Introduction to Google Analytics 4: What You Need to Know

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest web analytics measurement tool introduced by Google. It is set to replace Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023.

With Google Analytics 4, website owners gain access to a range of advanced tracking and reporting features that leverage machine learning technology. This enables them to analyze the performance of their websites more accurately and comprehensively across various platforms.

For existing users of Universal Analytics, it is crucial to prioritize early migration to ensure the establishment of your current data structure and collection in the new platform. If you forget to migrate your data on GA4, then this may result in the loss of important data history that could be valuable for future reference.

Now, these changes might leave you with questions: Where should you begin? What is the optimal setup for GA4?

If you find yourself unsure about how to get started, you are in the right place. In this Google Analytics 4 tutorial, you will get clear directions on how to set up GA4 effectively. Whether you are a beginner or have some experience with previous versions of Google Analytics, this blog will help you navigate the new features and ensure a smooth transition to GA4.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest update of Google’s website analytics tool. It is designed to provide website owners and marketers with advanced insights into user behavior and website performance. GA4 offers a comprehensive and user-centric approach to tracking and analyzing data.

One of the critical features of GA4 is its enhanced machine-learning capabilities. By leveraging machine learning models, GA4 can provide more accurate and detailed insights about user interactions on websites and apps. This enables businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their audience, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their digital strategies.

With GA4, website owners can track user interactions across various platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and even offline interactions. This cross-platform tracking allows for a more holistic view of user engagement, providing valuable insights into how users interact with a brand across different touchpoints. Furthermore, GA4 introduces a more streamlined and intuitive interface, making it easier for users to navigate and access the wealth of data available. It also offers improved data controls and privacy features to align with evolving data protection regulations.

Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics: What Has Changed in Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics

Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics are two versions of Google’s web analytics tools with 4 key differences. These distinctions highlight the advancements and enhanced capabilities of GA4 compared to its predecessor, Universal Analytics.

1. Multi-platform Measurement

Unlike Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 allows you to gather data from not only your website but also iOS and Android apps. This enables a comprehensive view of user interactions across various platforms.

2. Privacy Configuration

Google Analytics 4 introduces new privacy controls, including cookieless measurement, to ensure the ethical collection of user data. Additionally, the platform no longer stores IP addresses, enhancing user privacy.

3. Event-based Tracking

Google Analytics 4 replaces session-based tracking with event-based tracking. This shift provides a more detailed understanding of user behavior and enables the measurement of conversions, offering insights into the entire customer journey.

4. Predictive Metrics

Leveraging Google’s machine learning model, Google Analytics 4 offers predictive analytics capabilities. It can project future user behavior, such as purchase or churn probabilities, and predict revenue. This empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their strategies.

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What are the Benefits of Using Google Analytics 4?

GA4 brings several benefits to businesses and website owners looking to gain valuable insights into user behavior and optimize their online presence. There are some key advantages of using Google Analytics 4.

1. Enhanced Cross-Platform Tracking

One of the major benefits of GA4 is its ability to track user interactions across multiple platforms. With GA4, you can collect data not only from websites but also from iOS and Android apps. This comprehensive view allows you to analyze user behavior across different channels and gain a deeper understanding of their interactions.

2. Privacy-Centric

GA4 introduces new privacy controls to address growing concerns regarding user data protection. It offers options for cookieless measurement, ensuring that website owners can collect data in a more privacy-friendly manner. Additionally, GA4 no longer stores IP addresses, further enhancing user privacy and compliance with data protection regulations.

3. Events-Based Model

GA4 shifts from traditional session-based tracking to event-based tracking. This means that instead of focusing on individual sessions, GA4 places more emphasis on tracking specific user actions or events. This approach provides a more granular and detailed analysis of user engagement, allowing you to measure actions such as clicks, video views, downloads, and more. It enables you to gain a comprehensive understanding of user behavior throughout their entire journey.

4. Machine Learning-Powered Insights

GA4 leverages Google’s advanced machine learning capabilities to provide powerful insights. It offers predictive metrics that allow businesses to forecast future user behavior, such as the likelihood of conversion or churn, and predicted revenue. These predictive insights enable businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their strategies for better outcomes.

5. Streamlined Reporting and Analysis

GA4 introduces a more streamlined reporting interface and enhanced analysis capabilities. It offers pre-built reports and templates that provide valuable insights into user acquisition, engagement, and conversion. The updated interface makes it easier to navigate and explore data, allowing you to uncover actionable insights more efficiently.

6. Future-Proof Solution

As Google’s latest analytics tool, GA4 is designed to meet the evolving needs of businesses in the digital landscape. By adopting GA4 early on, businesses can future-proof their analytics infrastructure and stay ahead of the curve. It allows you to take advantage of new features and updates as they are rolled out, ensuring that your analytics capabilities remain up-to-date and relevant.

By leveraging the capabilities of GA4, businesses can gain valuable insights, optimize their marketing strategies, and make informed decisions to drive growth and success.

