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Transition to Google Analytics 4

Our task was to set up site analytics so that events and conversions are correctly tracked on the travel booking site.

Background

Our partners from Red Online Marketing invited us to the project of their client — a Dutch online travel agency that helps in planning trips.

Our task was to set up site analytics so that events and conversions are correctly tracked on the travel booking site.

Tools

Before starting work, we used a client-friendly brief that captures all the necessary parameters, accounts, client expectations, etc. Also, at the preparatory stage, we’ve made a convenient workspace for the client, which allows you to record all the necessary stages in the implementation. We worked with a client with a status file where we record all deadlines and responsibilities of the parties.

The analytics were configured in Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager.

Our Approach

We started with the basic settings of Google Analytics 4. To do this, we installed the appropriate code on the client’s site and made the settings identical to those on the previous Google Analytics Universal account. In particular, they connected to Google Ads and added internal traffic to the list of unwanted referrals.

After that, we set up 4 events in Google Analytics to correctly track user behavior on the site. Namely:

  • subscribing to the newsletter,
  • viewing prices,
  • choosing hotel reservation options,
  • sending a contact form.

We marked a number of other events as conversions:

  • add to cart,
  • add to wishlist,
  • view item list,
  • view item,
  • begin checkout,
  • purchase

Some actions contain custom parameters to pass additional data.

Finally, we set up e-commerce reports in Google Analytics 4.

If you are interested in how to set up your own reports in Google Analytics 4, read our article “Reports and Research in Google Analytics 4” and follow the instructions to explore the behavior of your audience in detail.

Some actions contain special parameters to transfer additional data. Clicks on links, page views with custom settings, and special events were used as triggers. We got the values ​​of the e-commerce parameters from the dataLayer using Data Layer Variables.

At this stage, we thickened with an unusual nuance. E-commerce data was sent to dataLayer in the UA format. It was necessary to change the titles of the GA4 parameters without making changes to the dataLayer and not disrupting the work of e-commerce in UA. For this, a custom variable was found in the GTM gallery, which helped to solve this problem.

The second problem appeared at the stage of configuring the view_item and view_item_list events. The site contains a large number of pages. We tasked the developer with making changes to the page codes so that on the load they send the value to the dataLayer in the page_type parameter. So we quickly set up the view_item and view_item_list events based on the value of this parameter

In total, the whole project took us more than 20 hours, while one of the longest stages was training the client’s specialists to work in the new Google Analytics 4 interface for them. But for those who have not encountered GA4 before, it would take more time, because the person had to understand the tools himself, to make and correct mistakes that, thanks to experience, newage specialists no longer make.

Result

As a result, the partner received a customized GA4 account. Web analytics captures all the events a client wants, tracks conversions, and sends data to e-commerce reports.

In the finale, we trained the client on the capabilities of Google Analytics 4 and created a roadmap on how to integrate GA4 with other Google Marketing Platform tools. (Google Ads, SA360)

Partner’s Feedback

I checked your setup — as always with newage. — it’s working, and exactly how we wished for it. Cannot thank you enough.

Andre Hellmeister – Red Online Marketing
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