There are four different types of events in Google Analytics 4. Knowing when to use each type of event helps you collect the most important data so you can make data-driven decisions about your mobile app and website.
Certain types of events are also a little more involved than other events, in terms of setup, so starting with the basics can help you ease your way into GA4. In this section, we'll break down the four types of Google Analytics 4events.
Automatically collected events
Automatically collected events are the events that are tracked by default when you connect Google Analytics to your website or app.
Some of the automatically tracked events include ad clicks and impressions, first website visits, and first app opens.
You don't have to do anything fancy to set up automatically collected events. Once you get GA4 set up on your website or mobile app, these events will automatically be tracked.
Enhanced measurement events
Enhanced measurement events are only collected if you've set up Google Analytics 4 and enabled the enhanced event measurement setting.
When you enable enhanced event measurement, you can track things like file downloads, video engagement if you have an embedded YouTube video on your web page, form interactions, and outbound clicks that lead to other websites.
To set up enhanced measurement events, start by opening Google Analytics and navigating to the Admin page. Before you proceed, make sure you're connected to the right account and property. Next, click Data Streams > Web, then toggle the Enhanced measurement switch on.
Recommended events have already been created and defined in Google Analytics, but they're not enabled by default and you can't switch them on with one setting. Instead, you need to implement these events one by one.
Some of our recommended events include app ad impressions, user searches, user logins, purchases, and refunds.
Setting up a recommended event with Google Analytics is as simple as adding some basic code to your website. This code varies depending on the platform you're tracking activity on and the event you're tracking.
Unlike recommended events, you have to create and define custom events yourself. Once you've created an event, you can add it to your website using code like you would with a recommended event.
Custom events are useful if you're tracking events that are unique to your website or if you want to modify events that already exist. If you can't find what you're looking for in enhanced measurement or recommended events, custom events provide a solution. For example, if you use live chat support for your website or app, you can create a new event to track chat box activity and see how users are interacting with live chat.
To set up custom events in Google Analytics 4, you generally need to add code to your website to track custom events, much like tracking existing events. If you're tracking custom events on your website, you can use Google Tag Manager to avoid modifying site code.
Event tracking best practices
In terms of event tracking in Google Analytics 4, there are certain best practices you can follow to optimize your tracking setup and ensure accurate and meaningful data collection. Here are some best practices for event tracking in Google Analytics 4:
Define your objectives
Before you even start thinking about Google Analytics 4 events, think about your objectives for your website or app. Do you want to drive more sales? Are you trying to refine your website to get rid of unnecessary elements that people don't interact with?
Your objectives determine which events you need to track and how you use that data. Think about what you want to achieve and how event tracking through Google Analytics can help you achieve your goals.
Keep it simple
Google Analytics 4 is a vast platform with a lot of capabilities, but that doesn't mean you need to use every available feature for your website or mobile app. When it comes to tracking events, less is more in a lot of cases. Figure out what you want to track and try to stick with those events. Tracking unnecessary events can lead to an overwhelming amount of data that's hard to get any real value out of.