Create a Google Analytics account here analytics.google.com

For Google Analytics 4 (GA4):

  • Generate the tracking (measurement) ID – it looks like G-XXXX 
  • Goto to the website to download google analytics plugin (I use GA Google Analytics in this tutorial)
  • Add your new tracking ID to the plugin setting, “GA Tracking ID”
  • Select “Global Site Tag” for the plugin setting, “Tracking Method”

 

The quick way to check if the analytics is working, is to check the Real-time report on analytics.google.com

 

The GA4-code (G-XXXX) is new and an improvement on UA-code.  It’s chiefly designed for those domains that run as apps in addition to websites. So that data stream won’t be limited to those from websites — as it is with UA-code (UA-XXXX-XX) –- but also from Android apps and/or iOS apps. 

 

For Universal Analytics (UA):

To generate UA-code – it looks like UA-XXXX-XX:

  • On analytics.google.com, create a Property
  • Enter property details such as Name, report time zone, currency etc.
  • Click Show advanced options (below the property-setup fields).
  • Turn on the switch for Create a Universal Analytics property.
  • Enter the website URL. Select the protocol (http or https)
  • Choose Create Universal Analytics Property Only.
  • Click Next and provide information about your business.
  • Click Create
  • Accept the Analytics Terms of Service and the Data Processing Amendment if prompted, and click Finish

A code that looks like this UA-XXX-XX will be generated under Tracking ID. 

To add the code to your website:

  • Goto to the website to download google analytics plugin (I use GA Google Analytics)
  • Add your new tracking ID to the plugin setting, “GA Tracking ID”
  • Select “Universal Analytics” for the plugin setting, “Tracking Method”

 

The quick way to check if the analytics is working, is to check the Real-time report on analytics.google.com.

 

Differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics

The very first version of Google Analytics was released in 2005, taking on a few iterations before becoming the Universal Analytics standard for website tracking in 2012. Then, in early 2020, Google started beta testing an “App+Web Property” as an evolution to their tracking system. This eventually became what we now know as GA4.

The biggest difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is the base measuring tools that they each use. Universal Analytics measures user activity by placing a cookie on each user’s browser, which provides data centred around page views, user sessions, and the actions that took place during each session.

Universal Analytics has a session-based data model; within these sessions are various hit types. Most Google Analytics data is sent in the form of pageview hits and event hits, with some basic ecommerce data sent as transaction hits.

All data sent to Google Analytics 4 has adopted the Firebase data model in the form of events. Each event is distinguished with the event_name parameter, with additional parameters to describe the event.

Another substantial distinction that deserves a spotlight is data collection and sampling thresholds. With Universal Analytics, there were certain limitations in terms of the amount of data that could be collected with the free version—10 million hits per property per month—which might not sound that great for traffic-heavy websites. GA4 eliminates this restriction by enabling free unlimited data collection, and, additionally, eradicating any possibility of sampling in standard reports.

GA4’s free BigQuery connection is another point of differentiation. GA360 customers had exclusive access to this feature (one of the significant differences between GA’s free and paid versions).

BigQuery lets people quickly query large and complex data sets, even if they aren’t familiar with it. You will be aware of the effects sampling can have when creating complex segments in GA.

While GA4 is indeed the future of both Google Analytics/web tracking and analytics,, it’s not showtime ready. Google is continuing to roll out updates and bug fixes. There will be more settings updates, reporting capabilities, and enhancements released moving forward. Much of what GA4 is currently missing, results in the product being less  useful compared to a mature UA implementation.. Net Conversion’s recommendation is to gameplan a structure that makes sense for each users’ web ecosystem within the GA4 platformthen implement Google Analytics 4 alongside a current Universal Analytics set up. 

Other sources of great materials for Google Analytics

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9306384?hl=en

https://www.americanwebcoders.com/blog/difference-between-universal-analytics-and-ga4

https://scandiweb.com/blog/ga4-vs-universal-analytics/

https://netconversion.com/industry-insights/google-analytics-universal-analytics-vs-google-analytics-4/

https://www.cardinalpath.com/blog/comparing-universal-analytics-to-google-analytics-4-15-key-differences-to-know