Free GA4 Audit & Checklist – How to run a Google Analytics 4 Audit

Free Google Analytics 4 Audit - Data Bloo

Table of Contents
Google Analytics 4 Checklist

Why Analytics Audit?

Automated GA4 Audit

Google recently announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will eventually be replaced by the newest version of Google Analytics (Google Analytics 4). This post covers the elements of your Google Analytics 4 Checklist and how to run a GA4 audit using Google Data Studio.

As you probably know Google Analytics is the #1 web analytics platform on the web, as the majority of the websites use this platform to measure their online activity and make better business decisions. Google Analytics 4 is the fourth version in the history of GA after acquiring Urchin in November 2005.

Google Analytics Versions:

  • 2005 – Urchin
  • 2008 – Classic Analytics
  • 2013 – Universal Analytics
  • 2020 – Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics Changes - Data Bloo

Google Analytics 4 Checklist

If you are new to Google Analytics, setting up your GA4 property is quite challenging. For this reason, we have gathered all the items that you should have on your list while configuring your GA4 account.

Before starting with any setup process, you should create a measurement plan for your business that will help you to document your actual business objectives and align them with metrics and dimensions you can measure through your analytics platform. Below you will find a quick example of an e-commerce store that wants to increase the revenue through its existing customer base.

Measurement Plan Example - Data Bloo

Once you complete your measurement plan, you will be able to understand what custom measurement you should have in place so you can track your website goals and KPIs in Google Analytics 4.

Here is a checklist that will help you set up GA4 on your site:

  1. Property
    1. Time zone & Currency – Select the right time zone and currency for your business. Have in mind that if you change them later, it will affect your reports. (Admin > Property settings)
    2. Property Access – Make sure to set the right user roles and proper access to your teammates or external shareholders. You should be the administrator in order to give and edit access to specific users or user groups for GA4 properties. (Admin > Property access management)
  2. Data
    1. Data Stream – Choose a platform between website and apps (ios, android) and set up your data stream that will feed your property with the right data. (Admin > Data Streams > Add a Stream)
    2. Enhanced Measurement – Enable these events in the Google Analytics interface during the initial setup. Fortunately, the enhanced measurement events of GA4 such as scrolls, clicks, site search, and downloads don’t require extra tag implementation – compared to Universal Analytics. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > Enable Enhanced Measurement)
    3. Cross-Domain Tracking – Include all your domains for cross-domain measurement, so you can easily monitor your users’ engagement across domains. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > More Tagging Settings > Configure Your Domains)
    4. Internal Traffic – Define your internal IPs in order to block any traffic on your website from your (or colleagues’) activity. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > More Tagging Settings > Define Internal Traffic)
    5. Unwanted Referrals – Exclude all the referrals such as payment getaways (I.e. Stripe and PayPal) in order to avoid any attribution issues in your reports. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > More Tagging Settings > List Unwanted Referrals)
    6. Session Timeout (optional) – Adjust the session timeout and the time for engaged sessions to better match your reporting needs. The default time is 30min for a session and 10sec for engaged sessions. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > More Tagging Settings > Adjust Session Timeout)
    7. Google Signals – Enable Google Signals so you can measure additional features like cross-device audiences and demographics data in your reports. (Admin > Data Settings > Data Collection > Enable Google signals data collection)
    8. Data Retention – Select the retention period you want to store your users’ data such as cookies, user identifiers, or advertising identifiers. (Admin > Data Settings > Data Retention > Select between 2 or 14 months)
    9. Data Import – Import external info such as cost, product, user, and offline data to Google Analytics 4. Make sure that the data in your file (CSV) can be joined with Google Analytics. (Admin > Data Import > Create data source)
    10. Reporting Identity – Choose how your GA identifies your users. The default options are User-ID and device or device only. (Admin > Reporting Identity)
    11. Attribution Settings – Select the right attribution model for your business that is applied to the standards reports in Google Analytics. (Admin > Attribution Settings)
  3. Events
    1. Custom Events – Apart from automatically collected and enhanced measurement (see above 2.1) events, you can create custom events that are tailored to your business, using GA4 interface and/or Google Tag Manager. (Admin > Data Streams > Select your stream > More Tagging Settings > Create Events)
      • For instance, if you have an online store, you should create all the required events for enhanced e-commerce such as view_item, add_to_cart, begin_checkout, add_payment_info, and purchase among others.
    2. Conversions – Mark your main events (KPIs) as conversions. (Configure > Events > Mark as conversion)
  4. Audiences
    1. Custom or Suggested Audiences – Build your custom or prebuilt audience based on your own criteria. (Configure > Audiences > New Audience)
  5. Integrations
    1. Google Ads Links – Link your Google Ads account to GA4, so you can measure your paid ads performance inside GA. (Admin > Google Ads Links > Link)
    2. BigQuery Links – This is a brand new feature for GA4. You can link your BigQuery to GA4 for free. (Admin > BigQuery Links > Link)
    3. Search Console Links – Link Google Search Console to GA4, so you bring the organic search insights into GA interface. (Admin > Search Console Links > Link)
    4. Other Links – There are other Google sources that you can connect with GA4 such as Ad Manager, Display & Video 360, Merchant Center, and Search Ads 360. Last but not least, you can sync your Google Optimize with GA, once you have implemented it via Google Tag Manager.

Why Analytics Audit?

Once you have properly configured your GA4 account, you can use our automated GA4 audit that will give you a clear picture of the quality and accuracy of your data.

Our new Health Check that includes various audits for ecommerce, marketing channels, general & custom configuration, will be released for free once Google Data Studio releases Google Analytics 4 as Data Control. Feel free to check our Analytics Audit Tool and give us your feedback.

It takes a lot of time to audit a Google Analytics profile, as you have to check different reports and multiple settings for your account. And while you may think your data is perfectly precise, the unpleasant fact is that a lot of the people who rely on Google Analytics are relying on bad data because of broken configurations. There are too many people wasting time and resources on reporting and optimization before having fixed the measurement part. There are deadlines, deliverables, and actions you need to take on the data and in order to be actionable, data needs to be accurate and trustworthy. Otherwise, you will result in making bad business decisions based on inaccurate data. Similarly, if you’re working with clients, you want to quickly identify any implementation errors in your client’s analytics.

Automated GA4 Audit

For this reason, we managed to automate the health check of your Google Analytics 4 account using our knowledge and the capabilities of Data Studio. With just one click and a few seconds, you can easily identify gaps in the quality and accuracy of your data and decrease the time for the health check process.

GA4 Audit

Summary

In this article, our goal is to make you aware of your Google analytics 4 setup and data by offering you our simple but comprehensive checklist and health check for free. Our GA4 Audit will definitely help you interpret and act on the results of the Analytics audit checklist. Make sure to get it and give us your feedback!

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