Install Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager

Jon Elordi

If you want to understand how your website is performing, there is no better tool than Google Analytics 4. Google Analytics 4 is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to see and analyze the traffic on your website. With Google Analytics 4 you can see things like how many users came to your site, which websites are sending you the most traffic, and which pages on your site are doing the most business. It’s a valuable tool you need for understanding your digital marketing tracking and analytics.

To get started with Google Analytics 4 or GA4, you need to install GA4 on your website. This article will show you how to install Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager is a powerful free tool provided by Google. It’s easily one of the best ways to install code snippets into a site, instead of going into your web’s HTML every time you want to update something. Google Tag Manager allows you to use their dashboard and easily update things.

It’s the preferred tool of professional SEOs and Google Analytics professionals.

Create a new GA4 property

The first step to installing Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager is to create the GA4 property you’ll use on your site. To do this, go to the Admin section in Google Analytics(click on the Admin tab at the bottom-left corner of your screen next to the gear icon.). Then click on the blue button that says Create Property.

Google Analytics Property

At this point, you’ll want to name the property. The standard practice is to name it after the website or brand. You’ll also have to choose your time zone and your preferred currency. Then click Next.

Next, Google Analytics 4 is going to ask you several questions about the type of reports you want to get. This is new to Google Analytics 4. The previous version, Universal Analytics, gave just one view. Google Analytics 4 gives you several reports to choose from. To keep things simple, select “Get baseline reports.”

Click Create.

Create a data stream for that property

After creating the property, you’ll need to create a data stream. Data streams are the sources that send data to your property. There are many different possible data streams to learn more about data streams, check out this article from Google. For now, just know you can have multiple data streams flow into a property, and the most common setup is to have one stream go to one property.

For this article, we will create a Web stream as that’s the most common type of stream.

To create a Data Stream, click on “Data Streams” under your newly created property and then select “Web.”

You’ll then be taken to a form. Fill out the URL of the website you want to track, and then enter the name of the stream.

Google Analytics Data Stream Creation

Enhanced Measurement—Google Analytics 4 gives you the option to enable or disable Enhanced Measurement. Enhanced measurement lets you collect even more data on your website, visitors without having to work with your IT department. Unless you are working on a unique website or your country of residence has particular laws about internet tracking, I recommend enabling enhanced measurements.

And enhanced measurement is great. By default, it will record most, if not all, of the events you’ll need. This is a huge upgrade from Universal Analytics.

  • Page view (event name: page_view)
  • Scroll (event name: scroll)
  • Outbound link click (event name: click with the parameter outbound: true)
  • Site search (event name: view_search_results)
  • Video Engagement (events: video_start, video_progress, video_complete)
  • File Download (event name: file_download)
  • Form events (form_start, form_submit)

Once you’ve filled out the form, click the ”Create stream” button.

Copy the Measurement ID

Before we go into Google Tag Manager, we’re going to need one piece of information from Google Analytics 4: The Measurement ID. The measurement ID will tell Google where to send the data it’s collecting, so it’s very important.

Google Analytics Data Stream

To find the measurement ID, go to Admin > Data Stream > choose the correct data stream. You’ll then see how the data stream is configured, and in the top right, you’ll see the measurement ID. Copy the measurement ID, because you’re going to need it when we go into Google Tag Manager.

Create a Google Analytics 4 Configuration tag in Google Tag Manager

In your Google Tag Manager(GTM) Container, navigate over to Tags and click “New.”

Google Tag Manager Contianer

You will now be able to configure a GTM tag. First, pick a name for this tag, I would recommend something like GA4 configuration – G-#########.

Add Measurement ID and set the tag to fire on All Pages

Next, you’ll want to select the tag type. Click on “Tag Type” and select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration. In the measurement ID field, input the measurement ID.

Google Tag Manager GA4 Tag

Leave the Send a page view event when this configuration loads if you want to track page views automatically. Normally you do.

Next, click on the “triggering” section and select “All Pages.”

Google Tag Manager GA4 Trigger Creation

Click “Save,” and you’ll be done. At this point, it’s best to test the tag to make sure it’s working before you publish it.

Test the new tag

To test your new Google Tag Manager(GTM) tag, click on “Preview” in the top-right corner.

Google Tag Manager Preview button

A window will pop up asking for the URL, input your website and click “connect.” You should see the GA4 tag you created under the Tags Fired section if you did it correctly.

Google Tag Manager Test output

Publish the changes

Once you’ve tested everything, you can now publish the changes in Google Tag Manager. This will make all the changes you made go live. To do this, click on “Submit” in the top-right corner. You’ll then have to fill out some information about the changes. This is mostly for logging purposes, and you can keep them black, but I would recommend it.

And you’re done! That’s how you Install Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager. You should start seeing data in Google Analytics in no time. The best place to check that everything is working is the Real Time reports.

What else can I do with Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a powerful tool that lets you track all sorts of things. But something you could look into is:

About the author

Jon is the founder of Main Street Rank, dedicated to helping small businesses thrive with precision marketing. With experience at top brands like Hershey and Quest Diagnostics, Jon now focuses on supporting local businesses, believing they are the heart of America. Passionate about driving organic growth, he is committed to the success of every client.