How to Connect My Website to Google Analytics 4
You’ve probably read endless information online about how important it is to have website analytics and tracking set up for your website. But often, they skirt around the set-up and leave you asking, “How do I connect my website to Google Analytics?”
Why Do You Need Website Analytics?
Website analytics allow you to track user activity on your site. Gaining a deeper understanding of how your website performs and how users interact with it on search engine results pages.
What can you track?
What you can track does depend on the platform you’re using, but generally speaking, most metrics are consistent.
Website traffic – The number of users on your site over a given period. Website traffic is often broken down by channels, covering your organic, paid and social traffic.
Bounce rate – Covers the percentage of people who land on your site and leave it quickly. The lower the bounce rate, the better your website is viewed by users.
Page views – See which pages on your website get the most user traffic.
Conversions – Set up actions taken by users that are valuable to your business. Including email clicks, form fills and sign-ups. This allows you to track how users choose to act on your pages.
Comparison – Compare traffic over specific periods. You can compare data from daily to annually to see where the changes lie.
If you’ve already got Google Analytics for your business but want to ensure the set-up and tracking are accurate, check out our website tracking and analytics services.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
If you’ve lived in a cave for the last couple of years and don’t know about the transition to Google Analytics 4, let’s catch up!
July 1st 2023, was the official sunset date for Universal Analytics, which meant we had to say goodbye to the platform. Then, it was time to say hello to the new GA4.
GA4 is event-based and so processes each user interaction as a stand-alone event. It uses all available identity spaces to create a single user journey from all data associated with the singular identity.
Google Analytics has a simple structure. From your analytics account, you have your GA4 property and the data streams for your web and app data.
How to Connect my Website to Google Analytics
Step 1 – Set up a Google Tag Manager Account
Google Tag Manager is a free tool from Google that allows you to install, store and manage marketing tags without modifying website code. For small teams, this means less back and forth and costs from a web development team.
Reportedly, 43% of small businesses plan to invest in their website performance. Using tag managers to do this could be a great way to keep a strategy cost-effective.
Tag Manager is a straightforward, efficient way of connecting Google Analytics to your site.
Step 2 – Set up a Google Analytics Account
If this is your first time venturing into Google Analytics, click the start measuring button. Provide an account name and configure your data-sharing settings to determine what data you’re sharing with Google.
If you already have an analytics account but want to create a new one. Head to admin, and in the account column, click Create Account.
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Step 3 – Set up your Analytics property
Give your property a name, and keep it clear for anyone else who might use your analytics. Select your reporting time zone and currency.
Click through to next, select your industry category and business size, and then select how you intend to use Google Analytics.
From here, click Create and continue to add a data stream.
* If you already have an account, go to admin. Ensure you’re in the right account and click Create a Property. *
Step 4 – Add a data stream
There are three kinds of data stream: iOS App, Android App or Web.
The setup between the app and the web is slightly different, but let’s cover the app first:
- Select whether your app is Android or iOS
- Give your iOS bundle ID or the Android package name and the app name. For iOS only, add the App Store ID and then click register app.
- Analytics runs with Firebase SDK for apps, so follow the instructions to add Google Analytics to your app.
- Open and run your app to verify the installation of SDK and that the app is communicating with Google servers.
- Click Finish
To connect Google Analytics to your website, we’ll cover how to do it with tag manager, but if you want to explore your other options, head to Google Support.
Let’s move on to web:
- Add a data stream and select web
- Insert your website URL and website name, and choose Create Stream
- Open up Google Tag Manager and pick the container for your website.
- Open the tags menu, create a new tag, and give it a name (Google Tag | My business)
- In Tag Configuration, select Google tag.
- Configure your tag. In the Tag ID field, enter your tag ID. (You can find your tag ID by heading to Admin – Properties – Data Streams. Click on your web stream, scroll down to see the Google tag settings, and retrieve the tag ID from here.
- Save your tag.
- Click triggering and select the initialisation – all pages trigger. This ensures that the Google tag fires before others are triggered.
- Name the trigger and save the configuration.
- You’ve created your tag, but now we must check it works.
- Click preview and enter your site’s URL
- Check that the Google Analytics GA4 Configuration fires when the page loads.
- Now, ensure to click Submit in your workspace to publish the changes.
Now, your website and apps are collecting data from how users interact with and use your site and apps. For more on Website Tracking and Analytics, see our recent blog ‘Website Tracking and Analytics to Improve Your Marketing in 2024‘.
Let’s pull together what we’ve found
- Analytics helps you track how users interact with your website and apps
- Google Tag Manager can make life easier for small businesses and teams
- Analytics isn’t something you should be scared of.
- There may be a lot of steps involved, but the value added to your business makes it worth it.
Our website analytics and tracking services allow your business to unlock valuable insights about your website performance. Learn more here!