Reminder: In Google Analytics GA4, everything is an event!
So you’ve set up GA4, what’s next?
Step 1: Google Signals
Unlike Google Analytics, GA4 does not automatically track the ages and genders of those visiting your website unless you tell it to. However, this is an easy 30-second fix.
Click on Admin in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Under the Property column, click on Data Settings, then click on Data Collection from the accordion drop-down options.
Click to Get Started in activating Google Signals, then read through the policy and click Accept.
Google Signals allows Google Analytics to collect more extensive data about the traffic to your website than is standardly available. However, this extra data can help give you an edge against competitors and save on Google Ad spend by targeting customers more accurately.
Step 2: User & Event Data Retention
GA4 automatically retains user and event data for two months. However, we recommend that you bump it up to the maximum, 14 months, so that you have a year’s worth of data to make decisions from. This is especially important for companies where different seasons bring in varying waves of data; Companies where Black Friday would lead to a spike, or some seasons are more profitable than others.
To change this, go to Admin.
Click on Data Settings in the column labelled Property.
Click on Data Retention.
Where it says Event Data Retention, click on the box to its right and change it to 14 Months.
Don’t forget to hit Save to complete the change.
Step 3: Excluding Internal IP Addresses
If you don’t exclude internal IP Addresses from being tracked by Google Analytics, it will inflate the number of users on your website. You or other employees at the company would show up as a user on the website and a potential customer. This can impact the perceived success of certain pages on the site, as well as remarketing lists for targeted ads.
The good news is that the solution is super easy to implement.
GA4 automatically provides a data filter excluding internal traffic, however, you still need to put in the IP Addresses to complete the filter.
Go to Data Streams and select your data stream, then click More Tagging Settings.
Click Define Internal Traffic and then select Create.
Here you will see a section labelled Internal Traffic Rules. All you need to do is click Create.
Here you can name the rule (Ex: Adhere Digital Office if it is a company computer, or if it’s a personal IP Address like a phone or tablet – Paul Walsh Phone/Tablet).
Make sure the match type is set to IP Address Equals.
Then enter the IP Address into the coordinating box.
Don’t know your IP Address? Simply Google “What is my IP Address” and it will show up above the first search result.
Hit Create and then head over to the Data Filter.
The data filter is located in Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters
Then click on the Internal Traffic filter that GA4 generated.
Here you have three options for this filter:
- Testing – this will not permanently affect your data. To see your website’s data without internal traffic, testing will give you both the original data and a filtered version.
- Active – this permanently removes the IP Address from the data and only shows you the filtered data.
- Inactive – this pauses the filter so the filter is no longer considered by Google Analytics.
Still, have questions? Confused about how to navigate GA4 reports and data?
Click the “Contact Us” button below!