web browsers. The increasing traffic and data generated from mobile devices go undetected. With the help of GA4 Google Analytics, users can easily track their web and app traffic as well.

GA4 Google Analytics is still in the development phase, and many recommend it to use it alongside the previous generation that is Universal Analytics property. It came up with a cross-channel tracking feature that allows users to track visitors on apps, software, and websites. GA4 Google Analytics presents data according to the “events” captured rather than Hits used in the previous generation of Google Analytics. Every user activity is considered a Hit which is sent to Google servers every time a new Hit registers. It focuses more on tracking user behavior and considers visitor’s privacy a top priority.

Key Features of GA4

GA4 (Google Analytics 4) changed many working principles of Google Analytics and added focus towards user privacy. A few more features are listed below:

  • Cookie-less Tracking: GA4 Google Analytics is more privacy concerned, so it came up with tracking without cookies. It uses Machine Learning models and statistics to fill data gaps.
  • Cross-Domain Measurement: The Cross-Domain tracking feature allows users to track visitors if the business has multiple domains. One can track visitors from one sub-domain to another.
  • Life-Cycle Report: The Life-Cycle Report allows users to generate a full report of the customer journey from visiting a platform to final conversion. 

To learn more about GA4, click here.

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Setting Up GA4 Google Analytics Integration

Now that you understood Google Analytics and GA4. In this section, you will see how to integrate GA4 Google Analytics. Here, you will go through the steps to link GA4 property with your existing Universal Analytics property in Google Analytics. 

Firstly, let’s understand why you can’t upgrade the existing Universal Analytics property to the GA4 Google Analytics property. This is because both these properties comprise of different entities. The previous generation works on Hits while GA4 focuses on events and tracks without cookies. The following steps to GA4 Google Analytics Integration are shown below :

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account here.
  2. Go to the “Admin” panel located at the bottom left corner on the side navigation bar.
  3. Choose the appropriate “Account” and its relevant Universal Analytics “Property” to which you want to add GA4 Google Analytics property. Under the “Property” column, click on “GA4 Setup Assistant” to initialize GA4 Google Analytics Integration. 
  4. Here, it will show that GA4 Google Analytics is “Not Connected” to your property. Click on the “Get Started” button to create new GA4 Google Analytics property, shown in the image below.
Getting Started with new GA4 Google Analytics Property
Image Source: Self
  1. A new pop-up will provide you with an overview of all the changes that will occur after creating the GA4 property, shown in the image below.
Creating new Google Analytics 4 Property
Image Source: Self
  1. Now, click on the “Create Property” button confirming to create new GA4 property. Now, it will show “Connected” in green color that indicates the GA4 Google Analytics property created successfully.
Create Property Button
Image Source: Self
GA4 Google Analytics Property Connected
Image Source: Self
  1. Creating new GA4 property will neither affect the Universal Analytics property nor populate the GA4 Google Analytics property with historical traffic data.
  2. You can always disconnect your property by selecting the “Disconnect” button. Now, click on the “See you GA4 property” to explore the features and configurations.
Explore GA4 Properties and Features
Image Source: Self

Congrats, you have completed GA4 Google Analytics Integration.

Benefits of GA4 Google Analytics Integration

The launch of GA4 has changed a lot about tracking data and is still in progress. It solves the issues that the previous generation of Google Analytics was unable to do. GA4 Google Analytics has a plethora of benefits. A few of them are listed below.

  • Focussed User Journey: GA4 Google Analytics allows you to track visitors across various platforms and provide a unified view of the overall interaction of a visitor with your resources such as websites and apps. It can track a user who is browsing products on your business website and then checking out from your app. GA4 Google Analytics gives a full report of a customer from start to conversion.
  • Predictive Analytics: GA4 Google Analytics lets you focus more on business and analyze data for you. With its Machine Learning models, it automatically generates insights from the data and predicts the probability of an event. It can help you know the probability of the number of users who will purchase your product or services in the next 5 or 7 days.
  • Advanced Reporting: Reporting is one of the core features of any Data Analytics tool. GA4 Google Analytics is more user-centric that helps you create complex reports and visualizations with simple drag-drop features. You can select many dimensions of data based on different metrics to generate sharable reports.
  • Quick Debugging: The DebugView offered by GA4 Google Analytics helps users save a lot of time. It allows users to debug the working of GA4 across their website and app within minutes. Previously, sometimes it took days to debug the working of code. GA4 Google Analytics provides real-time feedback reports that make all the work faster.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to integrate GA4 Google Analytics and the benefits of this integration. You also read about various features Google Analytics 4 offers that helps Marketers and businesses better understand user behavior. It solved the issue of tracking traffic across different platforms. 

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Google Analytics collects Marketing and user data which is valuable to companies. All this data can be stored and combined with other business data to analyze and generate beneficial insights from data. Hevo Data is a No-code Data Pipeline solution that can help you transfer data from Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 for free to desired Data Warehouse. It fully automates the process of loading and transforming data from 100+ sources to a destination of your choice without writing a single line of code.

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