Google Analytics

GA4 Measurement ID + Data Consistency: How to Get Accurate Analytics

Get Familiar with Measurement ID & Learn How to Manage and Track Data in GA4

In order to start tracking your Google Analytics or Tag Manager performance, you will first need to add a measurement ID. This is different from the one you used in Universal Analytics, as it was previously referred to as the tracking ID. 

Differences Between Measurement and Tracking ID

There are some major differences between the GA4 and Universal Analytics properties, and measurement ID is one of the first things you should try and get used to. 

You may have been used to using tracking ID in UA to collect data, which was inserted into your site's code so that Analytics could know which property or account to send the data to. If you're using Google Analytics 4 on a site, you'll need to use the new and improved measurement ID to begin tracking. This ID will be formatted as G-XXXXXXX and will allow you to identify the data that you're collecting.

Using the Same Property to Set Up Data Streams for the Website and Apps

A data stream is a type of component used in GA4 to collect information in reports and properties. It allows users to access multiple streams of data in a single location. If you are only going to be monitoring a website, then you only have one data stream. On the other hand, if you want to measure an app or an iOS app alongside the site, then you have three streams.

Before you can add a data stream, make sure that you have the right account. In the Properties section, go to the Data Streams category, select your preferred platform, and click on the "Add Stream" button.

Adding an app data stream triggers Analytics to create a corresponding project for the app and a connection for the property. If the link between the two is not yet established, the project will automatically be connected to the property.

The app data may only be sent to a single property. On the contrary, web data isn't subjugated to this limitation. If you want to analyze and report on the data collected by the various platforms, such as the Android app and the website, you should have the same property.

Activating Google Signals 

Google Signals is a feature in GA4 that enables the collection of data from different devices. It helps in developing audience lists for Google ads and enhancing demographic reports. Image Courtesy of Cookie Script.

Through Google Signals, users can get a deeper understanding of their interactions across different devices. It also helps in developing cross-device marketing campaigns, allowing you to reach and engage with individuals across different screens.

Google Signals adds valuable demographic information to reports, such as age, gender, interests, and geographical locations. By linking your campaigns and Google Analytics, you'll be able to monitor the effectiveness of your ads within Google Analytics. In addition, it enables you to create audiences within the platform that you can then utilize for targeting.

Without Google Signals, you might end up with unhealthful reports due to the incompleteness of your users' journeys. However, with the activation of ad personalization, you'll be able to get the data that you need to optimize your marketing efforts.

Increasing Data Retention Period

The Data Retention controls of Google Analytics allow you to specify the duration of the data retention for individual events and users. One of the easiest ways to increase the data retention time is by utilizing Google BigQuery. This feature allows you to securely store your data in the cloud. It enables you to perform advanced queries and integrate data from various sources, allowing you to get a deeper understanding of your data.

Make Sure That Every Name For Custom Events, Dimensions, and Metrics Are The Same On Each Platform

The goal of GA4 is to unify the various aspects of a user's journey. This means that our analyses and reports can provide an uninterrupted view of their activities.

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to creating a robust and efficient reporting system is the consistency of the event names across all of your platforms. For instance, if an event is labeled as "form_error" on the web analytics, then it should have the same name for both the iOS and Android apps. The consistency of naming conventions helps in the integration of data between different platforms and enables more accurate analysis.

Users Should Manage Internal Traffic 

One of the most critical factors you need to consider when it comes to ensuring that your GA4 data is reliable and accurate is having internal traffic. This is a collection of hits that come from various people within your organization, such as your developers, marketing professionals, and QA testers.

In order to prevent internal traffic from accessing specific IP addresses, you can create filters in GA4. To do this, go to the Data Settings section and select "Data Filters." This method is not very foolproof since VPN usage and dynamic IP addresses can affect the effectiveness of this process. Another great feature of GA4 is its built-in debugging mode, which allows you to monitor real-time data without having to go through your live site.

In order to identify internal traffic, you can create a dimension within GTM that takes into account certain factors, such as an IP address or cookie value. This method will let you bid farewell to this traffic in GA4.

