In a previous article I described how create a Google Analytics property 4 and I left, on purpose for this article, the option to configure the property using the configuration wizard. So let's go for it.
Access the configuration wizard
Whether you have created a GA4 property from scratch or from a Universal Analytics property, you will see that when you select the new property in the top drop-down menu, there is an option called Configuration Wizard. From there you will be able to configure all aspects.
Actually, this wizard collects the different sections that you can see in the property column. Namely:
- Property configuration.
- Data Collection/ Data Flow.
- Data settings.
- Identity determined for reports.
- Links to other Google services.
Within these large sections, we will see others and probably in the future there will be some additional configurations. As I have already mentioned in other articles, GA4 is evolving week by week.
The first thing we have to do is to configure our property. This section is simple but no less important.
Apart from the name under which we want our property to appear and the sector (the latter is only for statistical or comparison purposes), in this option it is important to define the time zone of the reports and the currency in case you have an ecommerce or want to quantify economically non-transactional conversions.
Another detail that often goes unnoticed. From the property configuration we can either move this property to another Google Analytics account or delete this property and delete all the data. In this case, we will have a period of 35 days before Analytics permanently deletes this property to recover it.
Data Collection / Data Flow
Once the property has been configured, we must define where we are going to collect the data to send to GA4.
One of the new features that we are going to find is that in the same GA4 property we will be able to collect data from one or more websites, from an Android app and/or from an iOS app. Well, I think I already mentioned that Analytics 4 focuses, or wants to focus, on the user, regardless of where they access your company's resources. So it makes sense that you can collect information from different places. It's called data flows.
You will have two ways to access this section from the wizard. Either from the Installation of the label or from the Enhanced Measurement. In both cases, and before accessing these sections of the configuration, you will have to go through a screen where you will see, or you will be able to add new data flows.
Whether you access the data flow from the wizard or from the Data Flows manager option, you will first find the data that defines that flow (in the case of a web flow: the url, the name you have defined, the ID of the flow, whether it has received data in the last 48 hours and most importantly, the Measurement ID, i.e. the identifier with which you must customise your tag to send data to your GA3 property). The Measurement ID, i.e. the identifier with which you will have to customise your tag to send the data to your GA3 property).
You will then have the possibility to activate or deactivate the Enhanced Measurement and, within the six events it collects, activate or deactivate them. These events are:
- Page views. It's the only one you can't turn off.
- Scroll. Captures a scroll event when the user reaches the bottom of the page.
- Exit clicks. Captures an event when the user clicks on a link that leads to another website. If you set up multi-domain tracking, this event will not be triggered.
- Site Searches. Captures a search event when the user performs a search on your website. As in universal it depends on the search parameter(s) defined in the advanced settings of this element.
- File downloads. Captures a download event for links with common extensions, such as PDF, compressed files, apps, video or audio.
As you can see, Enhanced Measurement makes our life easier when it comes to measuring what is happening on our website. Although only the event of page views is mandatory, my recommendation is that you activate all six events
Below you have the tagging instructions that basically provide you with the global website tag or gtag.js and the instructions to implement it on your website, either directly or via plugins if you use WordPress, or via Google Tag Manager.
A final configuration section that is a bit of a mess, but has some very interesting options:
Connected Web site tags. allows us to connect, for example, a Universal Analytics to our GA4 property.
Secrets of the measurement protocol API. It will not allow you to create a key that you will have to set up in your measurement protocol in order to be able to send data to the GA4 property.
More tagging settings. Five additional settings, for now: Modify and create events, configure a list of domains for cross domain measurement, define the IPs that are part of the organisation to exclude internal traffic and define domain reference exclusions, for example in ecommerce so that hops to payment platforms do not count as a reference.
Here we will find three configuration options:
- Data collection.
- Data retention.
- Data filters.
Within this first option we will find the configuration we wish to apply for the collection of user data.
GA4 currently has three methods for collecting user data: User-ID, Google Signals and Device-ID. The first of these (User-ID) can be configured for users logged into our website. Google Signals is the new option that Google is working on to identify users depending on whether they are logged in with their Google account and which is the old option of "Demographic and interest groups" that we have in Universal. Device-IDs are the famous cookies that Analytics injects into users' browsers.
Both data collection through Google Signals and Device-ID are anonymous, while through User-ID we will be able to identify the users, as they will be logged into our website.
Well back to the data collection configuration options, from this section we can enable Google Signals data collection, by default it is disabled. This will establish a link between this new Google feature and our website.
Additionally, from data collection we will be able to enable and configure Google Ads ad personalisation and define the regions (countries) in which we enable this ad personalisation. In addition to confirming to Google that we have the consent of users to collect and process their data.
Once the data collection options have been defined, we can define how long and under what conditions we wish to retain this data.
By default GA4 retains data for two months, extendable to fourteen months, while in Universal the default period was 14 months, and can be configured to be indefinite.
But rest assured, we have, as in Universal, the possibility of resetting the expiry date of this period so that each time the user enters the website, this period is extended by two or fourteen months.
Data filters are moved to the property in GA4 from the view they were in Universal. In addition, we will have a new possibility: Define a test state that will apply the conditions we define to the filter and save them in the reports under a dimension called "Test data filter name".
This will allow us, for example, if we apply a filter to exclude the internal traffic of our company, in the case of defining the test status, this data will be included in the reports, but we can filter them by segments to either exclude them or create a report that only shows us the data that we have defined in that filter. Previously, if we defined this filter in Universal, the internal traffic data was not saved in the Universal view.
In addition, we can define the status "Active" whose behaviour is the same as the Universal Analytics filters (it does not process the data) or inactive, i.e. a filter that will not be applied while it is in this status.
Default identity for reports
Related to the data collection mentioned above, it allows to choose between User-ID + Device-ID or by Device-ID only.
Depending on whether or not we have activated Google Signals, the order of data collection will be User-ID, Google Signals and finally Device-ID. Depending on the option we choose and whether or not we activate Google Signals, the order of preferences will be established.
Links to other Google services
The name is quite explicit. From this section we can link GA4 with other Google products. Currently it is only available for two products Google Ads and BigQuery.
In both cases, a fairly intuitive wizard is displayed in which you first choose the Google Ads or bigquery account you want to link to GA4, define the settings of this link and review and send this link.
Two notes, we can always link a GA4 account to several Google Ads and BigQuery accounts and also remove these links.
Don't go yet
As you have seen in this article, creating a GA4 property activates the property configurator, which allows you to define the main options of this new property. However, some aspects will have to be defined later (such as the data settings, for example).
All this is as of today (05 2021), it is possible that some of these options may change or new ones may be added later. Remember that GA4 is constantly evolving.
I invite you to leave your impressions and / or questions in the Contact Form And that I propose new topics that you would like to try in these tutorials. I Will Be happy to answer by email and write on this blog.