Trending December 2023 # Google Analytics Real Time Gets Event Reporting # Suggested January 2024 # Top 13 Popular

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Every website owner needs to be using Google Analytics. It’s what helps us identify our problems, successes, and future content opportunities. The amazing Google did it again. They just came out with real time reports for ‘Events’. This allows those of us, who are Analytics fans, to get a better idea of what is happening right now on our websites. It’s like tuning in for a TV show. Some webmasters are pretty excited as they’ll be able to quickly identify problems and successes; rather than having to wait several hours.

The new features are:

Shortcuts for your important real-time segments

Comparison real-time to overall data

Content Breakdown by Device (mobile, tablet, desktop)

Real-time Events Report

1. Real-time segment shortcuts 

We all know that there are certain segments that interest us more than others. Here we have the opportunity to create shortcuts to our favorite segments without having to create the filters each time. Such a time saver!

2. Comparison real-time to overall data

This feature is just fantastic. We can now analyze pageviews and overall traffic side by side. Google is allowing us to create filters here. This will allow us to look at where the pageviews are coming from and see its direct impact on our traffic numbers.

3. Content Breakdown by Device (mobile, tablet, desktop)

This is by far my new favorite Analytics perk. Knowing where my visitors come from allows me to identify opportunities and problems with my content. Each device brings with it a certain type of behavior. People on desktop act differently than those who use their phone or even tablet.

Google will tell you which percentage is coming from which device. 🙂

4. Real-time Events Report 

You’ll want to set up Event Actions,Event Labels, and filters to make this happen.


Google is still innovating the way we see the data on our websites. These new features will most certainly help us have a better idea of what is really happening on our website. It will help us identify areas for improvement.

What do you think of the new changes?

You're reading Google Analytics Real Time Gets Event Reporting

Google Announces Google Analytics 4 & Adsense Integration

Google announced it’s enabling the integration of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties with AdSense accounts.

This update allows AdSense data to be available in GA4 reports and explorations, providing a more comprehensive view of website performance.

Connecting GA4 & AdSense

The merger of AdSense data with other website analytics, such as traffic sources and user behavior, provides a comprehensive understanding of website performance.

You can use this information to identify patterns and insights that can help optimize ad revenue.

Automatically collecting these events for each ad can increase the number of billable events for 360 properties, providing an accurate report of ad interactions.

This eliminates discrepancies previously seen with the integration between Universal Analytics and AdSense.

How To Do It

Follow the steps below to link an Analytics property to your AdSense account:

Sign in to your AdSense account.

Select the property that you want to link from the list.

Your property is now linked to AdSense.

How It All Works

The GA4 and AdSense integration operates through key processes, including shared IDs, automatically collected events, and data joining.

For the integration to function, GA4 and AdSense tags communicate using shared IDs to match each ad impression with its corresponding GA4 event.

This inter-tag communication ensures the logged IDs are the same between GA4 and AdSense for a single event and its corresponding ad impression.

GA4 collects specific events automatically via the Google tag.

Moreover, GA4 joins its data with AdSense log files using shared IDs to match AdSense data with Analytics data.

The information and configuration settings, available when each event occurs, are utilized in this integration process.

Once the AdSense reporting integration is set up, the AdSense revenue data becomes available in the Explorations main menu in the GA4 property.

Dealing With Data Discrepancies

Despite the improved integration, there may be discrepancies between reports in the AdSense account and those in the AdSense section of Analytics.

These can be caused by iframes, security or other blocking software, new AdSense/Analytics integration, timezone settings, and missing Analytics data.

Ensure the Google tag is set up correctly on your website and allow up to 24 hours for data to appear in reports after linking your AdSense and Analytics accounts.

In Summary

The integration of GA4 and AdSense offers a wealth of data insights.

Despite the potential for optimizing website performance and ad revenue, be wary of limitations.

Approach this integration with an understanding of its benefits, drawbacks, and potential for data discrepancies.

Featured image: M-Production/Shutterstock

Activecampaign Event Tracking With Google Tag Manager

Wouldn’t it be great if you could send website event data to ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is a great tool for implementing your marketing campaigns. However, the process becomes a little complicated when we try to send the user information from Google Tag Manager to the ActiveCampaign account. 

In this guide, we’ll learn how to set up a tracking method that can send the user data from the Google Tag Manager to the user profiles in the ActiveCampaign account with the help of Google Cloud Functions.

If you’re new to Google Tag Manager, we’d suggest checking our Google Tag Manager tutorial first to go over the basics.

An overview of what we’ll cover: 

So let’s start!

An Overview of Event Tracking With GTM

ActiveCampaign makes a large number of digital marketing applications available for use. 

However, the process becomes complicated if you want to send the customer data from your Google Tag Manager account into the ActiveCampaign account. 

You’ll need to install a proxy here so that your ActiveCampaign and API keys don’t get exposed.

In a previous edition, we recommended configuring the Google App Script as an intermediate step between ActiveCampaign and Google Tag Manager. 

However, it is now an outdated method. Additionally, due to the hassle while setting up the same, we came up with this new method. 

You could also use Zapier. However, it isn’t built for tracking. So as you expand your data level on Zapier, it will become expensive in no time. 

