How to Set up Google Analytics 4 Using Google Tag Manager

Christian Thomson
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Christian is a British-born entrepreneur and founder of Marwick. For over 19 years, Christian has successfully helped businesses excel in digital marketing.

Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager Server-Side Container were the two most significant analytics developments in 2020. For many marketers, Google Analytics 4 brought a new take on the go-to analytics product.

It is a re-imagination with a bottom-up approach and has a new interface and modified primary metrics. When monitoring tags, you will also encounter a new setup process.

In this blog, we’ll discuss GA4, a step-by-step guide for installing GA4 with Google Tag Manager, how to set up Google Analytics 4, and event tracking using GTM.

What is Google Analytics 4?

We currently use Google Analytics 4. Google Analytics 4, abbreviated as GA4, is a completely redesigned platform that includes a new interface, updated data model, new tag template in GTM, a new data model, and more.

A Step-by-step Guide for Installing Google Analytics 4 with Google Tag Manager

GTM and GA4 collaborate to provide you with the information you need to make informed marketing decisions. They are two distinct tools that serve different purposes.

To start collecting primary data like page views, page scrolls, outbound clicks, and video interaction, add the GA4 Configuration tag to each page you want to track. Unlike Universal Analytics, this single tag will set Google Analytics cookies for your property and submit GA measurement events.

How to Get Started With Google Tag Manager

  1. Log on to the Google Tag Manager website
  2. Create an account
  3. Install Google Tag Manager Server-side container
  4. Add your tags
  5. Run a test and debug
  6. Publish container version

How to Set Up Google Analytics 4 Using GTM

The basic tracking code you need to install on your site is the GA Javascript code snippet, also known as the gtag.js tag. The code gets you started on recording all the default data that GA4 collects for website visitors, provided you have fired this for all pages. 

But first, you must set up the tag with a few simple clicks and paste it into an account ID using GTM.

Step One: Navigate to your desired account and container within GTM and select Add a new tag icon.

Step Two: Click on the Tap configuration icon in GTM to see the options for various types of tags. Here, select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration.

Step Three: You will see a place where you can input your Measurement ID. On your web data stream, find your Measurement ID and paste it here.

Step Four: By clicking within the Triggering box, you get to choose where you want the tag to fire on your site. You can select that GA4 fires on all pages. You also have the option of excluding some pages depending on your setup.

Step Five: Finally, close up the process by saving your new tag and publishing your GTM container to push it live. Note that you can use preview mode to confirm it fires appropriately.

Double-check by checking the Real-time section of Google Analytics. If it is rightfully firing, you will see your visit reflected once you hit the site.

How to Set Up Event Tracking on GA4 Using GTM

After you successfully set up GA4, you can continue to the next step for setting up additional customizations. Unlike prior versions, GA4 contains in-built event tracking.

As a result, you can use Enhanced Measurement to fire events for activities that previously required manual event creation within the Google Analytics interface. They include outbound clicks, video views, scroll activity, and file downloads.

These events have limits when compared to the more extensive tracking options available through GTM. You will, however, appreciate GTM’s beauty, which rests in its ability to effortlessly fire events for various actions that users may conduct on the site.

  1. Create a new tag with a Tag Type of Google Analytics: GA4 Event and choose your GA4 ID under the Configuration Tag icon
  2. Choose the name of the event you would like to appear within the Google Analytics interface
  3. Expand the Event Parameters section by clicking on it. Here, we can add a custom parameter to send further details about the event to Google Analytics
  4. Create a trigger to determine the values we want to track
  5. Save the trigger, save your tag, and publish it live

Conclusion

GTM aids marketers to set up more smoothly. Understanding how users engage with your site is critical, whether you run an eCommerce store or a B2B services site. Create your GA4 property, add the tag using GTM, and start playing around with event settings. 

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