Google Analytics 4 Setup and Guide | GA4 Setup | Nightjarr

How to setup Google Analytics 4

By Ferdie Bester (Google Analytics certified)

Can I upgrade Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?


While Universal Google Analytics has a user interface ‘upgrade’ option, you cannot upgrade your current account to handle GA4 data. Rather set up a new property.

Note that no data can be carried across from the current property. To ensure you collect historical data, we recommend implementing the GA4 base tracking as soon as possible.

How to setup GA4:

Step 1: New property with data streams

Create a new GA4 property and link relevant data streams (your website or app)

You will use a web data stream from your website. The desktop and mobile version will normally use the same measurement ID.

The iOS and Android data streams will require a connection to a Firebase project for that particular app.

Step 2: Automatic events

Once you are receiving basic data, the next step is to enable enhanced measurement, which will automatically attempt to track the following events:

  • Page views

  • Scrolls

  • Outbound clicks

  • Site search

  • Video engagement

  • File downloads

Step 3: Custom events

After the standard data is collected, the next step is to map out custom events that are important to your business.

This will be the identification of engagement points that lead to a conversion/sale.
We recommend using Google Tag Manager to set up custom tracking.

GA4 has some recommended event naming conventions for specific industries here:

Example of recommended events for an e-commerce site:

  • add_to_cart

  • view_cart

  • begin_checkout

  • purchase

Congratulations! You can now report using the new GA4 interface.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest evolution of the tracking product from Google. It aims to become a single source of truth of your web (desktop and mobile) and app data.

What’s changed?

In October 2020, Google officially announced Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In its beta phase, it was called ‘App+Web’.

GA4 has moved to a user-centric, event-based model of measurement, allowing you to see a user’s journey from website to app – and vice versa – tracking their complete journey to conversion.  

GA4 also uses Google’s advanced machine learning models to predict user behavior and help improve ROI by targeting users more likely to convert.

Is GA4 better than GA360?

Not yet. GA4 is still new and there is no parity yet between GA4 and the established GA360. However, as new features are being rolled out weekly, we do expect there to be parity very soon, with GA4 ultimately overtaking GA360.

Google recently shared that there will be an enterprise version of GA4 . As with GA360, the main upgrade between the standard and 360 versions is processing power.