We found that Google Cloud Functions, a product under the Google Cloud platform, can be helpful here. 

We can use this as a proxy and send data from Google Tag Manager to Google Cloud Functions, and finally send that data into ActiveCampaign to trigger the event tracking system. 

Google Cloud Functions is not only cost-effective, but it’s also reliable because it allows us to keep a log of the data. Hence we can see the process in real-time. 

To simplify the process, we have broken it down into four major steps. 

First, we’ll get an overview of the entire process. 

Next, we will be setting up the Cloud Function. This will act as our API proxy that enables us to send our data to the ActiveCampaign account. 

In the third part, we’ll set up a custom Tag template. We have specially developed this Tag for ActiveCampaign API that will enable us to send data from Google Tag Manager to the Cloud and finally to ActiveCampaign. 

In the fourth part, we’ll use specific techniques that will enable us to identify a user when they access our website and re-identify them when they take an action on our website. We’ll also learn to send this data to ActiveCampaign API. 

The fourth part is essential because it helps us to recognize users when they come to our website and what actions they perform. This helps us in making our system more effective. 

Let’s get started! 

How The Tracking Method Works

We want to send the event tracking information from our website to a specific ActiveCampaign contact. 

However, sending the event tracking information for different users is not as easy as creating a Tag on a page. 

This is because the event tracking information contains specifics that allow the information to be sent after a user has been identified. 

You need to send an Event Key along with the data to successfully track the users. 

Since this key needs to be confidential, we built this unique mechanism. 

We’ll first set up a Cloud Function on the Cloud platform. Then, we’ll send the data from Google Tag Manager to the Cloud Function. 

Finally, this Cloud Function will transfer our data to the ActiveCampaign. We’ll then need to find the correct user profile and forward the corresponding information. 

Towards the end, we’ll successfully be able to create the Google Tag Manager deployment. 

We’ll be using the Cloud Function Proxy URL and User Identification Method as Contact ID, Event Name, and Event Value. 

We’ll also add a trigger to fire the Tag on a specific event on Google Tag Manager. 

Finally, the last part of the tracking deployment will be about user identification. 

Website User Identification

We need to identify the correct user when they come to our website and send the corresponding data to the right profile in ActiveCampaign. 

One of the easiest ways of executing this process is to attach a URL with a unique query string in an email that we send to the user. 

This will act as a contact record to uniquely identify the user to send further information. 

We need to retain this information because we may lose this string once the user jumps to any other URL on our website.

Hence, we’ll build a cookie to remember the string that was generated from the email. 

So at the end of this process, our Tag configuration should have all the essential information that we have spoken about.

We’ll also preview and test our Tag at the end. 

So open the website from the URL in the email with the string attached. 

In this case, the string number is three.

We’ll open our Google Tag Manager to check any Tags that were fired. 

We can also relocate our user under a similar sequence number in the contact record. 

Additionally, there are a few things we need to take care of for this process to work. 

The Templates You Will Need

The first requirement is to set up a Cloud Function. This will act as our proxy where we’ll be sending our data. 

Next, we need to set up ActiveCampaign event tracking from Google Tag Manager. We’ve created a custom Tag template for that.

Finally, we need to find a process to identify a user with an email link, send that information to the right profile, and remember it through a cookie. 

Let’s start with the first step toward implementing this process!

Google Cloud setup

The first step is to set up the Active Campaign API and connect it to our Google Cloud Function. But to connect it to Google Cloud Function, we’ll need to first set up the account. 

We’ll need access to the Google Cloud Console for the Google Cloud Platform to set up Google Cloud Function.

We’ll go to the Google Cloud website. You can log in to it with your Gmail account, or you can sign up for a new account as well. 

As soon as you log in to your new account on Google Cloud, you’ll receive a credit of $300 for joining. 

However, you’ll still need to enter your credit card details to process this setup further. 

Adding a credit card to the process will enable us to send data to the system from an unauthenticated endpoint, which is an essential aspect of our process. 

We now have a project under Google Cloud. 

Our next step will be to set up a billing process. 

You’ll need to enter your account details here to successfully set up a billing process for Google Cloud. 

Furthermore, Cloud Functions are relatively cost-effective. For thousands of events that you may send per month, the charge will remain a few cents. 

But if you have a more comprehensive range of audiences on your website and you send millions of events, the charge can go up comparatively. 

However, we still find Google Cloud to be more cost-effective than other portals like Zapier. 

Once we have our account set up, we can start to build our Cloud Functions. 

How to Build Cloud Functions / Create Cloud Functions

Add a Function name so you can track it without hassle. You can also choose a Region for your campaign depending upon the type of requests you want to receive. 

This might take a while to enable. Meanwhile, we’ll go back to our Google Cloud page. You’ll need the codes for the chúng tôi file here. 

The codes are available in our repository. 

Copy the entire code from here. Open our Google Cloud page again. Replace the existing codes with the ones we copied from the repository. 

At the very top of this code, you’ll need to fill up the information about the API key, API URL, Event Key, and Active Campaign account ID.

As a rule, this information should not be shared with anyone. However, we have created a demo account for visual purposes only.

Once you add your information to the chúng tôi code, you can be sure that your information won’t be shared publicly with anyone.

