Google Analytics 4 Setup is very different from Univeral Analytics, popularly known as Google Analytics or GA3.
Since the complete data model of Google Analytics has changed in this new free version, known as Google Analytics 4 or GA4, you can't simply upgrade from Univeral Analytics to GA4. You have to go through the complete setup set by step.
I have covered GA4 set up in many of the blog posts here or at our YouTube channel at, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_WJocz1Gqqc6EylJdx7eHw
Google Analytics 4 Setup Checklist
This checklist will help you set up GA4 on your site as well as help you with regular audits.
- Enable Enhanced Measurements – These are enabled by default. Always verify them during regular audits. Check this, What is Enhanced Measurement in Google Analytics 4
- Verify Time zone for reporting is correct. You have to select this while setting up the account. We live in a time when teams are scattered all over the world so make sure this time zone setting still makes sense and stakeholders are aware of this.
- Setup on-site search settings within Enhanced Measurement – This setting is enabled by default, but you ensure that you are capturing the right data, you might need to configure it. - Check this post for details, What is Enhanced Measurement in Google Analytics 4
- Integrated Google Ads
- Integrate Search Console - Here is a complete post on Search Console and GA4 integration
- Setup GA4 data transfer to BigQuery - Here is a blog post that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up GA4 and BogQuery integration, GA4 BigQuery Export & Why and How.
- Set up correct attribution channel
- Cross-Domain Tracking – Add all your domains to the list for cross-domain tracking.
- Use Same GTM Container – Many times we have seen clients using the different containers on different subdomains or sites that are tracked as one using cross-domain tracking. Having different containers makes it difficult to manage the tags, triggers, and variables. It also makes debugging difficult.
- Enable Google signals data collection to get cross-device and demographic data
- Verify Data Retention time period. Work with your company’s legal team to ensure it is in accordance with your policies.
- Define Internal Traffic rules
- Exclude Internal Traffic
- Remove Unwanted or spam referrals
- Configure session timeout setting, default is 30 mins, but you can change it according to your needs
- Configure Time setting to calculate Engaged Sessions
- Audit User Property and Account access to ensure no unauthorized access is granted.
- Enable Conversion events
- Verify Custom Definitions
- Verify and adjust Audience Definitions.
- Enable Universal Analytics as well since many of the features are still getting rolled out in GA4. Also check, Should You Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
We will be updating this checklist on regular basis. If you need a PDF copy of the checklist then email us at email@example.com
If you do have questions about any of these then please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Need help with Google Analytics 4?
We can get you up and running with Google Analytics 4 as well as train your and your team to use it effectively. Reach out to us for more details.
Master Google Analytics 4
- Get your team ready for GA4 with this online self-paced course - Google Analytics 4 Masterclass
- Optizent Academy Membership - Learn GA, GA4, GTM, BigQuery, etc. and get support from fellow members