Whenever I sit down to write this blog I feel like I have to start off with a confession. Why is that? 🤔 Analysis for another day. This week’s confession is that I get really nervous and slightly frustrated dealing with coding. I consider myself tech-savvy but there is definitely a line that I come to, look over, and then turn around saying “nope!” That line is coding. I leave that to the professionals. The good news is you don’t have to know how to code to make the switch to GA4. You can do it with yo bad self!
I may not be a coder but I am a DIYer! Oh yes, I can watch a Youtube video or Google instructions with the best of them. But it’s even better when a friend shows me how to do it. And so I thought let’s do this! I set up my own GA4 property last year so here are my directions on how to get your GA4 property set up and installed on your website.
Setting Up the GA4 Property
1. Log into your Google Analytics account. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account (shame, shame, shame🎶) you can create one now.
2. In the bottom left corner, you will see the gear. Click here to access your admin area. There should be one column with Account info and another with Property – and a blue box with a + . If your account is new you will want to click there and go through the steps to create a new property.
This is where you will put your website’s address. It will give you the measurement ID which starts with G-XXXXXXX. This is the ID that you will use to set up your Google Tag.
If you have a Universal Analytics (UA) property already, you can go down to the setup assistant and migrate from Universal Analytics and follow the prompts. Here are Google’s own directions.
The Google Tag
Now for the tech part. The Google Tag is a magic tag (it isn’t really magic it just feels like that:). When you add to your website and it manages all your different tags for different Google product accounts, like Google Ads and Google Analytics. This way you don’t have multiple tags to keep track of.
To get a Google Tag you need to sign up at tagmanager.google.com
And now for more tech:
Go back to Data Streams in the column for Property and you will see your stream – You can click on this and you will see all kinds of information. Go to the bottom and you will see Installation Instructions. And here you have option to can enter your URL and get instructions based on your platform or if your platform is not supported you can get the code to install the tag manually. It needs to be added to the heading coding of your webpage.
My site is built on WordPress which is a supported platform so there were instructions and I was able to get it done. If your platform is not supported this is a good time to get in touch with your developer if you don’t know how to add it to the heading code. (I am not liable it you try to mess with your code and you break something. You know your limits and when to call in a professional. So I leave this to your discretion.)
How Do I Know That My GA4 Tag Is Working?
If you made it this far do a little happy dance 🎆 You will know if your tag is placed and recording data if it says data flowing by View tag instructions. Or at the top of this page, it will say active for XX hours.
If you had a UA property you will still have that data collection going on until this summer and so you can compare the two and get used to the new GA4. If you did not have a UA property welcome to the world of Google Analytics! Either way Chewy and I are excited for you for getting this done.