Moving from Goals to Event Tracking in Google Analytics 4

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Transitioning from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4  has been available since October 2020. GA4 can track websites and apps, unlike Universal Analytics which can only track websites. One of the benefits of Google Analytics 4 is that you no longer need to setup separate Goals to track events like form submissions in addition to setting up an event tag with Google Tag Manager. The new GA4 tag will show the form submission as a conversion without a Goal.

Should I Switch to Google Analytics 4 Now?

Considered to be in Beta, GA4 is ready for you to install on your website to test it out. Keep Universal Analytics on your site and install Google Analytics 4 to be ready for the next step in the evolution of analytic tracking. Don’t remove Universal Analytics yet, since it may take some time to duplicate the features of your UA setup in GA4. You may also have trouble finding features in GA4 that you are used to using in UA. However, by the end of 2021, you probably won’t need UA anymore and can just use GA4.

Moving from Goals to Events in Google Analytics 4

How do I install Google Analytics 4?

Ask your web developer to do this for you, if you can, since it is a bit technical. Or, follow the steps below to setup GA4 in Google Analytics, install the tracking code on a website and add tags to Google Tag Manager to track page visits and a form’s submission.

Step 1: Setup the GA4 property in Google Analytics.

Login to Google Analytics with the email address associated with your website’s account at https://google.com/analytics . Go to Admin. Under Property choose Setup Assistant. Create your GA4 property. By the way, this will not change or remove your Universal Analytics property.

Select GA4 Setup Assistant under Admin to setup Google Analytics 4 property

Then, go to Data Streams and click on your property to open Web Stream Details. Here you will see the Measurement Id which you can use to add GA4 to your website or to Google Tag Manager.

Step 2: Add GA4 property code to your website or your GTM

Once setup, you can install the global site tag on your website or add it to Google Tag Manager. To get the code to add it directly to your website go to the web stream, click on the Add new on-page Tag option and Select Global Tag (gtag.js). Copy the code and paste it into the header code for your site or if your site is in WordPress, add the code using a plugin such as insert headers and footer or use a Google Analytics plugin such as GA Google Analytics and add the measurement ID.

If you already have Google Tag Manager code installed on your site, you can configure GA4 by adding a tag to your GTM account. Select add new tag. Choose the Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration tag and add the Measurement Id from your GA4 account. Add a Trigger of All Pages to have this tag fire on all pages. Preview and test on your site. Then, Publish and GA4 will be recording on your site. This post on Analytics Mania has more details about setting up GA4 using Google Tag Manager or GTM.

Step 3: Look at the new property in Google Analytics

Go to the real time view in Google Analytics. Make sure you are looking at the GA4 property and not the Universal Analytics property. Check to see that visits are being recorded on your site pages. Explore the GA4 to see what data it shows compared to universal analytics.

Step 4: Track Events with Google Tag Manager

To track a form submitted on your site, such as a contact form, go to Google Tag Manager. Add a new Google Analytics: GA4 Event tag, select your Configuration Tag and then add an Event Name such as contact_form_submission.

Add a Trigger to capture the form submission, such as a Form Submission trigger that tracks the ID of the form or a Page View trigger that tracks visits to the thank you page after the form submits.

Setting up a form submission tag in Google Tag Manager for Google Analytics 4

See more details about adding form tracking tags on this site.

Step 5: Tag Events in GA4 as Conversions instead of Adding Goals

Once the contact_form_submission event shows up in your GA4 property, you can turn on Conversions for that event. You don’t need to setup a goal with your event details, just turn on the toggle switch next to the event to tag it as a conversion.

Note: it may take a day or two for the form submission event to appear in the GA4 property but you should be able to see it in Real Time view as long as it is configured correctly.

If you would like help with your website, please contact us. We offer website development, search engine optimization and marketing services to small and large companies.

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