How to Set Up Your Google Analytics 4 for Success

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A new article on Search Engine Journal says that Google Analytics 4 will eventually be our only GA platform option so it’s important to set it up properly. Here’s how.

In less than a month, Google Analytics 4 will be a year old. Have you adopted it yet?

Google Analytics 4 will eventually be our only GA platform option. The author says this alone isn’t a big deal. However, given that GA4 does not populate data from Universal Analytics, you need to get to tracking!

Perhaps one of the biggest fundamental changes in Google Analytics 4 is the way “properties” are handled. Universal Analytics forces you to create a separate property for each of your online entities. In GA4, properties are created using data streams. A data stream is used to pull data from an online entity and push it into your property. Each property can have up to 50 data streams. That means all of your data lives in one place! You see it all together in order to get a better picture of your users’ journeys.

Data Streams Setup
Correctly setting up your data streams is necessary for getting the most out of GA4. To create a data stream in GA4, go to the settings of your account and under Property select Data Streams.

From there, you can create your data stream by selecting Add stream, then choosing what type of entity you would like to pull data from (iOs app, Android app, or web). It’s really easy to speed through this setup process, but make sure you slow down! You may want to blow by, but super important things go down here.

Cross-domain Tracking
When you set up your data stream in GA4, cross-domain tracking is handled under More Tagging Settings. To set up cross-domain tracking using GA4, simply go to Admin > Data Stream > More Tagging Settings > Configure Your Domains.

From there, you just define the domain parameters and place the tag on those sites, and Bam! You’ve got cross-domain tracking.

IP Filters
A lot goes on in this view of More Tagging Settings. On this screen, you are able to define IP traffic you would like to filter out. To do define internal (or other IP specific) traffic in GA4, you go to Admin > Data Stream > More Tagging Settings > Define Internal Traffic. Here, you can define the IP addresses you don’t want to track traffic from.

Domain Referral Filters
Right under Define Internal Traffic you see the option to List Unwanted Referrals. This is a really beneficial filter for those who use a third-party payment processor, a landing page platform, a blog platform, etc. Here, you can define the referrers you want GA4 to ignore.

Adjust Session Timeout
The last option on the More Tagging Settings screen is Adjust Session Timeout. Obviously, this is where you can adjust the session timeout settings. You may not think this is important, however, the default session timeout is 30 minutes.

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