We just put this information to execute the Cloud Functions. Ensure that even after replacing your information on the codes, you have still retained the quotation marks.

We’ll now learn how to fill up the ActiveCampaign ID and Event Key. 

ActiveCampaign ID and Event Key

Let’s go back to our Active Campaign account. Go to the Tracking option below the Developer.

We can see the Tracking Code here. We can find the Account ID in the code itself. Copy it from here and paste it into our chúng tôi code. 

Let’s come back to our ActiveCampaign account. You can find Event Tracking under the Tracking code. 

You’ll have to keep the Status as ON in case it isn’t. You can find your Event Key just below the ON option.

Copy the key from here and paste it to the chúng tôi code on the Google Cloud account. 

You can directly copy the code from here and replace it with the code on your Google Cloud account. 

Now we’ll need to export the function while going to the endpoint. Hence, copy the function from the chúng tôi code, and paste it as our Entry point.

Let’s deploy this function now.

Deploy Your Google Cloud Function

This may take a while to load. 

We’ll be able to see that our Cloud build API is now enabled. 

Next, we’ll learn how to whitelist the events. 

Whitelisting Events in ActiveCampaign

We’ll now come back to the Tracking section in our ActiveCampaign account. 

Once added, you’ll be able to see the event listed under the Event section. 

Note: We can track only the white-listed events. 

ActiveCampaign will now be able to receive these events. 

Function Permissions

Let’s come back to our Google Cloud account.

As mentioned earlier, we need to Allow unauthenticated access to our Function. We’ll be able to check it once our Function has been deployed.

We can see that it will allow allUsers access in the description as well as Cloud Functions Invoker. 

If you don’t already have allUsers access, you’ll need to set it up in order for this process to work.

It will lead us to the overview menu. It can show us how often an event was invoked.

You can check the Logs to see if there were any errors for any events that have been invoked.

Let’s now see how to send this data to our ActiveCampaign account.

Sending First Test Data Into ActiveCampaign

Copy the trigger URL from here and paste it on your Notepad. 

Currently, this URL won’t work because we haven’t attached any information to it. 

However, we need to attach a testing string to the URL. You can find this string from our repository. 

Under Testing, you can find a string for Cloud Function URL. Copy this as well and paste it to your Notepad. 

Once you’ve copied the URL correctly, you also need to fill in your information. 

We’ll need to replace the EVENTNAME, EVENTDATA, and CONTACTID from the string given in the repository with dummy data to test it. 

You can find the contact ID from the URL of the profile. In this case, it’s 2. 

We’ll copy it and replace it with the CONTACTID in our testing URL.

We’ll also need to fill up an event name. We have already whitelisted a few events in the Tracking column of our ActiveCampaign account. 

We can choose and copy the name of any one of these events. In this case, we’ve copied testing. 

We’ll replace EVENTNAME with the event we copied. 

We’ll also replace EVENTDATA with any random property of an event. 

We’ve chosen to add CloudFunction here. 

Once your entire URL is complete, you can copy and paste it on a new tab and press enter to load it. 

We’ll be able to see a message on the screen “sent event”.

We’ll now be able to see this event on our Google Cloud console. 

It may not be visible right away. However, you’ll be able to see the user movements under the user profile that we created. 

We’ll be able to see the event name that we entered for the user, testing, in this case. 

The event can be seen as testing, and the event data can be seen as CloudFunctions, just like we entered. 

 Now our Cloud Function is ready to operate! 

Setting up Event Tracking Template

We’ll move on to the third part of our guide to set up a custom Tag template that you may install. 

The file will now be saved to your system. 

Let’s open the Google Tag Manager account that is linked to your website. 

We’ll need to set up Tags and triggers for our process from scratch.

Open the tpl file that we just saved. 

Once it opens, you can also check the code on the Template Editor. But ensure that you don’t make any changes to this file as it may not work otherwise. 

Save the file once it’s installed from your system into our template. 

We recommend you manually download them from GitHub as these codes can’t be found in the community gallery.

Cloud Functions may not be the standard way of performing this tracking, but we still recommend it due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of setup. 

Once ActiveCampaign is installed as a tech template, we’ll create a New Tag with ActiveCampaigning Event Tracking as its Tag type. 

Now we need to add Tag information as well. The first one is Cloud Function Proxy URL. 

Copy the trigger URL from here and paste it into your Tag. 

Let’s see what else needs to be added to this Tag. 

Tag Configuration

We’ll need to put in the event information like User Identification Method, Event Name, and Event Value. 

First, we’ll choose the User Identification Method. Previously, we chose Contact ID as the method because we already had that information. 

However, you could also use other methods here. You can use the User Hash that you already have in the background. 

You can also use an Email Address, but we don’t recommend it due to PAI reasons. 

For ease of the process, we’ll again move forward with the Contact ID. 

Next, we’ll fill up the ActiveCampaign Contact ID. we already know this field, so we’ll fill up the Contact ID of our test user, which is 2 in this case. 

Next, for the Event Name, we’ll again go with testing. 

For the Event Value, we’ve just put in any value. We’ll put GTM in this case. 

We’ll also add a trigger for our Tag. We’ll choose All Pages as our trigger type. 

Let’s add a name to the Tag and Save it. 