Sessions & Engage Sessions 

GA4 calculates sessions according to the user interaction, unlike Universal Analytics. For instance, if a user clicks a button to open a new page, it is counted as one session, but if the user goes back to the site after 30 minutes, it is a new one. With engaged sessions, you only get to see the sessions that users spend on specific activities. This distinction allows you to gain deeper insight into your users' behavior.

Universal Analytics discontinued its "bounce rate" metric in GA4. Instead, it has been replaced by the "engaged sessions." This new measure of website and app activity is a robust way to analyze the users' behavior. Image Courtesy of

Unlike the traditional bounce rate metric, which only focuses on single-page activities, engaged sessions provide a more comprehensive view of the users' engagement. Through its approach, GA4 goes beyond mere metrics to deliver a more accurate reflection of the interaction between users.

By prioritizing engagement metrics, you can unlock a wealth of data about the users' behavior on your app or website. These insights can help you improve the user experience and optimize your content.

UTM Parameters

The five essential elements of a website's unique tag system (UTM) are: utm_content, utm_source; utm_medium; utm_campaign; and utm_term. These are all used in Google Analytics 4 to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Use the utm-source and utm-medium tags to identify the various marketing channels and platforms that can help boost your website's traffic and conversions. This will allow you to make informed decisions and allocate your marketing budget more effectively.

With the help of utm_campaign, you can track the performance of your various marketing efforts, such as webinars, sales, and product launches. It allows you to make more informed decisions and improve the efficiency of your marketing budget.

To determine which ad creatives are most effective, add the utm-content tag to your website's URLs. This will let you analyze and compare the effectiveness of different creatives. This will allow you to make better decisions and improve the efficiency of your marketing budget.

Default Channel Mapping

GA4 offers automatic recognition and mapping of various web application and user interface parameters (UTM) to predefined channels, such as Email, Social, Paid Search, and Organic Search. With this feature, it’s very easy to identify and map these parameters to your desired channels, but it’s important to make sure that you use them correctly.

Keep the naming conventions of your various UTM parameters consistent. With GA4, you’ll be able to easily identify and map your sources of traffic. This feature will allow you to improve your marketing efforts.

Before you start implementing your campaigns, make sure that you double-check your traffic parameters. Doing so will allow you to avoid getting bogged down by errors and other issues.

Even though the default channel groupings in GA4 are great, they might not work well with your distinct marketing strategies. With custom channel layouts, you can create groupings that perfectly reflect your goals. This will allow you to ensure precise attribution and tracking.

Make Sure You Are Getting Clean Data in GA4

Debug View

In GA4, there are many features that help improve the quality of data that you collect, and reduce the amount of cleanup that you have to do. You can use the Chrome extension or the preview mode in GTM to check whether your website is working properly. Doing so will allow you to keep track of what is happening with your customer's data.

Measurement Protocol

In GA4, the measurement protocol requires an API key to work properly, which prevents random individuals from accessing your data. To find the ID of the protocol, go to your Analytics account and scroll down to the details. Image Courtesy of Google for Developers

The API key is the secret value that will be used to send data to your website. By restricting who can access it, you can ensure that only authorized users will be able to use it.

Unfortunately, Google has not yet added a setting that will allow you to prevent data from coming from spiders and bots. This feature was introduced in GA3.

Data Deletion

In GA4, data deletion is easy, as it is baked into the product. This feature is part of the company's efforts to improve the security and privacy of their users. You can easily schedule the removal of data through the Analytics interface. In the drop-down menu, select the type of data that you want to remove and then click "Schedule request."

Take Full Control of Your Data in GA4

Many organizations have found it very difficult to migrate their historical data from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 due to the lack of support for this feature. This has resulted in them having to split their data into two incompatible systems.

One of the most important steps that organizations can take to avoid getting caught off-guard by upcoming changes to their data tools is to take ownership of their data. This can be done through a customer data platform, which allows them to consume and store their data from various sources.

With full control over their data, organizations can easily blend, enhance, or report on it. One of the biggest shortcomings of Google Analytics 4 is its lack of support for sending alerts. By integrating it with a customer data solution, you can get the most out of it by creating reports and dashboards that are customized.

Get great insight from our expert team.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions