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GA4 and Google Ads: What Do You Need to Know?

Updated: Jan 3

picture of Google Ad icon

GA4 will now be replacing Universal Analytics (otherwise called GA3) as the default version of Google Analytics. And starting July 1st, 2023, Google Version 4 will be the only choice available for users.

So, What’s GA4?

GA4 is the fourth version of Google Analytics. This web analytics service tracks and reports web traffic along with others to provide insight into your website.

This article takes you through everything you need to know about GA4 or Google Analytics 4 and how to connect GA4 with Google Ads.

What is GA4?

In short, GA4, or Google Analytics 4, is the latest variant of Google Analytics that combines data from both websites and apps under a single umbrella. And since it is the fourth version, it is called the GA4.

GA4 is something that has been introduced previously, especially for experienced users. It started as "Google Analytics for Firebase" in 2017. The same beta version was released as "App + Web Properties" in July 2019 and has now been renamed Google Analytics 4 or GA4.

All new Google Analytics accounts will be created in GA4, allowing Universal Analytics to be phased out.

But what about the existing GA accounts?

All existing Firebase accounts will now be upgraded to GA4 automatically without any issues. And for Universal Analytics, all the properties will be upgraded to GA4, meaning a new property will be created to collect the latest data leaving your old account untouched.

Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics

Universal Analytics (unofficially coined GA3) was the third edition of Google Analytics since its inception as Urchin in 2005. It has been the default workspace for nearly a decade since its launch in 2012.

Unfortunately, UA was not equipped to handle mobile apps, machine learning, and basically anything to do with the current analytic needs and expectations. It also needed to use a session-based model to collect data.

GA4, on the other hand, uses a more flexible, event-based model, which allows for accurate reporting. Unlike GA, every user interaction is handled as a standalone event and not within a session.

How to Connect GA4 with Google Ads?

The success of Google Ads can be credited to the creation of Google Analytics. According to Statista, the revenue from Google Ads is close to $62 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase to $81 billion by 2024. As might be expected, Google Ads is one of the first integrations Google offers as part of GA4.

To start with, ensure that you have the following:

● “Editor” permission on the GA4 property you are linking your Google Ads account

● “Admin” access to the Google Ads account you are linking.

Once you have the required permissions, follow the steps below to connect your Google Ads account with GA4.

● Navigate to Google Analytics and click “Admin” for the admin page.

● Click “Google Ads Links” under “Product Links.”

● Click the “Link” button, which takes you to the Link setup screen.

● Click the “Choose Google Ads Account.”

● Select the correct Google account to link and click confirm. The link account should now be visible on the setup screen.

● Click next. This takes you to the next part of the setup, where you can enable personalized advertising and auto-tagging.

● Note that “Personalized Advertising” is enabled by default.

● Expand “Enable Auto-Tagging” to enable auto-tagging or leave it as it is.

● Click “Next” to reach the final part of your setup. Review your settings here.

● Click “Submit” to link your Google account with GA4.

Once Google Ads and GA4 are linked, you will start to see Google ads data in your GA4 reports. It also allows data from your GA4 property to be available in Google ads.

Note: the link may take up to 24 hours to display data.

The Google Ads Linking page has all the details about the linked accounts. In addition, you can see a whole new section for Google ads with data-packed reports, including:

● Accounts Reports containing accounts that drive traffic.

● Campaigns reports containing all the details about campaigns

● Keywords and Search Queries reports

Need to connect your GA4 tags and make sure they are working correctly? Call Shelley's Social Media or contact Shelley today.

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