6 easy steps to setting up Google Analytics 4 for small businesses

Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool for small business owners who want to track and analyze the performance of their websites or apps. However, setting up Google Analytics 4 can seem complex and overwhelming, especially for those who are not familiar with the platform. To help you get started, we’ve prepared a full guide on how to get started with this powerful tool so you can measure and make the most out of online opportunities.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4, is the latest version of Google Analytics. It is a web analytics tool designed to help website owners and digital marketers understand user behavior on their websites and mobile apps. Unlike its predecessor, Universal Analytics, GA4 is built with a focus on privacy and cross-device tracking.

One of the main features of GA4 is the event-driven data model. This means that instead of tracking pageviews and sessions, GA4 tracks user interactions as events. Events can be anything from clicking a button to watching a video, and they provide a more granular understanding of how users are engaging.

Another key feature of GA4 is its integration with Google’s machine-learning technology. This new tool represents a significant shift in how web analytics is done. While it may take some time to adjust to the new event-driven data model, here are some tips to get you started with this essential software for your business.

Why Use Google Analytics for Your Small Business?

Data is essential to help you make informed decisions about your business’ marketing, content strategy and audience. Some of the benefits of Google Analytics for a small business include:

  • A better understanding of your audience: Google Analytics can provide insights into the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your website visitors and app users.
  • Tracking website and app performance: Google Analytics and Firebase can help you understand which pages and content are most popular, how long users spend on your site, and where they drop off.
  • Improving your marketing strategy: It can help you track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Measuring eCommerce performance: If you have an eCommerce business, this tool can help you track sales, revenue, and other key metrics.

How to set up google analytics 4?

Now that we understand what GA4 is, let’s get down to business and start configuring everything you may need for your business.

Step 1: create a GA4 account

If you don’t already have an account, follow these steps to create one:

  1. Go to the Google Analytics website.
  2. Click on “Start for free” and sign in to your Google account.
  3. Click on “Create Account” and fill in your account name, website name, website URL, and industry category.
  4. Select the appropriate data-sharing settings and click on “Create”.
  5. Accept the terms and conditions of service and click on “I Accept”.

Visual steps to create an account on Google Analytics.

If you already own a GA4 account, then you can directly go to the next step.

Step 2: set up your first property

  1. Click on the “Admin” button in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  2. Under the “Property” column, click on the drop-down menu and select “Create Property”.
  3. Next, enter your website or app name and URL in the appropriate fields.
  4. In the “Business details” section, select the category that best describes your business.
  5. Select your business objectives and personalize what’s most important for your project.
  6. Choose whether you want to create a “Web” or “App” property. You can pick from “web”, “Android app” or “iOS app”.
  7. Finally, click on the “Create” button at the bottom of the screen to create your new property.

And done! Now you’ll just have to wait for GA4 to collect the data and start tracking.

Step 3: get your tracking code and add it to your website

To start using GA4, you need to get a tracking code, which is a unique identifier for your website. This is what will collect data from your website and show it on the GA4 tool. You can find this code on the “Admin” area, so just click on the bottom-left corner of the screen and check this number under the “Property” area.

Now it’s time to add this tracking code to your website, which is different depending on the platform you’re using for your site.

  • If you are lucky enough to have a technical team, just sent this task and they will quickly take care of it.
    • However, we know this is not usually the case, so you can also add this code manually to your theme’s header.php file.
  • This is even easier if you have a WordPress site. Just add your tracking code with a plugin called GA Google Analytics. Just install it and then follow the steps they indicate.

Once you have added the tracking code to your website, you will be able to see data in your GA4 account. It may take up to 24 hours for data to start appearing.

Step 4: link your other accounts

Linking other traffic sources to Google Analytics can provide businesses with a more complete picture of where their website traffic is coming from. This can include traffic from social media platforms, email campaigns, or other referral sources. By tracking this data, businesses can gain insights on which sources are driving the most traffic to their website and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.

You can also connect your Google Ads account, with which businesses can also gain valuable insights into the performance of advertising campaigns. Analytics data can provide information on which ads are driving the most traffic to a website, which pages users are visiting after clicking on an ad, and which ads are resulting in the most conversions.

Having this data at hand can help optimize ad campaigns for better performance. For example, if a particular ad is driving a lot of traffic but not resulting in many conversions, businesses can adjust the ad or landing page to improve the conversion rate. This will absolutely improve your decision-making.

Step 5: get started with basic metrics

GA4 might be very overwhelming right now, so let’s start with some basics. These are some of the most popular and useful metrics to get started:

  • Users: this shows the number of unique users who have accessed your website or app.
  • Sessions: this metric shows the total number of sessions that have taken place on your website or app.
  • Average engagement time: it shows the average amount of time users spend on your website or app.
  • Bounce rate: this metric shows the percentage of users who leave your website or app after viewing only one page and not interacting with it.
  • Traffic source: these are the sources of traffic to your website or app, such as organic search, paid search, social media, or direct traffic.

Basic metrics that a business owner can check on GA4.

These are just a few of the basic metrics that are available in GA4. There are many other metrics that you can use to measure the performance of your website or app. It’s important to choose the right metrics based on your business goals and objectives.

Step 6: define events end conversions

In order to get the most out of GA4, you need to define goals and conversions to measure how well your website or app is performing. Here’s how to do it:

To get started, click on the “Admin” button. From there, select “Events” or “Conversions” depending on what you’re configuring at that moment.

An event is any kind of interaction on the website, such as clicking on a certain button, page views or scrolling on the site. Make sure to define very well what you need to measure in order to make these configurations.

A conversion may be something different depending on each project. A list of the most popular ones are:

  • Sign up
  • Add to cart
  • Purchase
  • Lead generation
  • Begin check-out

There are a lot more events and conversions for your website, but remember it depends on what your product is. If you’re an e-commerce, probably you’ll need much different metrics than a site that sells online courses.

If you are a small business owner looking to improve your website’s performance, implementing Google Analytics 4 should be at the top of your to-do list. It’s easy to use, affordable and provides the insights you need to make informed business decisions. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for GA4 today and start unlocking the full potential of your website!