What is GA4?

GA4 (Google Analytics 4) is Google’s most recent iteration of Google Analytics. It’s a lot different — on the backend and the front end — than the last version (Universal Analytics/GA3).

Right now, it’s best to set up Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 at the same time to ensure that all data is accurate and up to date while Google works out the kinks. You’ll be sending the same data to Universal Analytics and GA4 at the same time, which allows you to compare the results side by side.

Lots of people are hesitant about the switch, so it makes sense to sacrifice the marginal reduction in page speed that comes along with having both softwares installed (at least for now). If you’re seeing different results on each software, it may be a good idea to submit a report or look into the data further.

GA4 is primarily driven around event-based tracking. An event is an interaction someone has with your website — maybe they clicked a button or went to a specific page. Universal Analytics collects a lot more events than GA4 right out of the box, so you’ll get a lot more information from GA4.

So how do we learn GA4? Google has a platform for learning about all their services, so that’s a great place to start. Another option is to hire a company (like Infomedia!) to track, monitor and analyze your data from Google Analytics.

GA4 can be found at the same location as your Universal Analytics account. Your Google account can have multiple properties, and each property can have multiple views. GA4 will simply be another property on your account, and you can easily access it at any time.

GA4 can’t pull data from Universal Analytics, so it’s important to install it soon so that it can start pulling and tracking its own data. In order to install GA4, you’ll have to create the property first, and there’s a tool within Analytics that you can use to migrate to GA4. You can also create a different property if you’re not fully ready to make the jump and want to track both GA4 and Universal Analytics data (we recommend going this route, at least at the beginning).

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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