Our next step will be to test the Tag we just created. 

So let’s see if it works! 

Initial Testing

Let’s preview our Tag on the website we have linked. 

We’ll be able to see that our event has been fired on the Google Tag Manager account. 

Also, when we open the test user profile on the ActiveCampaign account, we’ll be able to see the corresponding event recorded. 

So we’ve been successful in sending the event data from Google Tag Manager to the ActiveCampaign account. 

However, this is just for testing purposes. The trigger used here is All Pages. 

So if the user keeps on moving to the next pages continuously, there would be a tracking known as sidetracking that will go on. 

In order to prevent this, we need to customize our trigger. 

Add a Trigger

Let’s reopen the trigger from our Tag. Add a new trigger. 

Once the trigger is done, we’ll also make a few changes to the Tag. 

Setting up Variables

Make sure that the event names you choose are already whitelisted. 

We have previously whitelisted a few events. Make sure that you choose an event from them. Otherwise, it won’t appear on the ActiveCampaign account. 

For the Event Value, we’ll choose Page URL as the variable. 

Let’s test it in Preview mode to see if it works! 

Final Testing

We’ll go to our website and add a product to the cart. When we come back to our Google Tag Manager account, we’ll be able to see that the event has fired successfully. 

You can also see the same information on the test user profile from your ActiveCampaign account. 

You can see the page URL shown in the event because that is how we have created it. 

Our next step will be to identify a user. 

We already know the Contact ID of the user that performs actions on our website. But now, we’ll find a way to dynamically identify this user as well to send this data to the correct ActiveCampaign profile. 

Adding a Dynamic User ID to Links

We’ll use a cookie technique to remember our users. 

We’ll need to set this process in the Google Tag manager itself. Here, we’ll change the way a user is identified in the Tag itself. 

Currently, we are manually providing the contact ID of the user inside the Tag itself. We’ll replace it with a dynamic system. 

So when a user comes to the website, we’ll identify the user and the corresponding profile on the ActiveCampaign account, and finally, we’ll send the data to the correct profile. 

There are several ways to do this process. The one which we recommend needs us to identify the users by links sent through emails. 

This is the most effective method in this case, as ActiveCampaign is also an email tool. 

We’ll send the email to the user with a link inside it. Once a user opens our website through the link provided, we’ll be able to track the user data with the help of the string attached to it. 

How can we send such information from ActiveCampaign? 

Emails from ActiveCampaign can be sent by campaigns, automation, or directly from the user profile. 

For testing purposes, we’ll choose to send an email from the user profile itself in the ActiveCampaign account. 

We can now send personalized information from the mail itself. For example, if we type “%”, it will direct us to convert it into a lot of other options. We’ve chosen the first name on the user profile. 

We’ll also add a link to this email. Let’s type the website address in the link. 

However, we’ll need to add a query string at the end of this link. We’ll be including the account ID for this link. 

Hence, the string that we add after the website address will be /?acid=. We’ll also add the custom contact ID of the user to track them. 

So, we’ll also add %CONTACTID% at the end of the string after the “=” sign. 

We’ve chosen contact ID here because it’s the easiest method for our Tag configuration. However, you can also choose email if you are careful with it. In this case, the CONTACTID will change to EMAIL. 

Also, you can choose the subscriber hash option which is in sync with the Tag configuration. In this case, the CONTACTID will change to SUBSCRIBER_HASH.

Send the test email once done. Let’s open the link from this mail to see how it works. 

We can see that once the link opens, it suggests the exact ID number of the person as in our ActiveCampaign account. 

Let’s see how to add this contact ID information from the ActiveCampaign account to our Google Tag Manager account.

Pulling User ID From “URL” Into Google Tag Manager

First, we’ll need to create a new variable. 

The type of variable will be the URL variable, and our Component Type will be Query. 

We have chosen a Query key of “acid” for this purpose. 

Add a name to the variable, and Save it. 

After saving, we’ll see if this works. 

Let’s open the preview mode for our variable on the website. 

For testing the query, we’ll reopen the URL we mailed earlier for checking the contact ID of the test user. 

Once the website opens, we’ll come back to Google Tag Manager to see if it fired correctly. 

We can check in the Variable section the url – acid is showing a value of 3, and has been fired successfully. 

However, once we shift from the current page we opened on our website to any other page, we’ll be able to see that the string has disappeared from the URL. 

Let’s see how to track user movements in such cases.

Capture User ID in a Cookie With Google Tag Manager

In this case, our current Tag variable won’t be able to identify the user movements anymore. 

Furthermore, we can use cookies to remember the data in the Google Tag Manager. 

Cookies are a great way to track user movements irrespective of the number of times they change the URLs. We can always track them as long as they are on our website. 

Let’s create a cookie now. 

You can create a cookie in Google Tag Manager itself. Open a new Tag. 

We’ll choose the Tag type from the Community Template Gallery. 

We’ll search for the keyword “cookie”. We’ll be able to see many different solutions for creating cookies. Not all of them can actually make cookies. 

Our Tag template is still open. Add a name to it. 

The Cookie Name can’t be changed to anything else. So we can just add any cookie number for it. 

We don’t need to fill in any Optional Description. 

Choose the Cookie Value as url – acid, the one which we have already created here. 

Save it once done. 

We’ll also attach a trigger for this Tag. 

Choose the trigger type as Page View. 

We’ll command the trigger to fire on Some Page Values. 

We’ll keep the conditions as url – acid does not equal undefined. 

This is because we want to track the user when we already have a definite url acid and can put this value in the cookie. 

Add a name to the trigger, and Save it.

Also, save the Tag. Let’s go to Preview mode and see how it’s working. 

Let’s again open the URL which contains the acid string along with the user ID, which is 3 in this case. 

Go to Application → Cookies. You’ll find a list of all the cookies here including the cookie that we just created, custom cookie 7. 

This will also show a value of 3, as our user ID is 3 in this case. 

Even if you change the page you are currently on, the cookie will still be there. 

However, we still need to pull this information from the cookies into our Tag. 

Pulling User ID From “Cookie” Into Google Tag Manager

We’ll create another variable on Google Tag Manager. 

The variable type will be 1st Party Cookie, and Cookie Name can be copied from the developer options themselves. 

The name is customCookie7 in this case. We’ll add a name to the variable and Save it. 

We’ll also implement it inside the Tag we created. We’ll change the ActiveCampaign Contact ID to customCookie7, and Save it. 

Let’s preview this and see how it works. In order to preview correctly, we have deleted the previous cookie track to set new ones. 

Let’s reload the URL with the string of user id. 

We’ll be able to see that our Tag has already fired on the Google Tag Manager. 

We’ll also open another page on our website, so the URL doesn’t contain a string anymore. 

We’ll try to add a product to the cart. We’ll also be able to see that our Add to Cart Tag has also fired. 

The Tag also shows the ActiveCampaign Contact ID as 3. 

We’ll also see if this information is visible on the ActiveCampaign profile of the user. 

You can even try to open other pages on your website with the same user ID, and you’ll still see that the Tags will fire.

As long as the user won’t change the browser or delete the cookies, we’ll still be able to track the movements on our website. 

However, you’ll need to make sure that any links you send to the users should have the query link attached to them. 

Unfortunately, there’s no other way to track this information by sidetracking on the ActiveCampaign. 

One thing we need to ensure here is that our process won’t track the users who come to the website without any query string attached to the URL. 

Creating a Blocking Trigger in Google Tag Manager

We need to build a negative trigger or a blocking trigger. 

We’ll create a new trigger with the trigger type as Custom Event. 

The Event Name will be all the events. Hence, we’ll type “.*”. 

We’ll set the trigger to fire on Some Custom Events. 

Our conditions will be cookie – customCookie7 equal undefined. 

We’ll add a name to the trigger and Save it. 

As the conditions in this trigger are counter to what we want, we’ll turn this trigger true as an exception for the one we already have. 

Let’s open our Tag and add this as an exception. Save the Tag once done.

We’ll again delete the existing cookies to test the new ones correctly. 

Let’s open our website without a query string URL and try adding a product to the cart. This is already a new string-free URL. 

We can see that the Tag didn’t fire. This is because our counter trigger stopped it from firing. 

We have made a download of this entire container and added it as well to the GitHub repository. 

You can add the container you downloaded from our repository here. 

Moreover, don’t forget that if you want to take this live, you’ll need to submit this as a version. 

FAQ How do I implement event tracking using Google Tag Manager and Google Cloud Functions? How do I set up user identification for event tracking in ActiveCampaign?

To identify users for event tracking, you can use links sent through emails. By including a unique identifier, such as the contact ID or email, in the query string of the URL, you can track users and associate their interactions with their corresponding profiles in ActiveCampaign.

What is event tracking in the context of ActiveCampaign and Google Tag Manager?

Event tracking refers to the process of capturing and sending specific user interactions or events on a website to ActiveCampaign for tracking and analysis. By using Google Tag Manager and Google Cloud Functions, you can set up a system to track and send event data to ActiveCampaign for targeted marketing campaigns.


So that’s all! This is how we can send the user data from Google Tag Manager into an ActiveCampaign account with the help of Google Cloud Functions. 

Sending user data to ActiveCampaign will require you to create a proxy in order to correctly identify the users. Furthermore, tracking this data will require cookies. 

However, if you have more user data on the ActiveCampaign account, instead you can pull the ActiveCampaign data into the Google Tag Manager to optimize it better.

Google Analytics 4 Backlash: Ga4 “Sucks” And Is “Horrible”

GA4 is Difficult to Use

A common complaint about GA4 is that it is difficult to use. Some search marketers noted that GA4 seems geared for use by enterprise level users more than smaller businesses.

Dave Davies (@beanstalkim) is a search marketing expert and co-host of the Webcology Search Marketing podcast, a person one would expect to be a brand evangelist for Google’s products but even Dave was tweeting his negative experience with GA4.

It was startling to see his recent tweet proclaiming that “GA4 sucks” because the user interface is not intuitive and is difficult to use.

Dave noted that commonly used features are buried within the user interface as if purposely making it difficult to access.

— Dave Davies (@beanstalkim) June 23, 2023

Another search marketer Called GA4 HORRIBLE (in caps) and complained that basic features were now difficult to access, mirroring Dave Davie’s observation about the unintuitive user interface.

