• Active Users is a new, default metric in GA4 that includes the number of users who have an engaged session. Universal Analytics had Total Users as the default. 
  • Bounce Rate is calculated differently in GA4. In GA4, a bounce occurs when the user views a single page and is on the site for fewer than 10 seconds (though, you can change the length of the timer). In Universal Analytics, a bounce occurred when the user viewed a single page, no matter how long they were on the page.
  • Events in GA4 include five default parameters and up to 25 custom parameters. Universal Analytics included four default parameters and no custom parameters.

Google Tag Manager is our recommended way of setting up for GA4. The three main elements you’ll be working with are triggers (user actions), tags (output into GA4) and variables (details). Here’s what a page_view event might look like, with the five default parameters and some custom parameters.



  • How do I set up a Google Tag Manager account? What are some basic things I should be aware of? What are some of the best custom tags to set up?
    • Go to and use the same account for which you sign into Google Analytics. To simplify the process, you’ll create a container, publish it and put the code on your site. From there, the tags you set up depend on the user behavior you want to track, e.g. newsletter sign-ups, account creations, tracking bylines or sections as parameters in the page_view event.
  • Can you reuse a trigger from a legacy GA setup?
    • Yes, most Google Tag Manager triggers that work for Universal Analytics should also work for GA4. You will, however, need to create a new GA4 tag, which requires slightly different settings (mainly, parameters).
  • For folks new to setting up analytics tracking: What is the recommended set up for a website plus apps in GA4? 
    • If you have both a website and an app(s), you should create one data stream for each within the same GA4 property, e.g. would be a Web stream in your GA4 property. Springfield News iOS would be an App stream, and Springfield News Android would be a second app stream, for a total of three streams.

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