General GA4 Audit (Google Analytics 4):
Purpose: To ensure that the implementation of the new version of Google Analytics (GA4) is correct for general data capture and complies with data privacy rules.
This is not intended to provide a roadmap for marketing performance measurement (contact us if that is what you are looking for), but is designed to be used as a quick checklist to ensure accurate data flow.
1. Review GA4 for GDPR Consent Features:
Did you know that Google Analytics is not technically compliant with GDPR?
Compliance with GDPR requires that users provide explicit consent before Google can collect any personal data with these cookies. GDPR does allow for the use of necessary cookies that are required for website functionality.
85% of the cookies set by Google Analytics fall under the GDPR’s requirement for explicit consent.
That’s because Google Analytics cookies collect information that can be used to identify an individual, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, in combination with other data. The noncompliance and subsequent ban by certain European countries is due to the transfer of personal data to third parties and locations outside the US and the difficulty users face in withdrawing consent, or requesting records of their personal data.
So how do you ensure that your data is compliant? The best way is to use Google Tag Manager to enable “Consent Mode”, which adjusts the cookie storage behavior based on the user’s consent choice. Ensure that this is utilized. For more information on GA4 and GDPR [link to blog]
2. Standardize on a Single GA4 Implementation Method
There are many different ways to implement GA4. To ensure that data flows freely, it is best to standardize on one method, for example: directly in the code; using Google Tag Manager (GTM); via your CMS (the platform your website is built on); or using a GA plugin.
We recommend the use of Google Tag Manager (GTM), as it provides precise data flow and an efficient method for managing tags.
3. Review Settings:
Review Integrations and Interoperability
- Digital Ads platforms
- Google Search Console
Looking to implement marketing performance measurement? We can talk you through what you need to consider.