GA4 & GTM advice Measure what matters

Does it spark joy?

GA4 is a major upgrade to Google Analytics. Instead of trying to compare it with the previous version, I think it is a good idea to forget what you know, and start afresh.

In the words of the modern sage Marie Kondo:

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”

Find this liberating, you will. Trust me.

It all comes in a stream

All the data in GA4 arrives via a data stream.

At the time of writing this post, GA4 defined a data stream as a flow of data from your app or website. You can find data streams in the Admin section under Property.

There are 3 streams available out of the box:

  • Web for websites
  • iOS for iOS apps
  • Android for Android apps

However, in theory, a stream could be any customer touchpoint which gives us some insight into the power and flexibility of this new approach.

GA4 Data Streams

You can connect one or more streams to a GA4 property.

I’ve shown you how to connect a data stream in this short video below. It assumes you have a GA4 property already created. If not, don’t worry, I’ve got another short video walking you through that as well.

Create a data stream in GA4

Create a GA4 Property

This is another one of the key shifts in the GA4 architecture. Google have gotten rid of Views. The Property is the smallest unit within the GA4 architecture.

Account > Property > Stream(s)

If you are wondering how many properties you ought to create, I find a useful way of thinking about the solution is to ask another question;

Who is going to be looking at the data and how would they use it?

I’m not trying to be mysterious here so let me break down how I would approach a scenario.

Case: Waves of Wellness

Waves of Wellness is a mental health surf therapy charity, committed to changing lives by delivering for-purpose, innovative support programs for people experiencing mental health challenges.

I’ve listed the key attributes about the organisation that I incorporated when developing a potential solution for their GA4 setup.

  • Single market (AU)
  • Single website
  • Web only

Solution (Web Only)

  • One account, with one property linked to the web data stream

If Waves of Wellness had a mobile app, I would approach it as follows.

Solution (Web + App)

In addition to all the property I created for web, I would create a separate property for app traffic and another property that combines app and web.

One account with

  • One property linked to the web data stream
  • One property linked to the app data stream
  • One property linked to the web and app data streams

This is a basic solution and does not factor in any data filters you might want to apply such as internal IP filtering. I will cover that in another post.

The reason I do things this way is linked to how I would use the reporting interface in the future.

  • Sometimes I might want to look at just data from the web without it getting muddled by app data.
  • Other times I would want to look at things wholistically.

It’s easier, and takes less effort to do this up front. So keep things in their place.

I hope you found this helpful, and thank you very much for reading!

If you want a hand with your GA4 setup, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn.

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