Website owners, is it just me or is the new GA4 @googleanalytics just HORRIBLE? It’s like it’s designed only for retail sites or something, very hard to get the basic info that I used to rely on… Think I’ll switch back! Awful!

— Trevor Long (@trevorlong) June 23, 2023

Another search marketer agreed that the word “horrible” accurately described the new Google Analytics 4.

The marketer wished they hadn’t wasted so much time trying to familiarize themselves with the poor user interface.

It was also noted that third party add-ons still don’t work.

GA4 is Described as Horrible

It is horrible. I wish I switched back earlier. Tried to get used to the interface and new menus for months. Still can’t get around them + some third party services don’t work with GA4

— Michael Aulia 🇦🇺 (@michaelaulia) June 23, 2023

GA4 is Described as “Awful”

I was just having this conversation with someone. It’s awful! Try tracking events with GTM and GA4. I’m giving up and going back to Universal.

— Stephanie Lummis (@stephanielummis) June 22, 2023

GA4 Described as Unusable

— Victor Jónsson (@victorjonsson) June 22, 2023

GA4 Might Bring Users to Tears

A series of tweets noted how it was difficult to use and had her on the edge of crying and questioned Google’s commitment to small businesses.

I wonder if this move means that GA decided to simply ditch small business owners and cater only to big websites & companies. I was also thinking if they stop supporting Universal tag, I’ll be looking for a different solution.

— Gill Andrews (@StoriesWithGill) June 22, 2023

Half an hour later, and I still don’t know how to see how many homepage visits we had. Why, GA4, why??!!

— Gill Andrews (@StoriesWithGill) June 22, 2023

I usually can find my way round any piece of software quickly. But Google Analytics 4 is making me cry…

— Gill Andrews (@StoriesWithGill) June 22, 2023

GA4 is So Complex You Need a Manual to Use It?

Another tweet (unintentionally) underlined how complex GA4 has become.

The article is well written but one has to wonder about the utility of any user interface that requires 1,400 words and screenshots to learn how to use it.

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 19, 2023

Google Analytics 4 Not Ready for General Use?

Other search marketers expressed their opinions that GA4 is a mess and not ready for “prime time” while also expressing hope hope that Google will fix the issues.

Okay, let’s talk about #UTM in #GA4

— Andreas Ramos (@Andreas_Ramos) June 17, 2023

Yet others expressed less hope, tweeting that GA4 seems to have been rushed out and that it was giving them post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder that is triggered by traumatic events.

She listed some of the Google services she had adopted in the past that were subsequently abandoned, expressing a lack of enthusiasm for adopting GA4.

One of the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm is what she noted as GA4 not being “error free.”

Hey, I was there for G+, Google Talk, Picasa, Google Notebook…. and now… GA4. 😳 I have Google PTSD. ❣️the Big G & #digitalmarketing pays m’bills, but getting excited about another tool, still fresh, not error free, & may be dropped in another couple of months isn’t my bag

— Jahnelle Seaman (@jrpittman) June 21, 2023

The negative feedback about Google Analytics 4 is that it’s not ready and that it was rushed out in a state that still needed improvement.

One user said it was not ready for prime time. Prime time is a phrase that references the time period in the evening when most people watch television.

To say that something is not ready for prime time is to communicate that something is not yet ready for use.

Thanks for identifying this issue. Real bummer. GA4 is so not ready for primetime.

— Jen Boland (@jenboland) June 22, 2023

You’re welcome.

GA4 is getting closer, and the BQ integration is a really big deal.

But, yes, GA4 isn’t primetime ready yet. I fully agree.

And the GTM integration would really benefit from functionality that parallels GA3.

— Dr. Analytics Ninja, PhD (@AnalyticsNinja) June 22, 2023

Not All the Feedback was Negative

Some people on Twitter offered positive words for GA4. But even their hopeful tweets contained negative feedback that noted how the user interface was “overly complicated.”

Just upgraded to Google Analytics 4. Not a fun process and it looks overly complicated.

— Yuyu (@swSalim) June 23, 2023

New services can sometimes have a rocky launch. No doubt many people are experiencing that with Google Analytics 4.

Intuitive design has never been one of Google’s strong points and if all the people complaining on Twitter (and Facebook) are to be believed, GA4 may represent a benchmark in how bad a Google product user friendliness can get.

How To Track Utm Codes In Google Analytics 4

We all know that running marketing campaigns is not an easy task. But it gets even more difficult if we are not able to measure their performance.

This becomes quite a problem with so many different platforms, campaigns, ad types, and creatives.

By the end of this post, you will be able to refresh your knowledge of how UTM tracking works in general and how to track UTM codes in Google Analytics 4. We’ll be looking at:

Another day, another topic to learn about in the analytics verse. So, let’s get started!

What is UTM Tracking and Why is it Important?

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are the snippets that are attached at the end of the URLs to give the sources of your traffic more precisely including some required (and important data) like source, medium, and campaign.

In GA4, we can get data for 8 UTM parameters (more on this in the next section). These parameters can prove quite helpful in analyzing the performance of different traffic sources and/or any marketing campaigns.

