We can’t say we have taken to GA4 like a duck to water. Google is determined that we all adopt this new measurement system and forces through new account set ups to do this by default. You really have to concentrate at the right point in the set up process to add yourself a Universal Analytics account at the same time as a GA4 account by choosing ‘advanced options’ otherwise you miss the opportunity altogether.
There are awkward features in GA4 that makes it much easier to switch to UA tracking to take a look at the information you need. For instance, looking at page views by source/medium for instance is a convoluted palaver in GA4, and is such a basic check-and-measure when looking at website traffic behaviour it’s a complete wonder that Google have made it so difficult to access this information anymore. You can still get this information in GA4 but it takes many clicks and there isn’t easy filtering available to narrow down your results like there is in Universal Analytics. Also there are crucial things that don’t work, like associating your account with a Search Console account to pull that information through to the Analytics interface.
We prefer sticking with Universal Analytics to maintain agility in our cross checking, cross platform data analysis for clients, and so it’s the very first things we put in place when we take over a GA4-only account.
You will be then taken to a page with some code on it. Copy and paste this code into a text file, but then pause right here for a moment!
Now although it would seem that the next logical step would be to combine the code you get back in the Admin screens of so you can use one script to invoke both tracking accounts, we are informed by Google support that the two codes need to be added in separately.
Once in place, you should then start to see the data being fired by your website appearing in both reporting interfaces. A quick check in ‘Real Time’ mode will show you moving from page to page as live action to confirm your code is in place correctly.
We hope that this series of articles will save you hours of searching for how to deal with small tasks. Take a look at the other articles we’ve put together:
As we work our way through small and always difficult to remember tasks at the coalface of marketing, we’re sure there will be additions to this list very soon, so maybe bookmark this page if you found it helpful.
If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.