What do you mean by Events in GA4?

An event in Google Analytics refers to a specific action or incident that occurs on your website or app. It provides valuable data about user interactions and system behavior. For instance, you can track events to measure when a page is loaded, a link is clicked, or a purchase is completed. Additionally, GA4 events can be used to monitor system performance, such as app crashes or impressions served. By defining and tracking events, you gain insights into the various actions and behaviors of your users, allowing you to analyze their engagement and optimize your website or app accordingly. Events play a crucial role in understanding user behavior and improving the overall user experience.

Now, a question arises in your mind what are the types of events in GA4?

GA4 introduces a new event model that offers more flexibility and granularity in tracking various types of user actions. Here are some of the key types of events in GA4:

1. Automatically Collected Events

GA4 automatically collects certain standard events without requiring any additional configuration. These events include common user interactions such as page_view, scroll, click, video_start, video_complete, and more. By default, GA4 captures these events to provide basic analytics on user engagement.

2. Enhanced Measurement Events

Enhanced measurement events in GA4 enable you to capture additional valuable data beyond the automatically collected events. These events include file_download, ad_click, ad_impression, video_progress, and more. By implementing enhanced measurement, you can track specific actions that are relevant to your business goals and gain deeper insights into user behavior.

GA4 provides a set of recommended events based on industry best practices and common user actions. These events cover different aspects of the customer journey, including e-commerce, app-specific actions, and more. Recommended events include add_to_cart, remove_from_cart, start_checkout, purchase, generate_lead, and many others. Implementing these events allows you to track and analyze key conversion activities specific to your website or app.

4. Custom Events

Custom events offer the flexibility to track and measure unique actions and behaviors that are specific to your business needs. You can define and implement custom events to monitor user interactions that are not covered by the automatically collected or recommended events. Custom events allow you to track events such as form submissions, specific button clicks, social media interactions, or any other action that is important for your analytics goals.

What are the Methods to Set Up Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 offers flexibility in terms of setup, catering to both websites and applications. Depending on your situation, there are two distinct setup processes to follow.

1. Using Universal Analytics

2. Using Google Tag Manager

For existing users who have been using Universal Analytics and want to transition to GA4, the Setup Assistant feature is another option. This process allows you to migrate your existing Universal Analytics properties to GA4 seamlessly.

a new google analytics account are described below:

a) Create an Analytics account

To set up Google Analytics 4, your initial step is to create an Analytics account.

  1. Access the Admin section of Google Analytics.
  2. In the Account column, click on “Create Account”.
  3. Provide a name for your account that accurately represents your website or application.
  4. Configure the data-sharing settings according to your preferences, determining the data you want to share with Google.
  5. Click “Next” to proceed and add the first property to your account.

b) Create a new Google Analytics 4 property

Make sure you have the Editor role for the Google Data Analytics account. If you created the account, you automatically have the Editor role.

To create a property in Google Analytics 4, you need to follow these steps:

1. Access the Admin section of Google Analytics.

2. In the Account column, ensure that you have selected the correct account.

  • In the Property column, click on “Create Property”.
  • Enter a name for the property, such as “My Business, Inc website”. Also, select the reporting time zone and currency. It is important to choose the appropriate time zone to accurately record visitor activity.
  • If your chosen time zone observes Daylight Saving Time, Analytics will automatically adjust for time changes.
  • If you prefer not to adjust for Daylight Saving Time, you can use Greenwich Mean Time. Please note that changing the time zone only affects data moving forward. Any existing data will remain associated with the previous time zone.
  • It is recommended to change the time zone for the property no more than once per day to allow Analytics to process the change effectively.

3. Click “Next” to select your industry category and business size.

4. Click “Next” and indicate how you intend to use Google Analytics. Google Analytics customizes the default reports based on the information you provide about your intended use. For example, if you select “Generate more leads”, you will see a collection of reports tailored to measuring lead generation.

  • Click “Create” and, if you are setting up a new account, accept the Analytics Terms of Service and the Data Processing Amendment.
  • To start collecting data, proceed to “Add a data stream”.

c) Add a data stream

If you have already created a property in Google Analytics 4, you can follow these steps to add a data stream:

  1. Access the Admin section of Google Analytics.
  2. Verify that you have selected the desired account in the Account column.
  3. Verify that you have selected the desired property in the Property column.
  4. In the Property column, click on “Data Streams” and select “Add stream”.
  5. Choose the appropriate option for your data stream, i.e., iOS app, Android app, or Web.

This allows you to track and analyze data from specific platforms such as iOS apps, Android apps, or web applications, depending on your selection. After setting up GA4, you can now track the performance of your website.


Google Analytics 4 is a powerful analytics tool that empowers businesses to gain valuable insights into user behavior, make informed decisions, and optimize their online presence for better performance and engagement. Migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 is crucial to maintain data history and leveraging the new platform’s capabilities. So, leverage the new features and functionalities of GA4 and track your website’s performance.

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