Let’s try to understand it with an example. We at Measureschool are running a paid Cyber Monday campaign on Facebook and we want to know how it is doing in Google Analytics.

This is how our URL will look with the three required UTM parameters:

If we just knew that the traffic is coming from Facebook, we wouldn’t be able to judge the performance of our paid Cyber Monday campaign.

Similarly, if we add more parameters about the campaign, content, or the type of ad(s) being used, then we can pinpoint their performance.

These codes do not affect how the page performs or its speed. They give us useful information about our marketing campaigns as well as ultimately help with the attribution, and that’s why they are important.

What are UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters are the codes that provide us with important additional information with their keys holding the value we add.

These parameters have three required sources as we discussed above. Others are optional, but using them can give even more information and put things in perspective. 

In UA, we have 5 parameters, and GA4 now has 3 additional parameters, which takes the total to 8.

Here are the 8 UTM parameters available in Google Analytics 4:

1. Source

This required parameter tells us where traffic originates from and is important to do any kind of analysis. Commonly tracked sources are Google, Facebook, Bing, Linkedin, and Email list. E.g., utm_source=Google, utm_source=OctNewsletter.

2. Medium

This parameter tells more about the type of traffic we receive since now we know the origin of traffic in the source. Commonly used ones are PPC, paid_social, social, organic, email, referral, and so on. E.g., utm_medium=ppc, utm_medium=email.

3. Campaign

If you want to track an individual campaign’s performance, then this is the parameter that will help you. It’s commonly used to measure the performance of Facebook, Emails, and any other such campaigns on a platform. E.g. utm_campaign=blackfriday22, utm_campaign=halloween22.

Additional parameters from here onwards are all optional but can be very helpful with attribution and drawing rich insights from your data.

4. Term

This parameter is mainly used for Google Ads (paid search) than any other platform and helps you to know which keywords brought a website visitor to your site. E.g. utm_term=digital_analytics.

5. Content

The following three UTM parameters are only available in GA4.

6. Source Platform

The parameter tells us about the platform that sent the traffic to our site and it collects the values of Google Ads, Manual, Shopping Free Listings, Search Ads 360, and Display & Video 360. E.g. utm_source_platform=GoogleAds.

7. Creative Format

As the name suggests, this parameter helps to understand what type of creative you’re using, e.g. display, video, native, search, etc. Similar to the utm_content, we can use this parameter to differentiate between the creatives as well. E.g. utm_creative_format: image_mountain.

8. Marketing Tactic

This is more about how you’ve done your targeting, i.e., remarketing, prospecting, etc. You can also use it for other information like bidding strategies, more details on audiences, etc. E.g. utm_marketing_tactic=remarketing_180days.

🚨 Note: The utm_creative_format and utm_marketing_tactic parameters are currently unavailable in GA4 reports.

How to Create UTM Codes? Google’s Campaign URL Builder

The most commonly used tool is Google’s campaign URL builder, where you can simply copy and paste the original URL and then type in the UTM parameters to get a final URL below that you can use for your campaigns.

🚨 Note: Make sure to select the web tab if you’re creating UTMs for the web.

Measureschool’s UTM Tool

We also have our UTM tool in the form of Google Sheets that you can use. Simply save it as a copy and start using it.

This tool will also help you to keep a track of all the UTM-tagged URLs in one place and you won’t have to copy-paste it from other tools every time you create one.

The ‘Campaign Tagging Tool’ tab is where you can create UTMs, whereas the ‘Examples’ tab will help you get started with some good examples.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how it looks:

There are also other freely available web tools to create UTMs that you can check out on the internet before settling on one of them.

Whatever tool you use is only as good as how effectively you tag the URLs to see the relevant data in GA4. More on that in the last section.

Where to See UTM Data in GA4?

UTM data can be seen in the standard Reports under Acquisition in all three places:

Acquisition overview

User acquisition: First user default channel grouping

Traffic acquisition

Acquisition Overview  User acquisition: First user default channel grouping Traffic acquisition

This report works similarly to the First user report above but is focused on the sessions. You might see some additional options to add in for the secondary dimension, as well.

In a similar method, I’ve used Session content as a secondary dimension to see the UTM data which is only available for row 9.

Apart from these standard reports, don’t forget that you can also play around in the Explore section of GA4 to create custom reports with UTM data that might suit your needs.

Best Practices for UTM-Tagging

As you can see in the last example above, most of the source/medium had (not set) for Session content and this comes down to how the URLs were tagged. 

Following are some best practices to make the most out of our campaign data. Let’s discuss some important ones.

Keep it Simple – Use easy-to-understand names for your campaigns, content, and keywords. Keeping UTMs close to GA4’s default channel grouping names could also be quite helpful.

Who created the URL – Adding the name of the person who created the UTM links would make it easy to go back to them in case of any questions, as well as to understand their logic.

Lowercase vs Uppercase – Decide whether to use lowercase or uppercase to create UTM links. It’s recommended to use lowercase, though.

Following these practices will not only help you get clean data in GA4 but also make it easier for other users to make sense of the data even when you’re not there.

FAQ How do I create UTM codes?

There are various ways to create UTM codes. One popular method is using Google’s Campaign URL Builder, where you can input the original URL and add the UTM parameters. Alternatively, you can use tools like Measureschool’s UTM Tool in Google Sheets or explore other freely available web tools to generate UTM codes.

