If you’ve ever tried to install the traditional Google Analytics service, you probably know that it doesn’t provide an accurate representation of your user’s behavior on the app. This is because traditional Google Analytics analyzes user behavior by studying page views.
While a customer needs to view a website page to access its content, this is not always the case for app users. Applications like Udemy and Coursera allow users to click on the content they wish to listen to, close the app, and keep the content running in the background. But since Google Analytics only works with page views, it will record such action as a ‘Bounce’ though it is not.
The Google Analytics 4 setup is different in the sense that it uses events and parameters rather than page views to evaluate user behavior. So, carrying out the Google Analytics 4 setup on your application will help you enjoy an improved experience of Website and App Analytics. This tutorial outlines the steps you need to take to complete Google Analytics 4 setup.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Google Analytics 4
Introduced in October 2020, Google Analytics 4 is Google’s third major upgrade of its Analytics service. The tech company introduced Google Analytics 4 after Mobile App Analysts discovered that traditional Google Analytics expressed a false picture of users’ engagement with their applications. The goal of the update is to ensure that proper user Behavior Analysis is determined by the events that occur while using the application, rather than the number of pages viewed. This is why Google Analytics 4 depends on an event-driven data model instead of page views to analyze user behavior.
If this sounds a little difficult to comprehend, think about what happens when a website visitor buys a product. After they pay for the purchase on the checkout page, the system takes them to the thank you page. Traditional Google Analytics can only confirm that the purchase happened when the customer views the ‘thank-you‘ page. What if your customer is in a hurry and leaves the website while the thank-you page is still loading? Does that mean they didn’t buy the item?
This problem is solved in Google Analytics 4. Instead of recording your customer’s action in the form of the pages they view, Google Analytics 4 will simply analyze the action like a purchase event. Now, you can trust your Analytics service to give you an accurate picture of transactions that occur on your website or application.
Key Features of Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 has three main features that distinguish it from traditional Google Analytics:
1. Firebase Analytics (Event-driven model)
Firebase Analytics relies on events to determine user action on a platform. Most App-based Analytics already use this feature. However, Google Analytics 4 is the first Analytics service to apply Firebase Analytics to websites.
Unlike Google Analytics 4, the previous Google Analytics used a page view model to analyze user behavior on websites. This, however, has proved to be unreliable because app users sometimes engage with content on pages without viewing the pages.
2. Google Signals
This feature allows you to use Google’s identity software to recognize users when they login to your website from different devices. This way, it is easier for you to identify a customer’s buying pattern and advertise your product to them in a strategic manner. You can only use the Google Signal feature to identify users who have enabled ‘Ads Personalization‘ on their Google Account.
Google Signals was only introduced in 2018. The traditional Google Analytics allows users to enable the feature on their accounts. However, Google Signals is a pre-installed feature in Google Analytics 4.
Meanwhile, Google structures its signal feature in a way that protects users’ privacy. The company does not give web admins access to their customers’ private information. The only pieces of information that Google Signals provides to Website Analysts are the users’ Locations, Interests, and the different devices with which they visit the website.
3. Global Site Tag
In previous Google Analytics versions, users often had to use code to enable special Analytics features on their websites or apps. On the other hand, Google Analytics 4 lets users activate Analytics options on their websites without code or modifying Tags.
If you want to enable a new Analytics feature on your website, go to your Google Analytics 4 user interface and switch on the feature. Google will automatically send code that will activate the feature on your website.
This is much more efficient than copying code from your Google Analytics account onto your website. Now, your marketers can manage all aspects of your Web Analytics, even if they lack coding skills.
For further information on Google Analytics 4, visit the official website here.
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Steps for Google Analytics 4 Setup
It is now obvious that Google Analytics 4 is a worthy upgrade of all previous versions of Google Analytics. It comes with easy-to-use features and valuable benefits. But how is Google Analytics 4 setup is done? You’re about to find out.
Follow these steps to complete Google Analytics 4 setup process on your website or application:
Step 1: Upgrade to Google Analytics 4
If you do not have a Google Analytics account, you need to create one first. If you have an account, you can go to the Admin settings and click on ‘Property Settings‘. Then, scroll to the ‘Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 option‘. If you can’t find the upgrade option in your property settings, you can go to ‘Create Property‘ in your Property Settings to find it.
Step 2: Start the Google Analytics 4 Setup
Click on ‘Get Started’ to continue the Google Analytics 4 setup. Installing the Global Site Tag on your website will make the Google Analytics 4 setup much easier. This will enable Google to complete the process automatically on your website.
If you don’t have the Global Site Tag feature on your website, you’ll have to enable Data collection manually with your Google Tag Manager.
Key Benefits of Google Analytics 4 Setup
- It provides positive and accurate Data on Engagement Metrics. Google Analytics 4 records your Engagement Metrics in the form of Engagement Rates instead of the traditional Bounce Rates. According to Leadfeeder, your Bounce Rate is the number of visitors that only view one page on your website before logging out. In essence, your Bounce Rate suggests pages you need to remove, and this information is somehow negative. Instead of picking out the errors in your Website Pages, Engagement Rates show you the content that is performing excellently. This way, you know which kind of content you should keep producing.
- It is more efficient than traditional Google Analytics. With Google Analytics 4 setup, analysts can use the same Analytics Platform for their websites and applications.
- It allows users to set as many conversions as they want. Traditional Google Analytics restricted the maximum limit of conversions per reporting view to 20. Google Analytics 4 has no limits on the number of conversions.
- Lastly tracking Google Analytics 4 setup is easy to track. Users can easily install new tracking features on their websites just by activating the option in the “Admin” section of their Google Analytics 4 account.
This article introduced you to Google Analytics 4, its features, and its benefits. It also explained how to carry out Google Analytics 4 setup with a few clicks. Now that you have Google Analytics 4 setup on your website and application, it is time to start leveraging its awesome features to take your business to the next level. Extracting complex data from a diverse set of data sources can be a challenging task and this is where Hevo saves the day!
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