Where can I see UTM data in Google Analytics 4?

UTM data can be viewed in the standard Acquisition reports in Google Analytics 4. Specifically, you can find it in the Acquisition Overview, User Acquisition: First User Default Channel Grouping, and Traffic Acquisition reports. Additionally, you can create custom reports using UTM data in the Explore section of GA4.

What are some best practices for UTM-tagging?

Here are some best practices for UTM-tagging:


We’ve now established how to track UTM codes in GA4 along with a basic understanding of what they are, why UTM tracking is important, where to find UTM data in GA4, and some best practices to help us make the most of our data.

Following Google’s default channel groups for naming conventions is a good place to start and you can read more about them in our how to use GA4 default channel grouping article.

How To Use The Partner Gallery Feature From Google Analytics

Google is the central force for online tools and services, but the fact of the matter is, even with good tools you are bound to have questions or need further support. The Partner Gallery Feature, which incorporates both Google Partners and Apps, was created with this in mind. Ultimately, the Google Analytics Partner Gallery makes it easier to search for solutions to everyday problems.

If you’re looking for something new in 2023 to improve your online strategy, it’s a great place to start.

How Google Analytics Partner Gallery Works

Initially, Google created a search tool called the “App Gallery” and the Partner Gallery was designed as a re-launch of this (different name, but similar concept). While it isn’t talked about a lot in the online community, it can be a very useful tool to get the technical support you need, especially as a small business.

In different situations you need different kinds of support. Sometimes this may be an app or another type of service assistance. The main difference between the “App Gallery” (as well as other past systems) and the Partner Gallery is the ability to search for different types of support in one place.

The screen shot above is the initial search screen on the home page for the Google Analytics Partner Gallery. Note that you can now search for both partners and solutions in one place. Consider how the two main features work below.

The Partner Gallery Features Services by Google Analytics Certified Partners

The search to find an answer to your question about website testing, conversion optimization, or analytics starts with a GA certified partner. The Partner Gallery utilizes certified partners who go through a rigorous application process to offer support for these areas of expertise. The Google Partners Badge (and certification badges alike such as the The Adwords Certification + Analytics certification) is a great trust symbol that reputable SEO providers use to help build confidence in their website visitors and prospects. GA uses both individual experts or an entire companies who earn their partner verified badge after completing the application and being deemed useful for the Partner Gallery Feature. What this means is that your questions are guaranteed to get the best of the best to respond. Below is a screenshot that shows how you can scroll through some possible Partners:

As you can see in the screen shot above, you are able to search by category and location (to make visiting an office more convenient) when you are searching for a specific service such as “web design” or “ppc management services.” As with searching for other businesses on Google, you can also see how they are rated on a 5-star scale.

Apps by Google Analytics Technology Partners

This is the “app” component. The Partner Gallery uses a list of applications that work directly with analytics by either extending the features of Google Analytics or to help support Analytics by complimenting some of the features. These apps are generally made by third-party companies who again, go through a rigorous approval process, as opposed to being developed by Google.

Once you are at the Partner Gallery you have the option of choosing between services (i.e. certified partner support) or add-on technology (i.e. Google Analytics technology partners). Similar to the services search page, you are able to search by category to refine the options that come up on the results page. Additionally, you are able to search by both ‘paid’ and ‘free’ apps. There are several really great free applications, and of course, some that are definitely worth paying for.

Summer 2014 Features Update to the Google Analytics Partner Gallery

The newest update took place in June 2014 and combined the Apps and Services in one platform. The whole goal of this was to make it easier for companies to find what they need and the exact kind of support they are looking for faster than before. Google Analytics did a lot with the features available, some of which you can see in the screenshots presented above.

In the most recent summer update, the most notable new features were:

A new look and layout that is clean and easy to navigate

New category selection

Partners are now sorted based on your location, making it easier to find service offices near you

There were also other features incorporated in the new update, such as:

Screenshots and videos in order to better understand how certain apps work

Comments and ratings to review user experiences and show feedback

The new features and layout makes it a lot easier to sort through different partners and find what you need. One of the best features of the new update is definitely the incorporation of searching by location. If you have the desire to visit the office of the support expert you are speaking with, or you feel it may be beneficial to meet in person, than you are able to do so with this feature.

Do You Have What it Takes to be Part of the Actual Gallery?

The Google Analytics Partner Gallery is always looking for new consultants and businesses to participate, especially since it’s not well-known by many people. You can visit their page here to learn more about the requirements and the benefits.

To become a Google Analytics Certified Partner, you must be qualified and have expertise with Google Analytics. As I said earlier, Google takes this component seriously and their Partners go through a significant application process. Additionally, if you think you may qualify to be a Technology Partner, they look for partners that offer applications that integrate with and/or complement Google Analytics.

This is a great addition to your business plan and involvement with Google Analytics, so definitely consider this if you think you may be a good fit.

The Takeaway

The Partner Gallery, especially with the new and updated features, is one of the best options for consulting about analytics (and its features) for businesses. While it is not a hot topic of online conversation just yet, its new developments and features make it a rising tool for success, and it will likely keep developing to give users the additional support they need.

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