Google Analytics 4 (GA4) integration

Google has recently upgraded from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 changes the way data is collected and reorients the metrics from sessions to events. This combines users’ web and mobile app data to more seamlessly measure their journey across platforms. CallRail integrates with your existing GA4 account by sending your call, text, chat, and form submission data to events you’ve created.

Analytics conversions have been renamed key events. Key events measure the interactions most important to your business. They show up in the Advertising, Reports, and Explore sections of Analytics. For more information, view Google's Support Article: [GA4] Conversions vs. key events 

Getting started

Before you start, you’ll need to have a GA4 property and have the gtag installed on your site.
Depending on the size of your business, integrating with GA4 could take anywhere from an hour or up to a few days to complete.

If you are seeing your events come in as "direct" or "not set" and are expecting to see source, medium, or campaign data, you can check out this article for more information.

Integrating with Google Analytics 4

CallRail’s integration with GA4 is company-dependent in your account. Follow the instructions below for each company you’d like to integrate with GA4.

  1. Click the Settings icon on the left navigation bar.

  2. Choose the company you’d like to integrate with.

  3. Click Integrations at the top of the page.

  4. Choose Google Analytics 4 from the list of integrations.

  5. Enter your website’s URL. CallRail will search your website to find your Google measurement ID.

  6. If we can't automatically detect this information on your website, or if the measurement ID is incorrect, you can manually enter your measurement ID and your GA4 API secret.

    Note: if you aren’t sure how to find your measurement ID or your GA4 API secret, you can use these Google support articles to assist you:
    [GA4] Tracking ID support
    [GA4] Generate API secrets for Measurement Protocol 

  7. Select the interaction types you’d like to send to your GA4 property by checking the Calls, SMS, Forms, or Chat boxes as desired. 

    - If you would like to receive all calls as one custom event, select Send all calls as one custom event type.

    - If you would like to receive first-time callers and repeat callers as separate custom events, select Send first time calls and repeat calls as separate custom event types.

  8. Click Activate.

Please note: You will need to continue setup in the following section before you can start seeing CallRail data in your GA4 reports.

Sending CallRail data to Google Analytics 4

After you activate your integration in CallRail, there are a few other steps you’ll need to take before you can start seeing CallRail data in your GA4 reports.

To complete the setup process below, you’ll need to receive an event through the integration first. For this reason, we recommend creating a test event (such as placing a call to a tracking number or submitting a form) immediately after activating the integration so you can complete the setup process and start using your data in reports. 

Important

The settings you choose below do not apply retroactively, so it’s important to complete this setup process in GA4 soon after activating the integration. If you wait, any data sent over before you complete the setup cannot be used in reports.

For each interaction type being sent to GA4, you’ll decide whether each interaction will be sent as a custom dimension or a custom metric.

Create custom dimensions

You'll need the Editor role to create custom dimensions.

We recommend using custom dimensions for the following types of attribution data:

  • call_id
  • campaign
  • company_name
  • chat_id
  • device
  • first_time_caller
  • form_id
  • form_name
  • GCLID
  • landing_page_url
  • medium
  • qualified
  • referrer
  • sms_id
  • source
  • tags
  • tracking_number
  • tracking_number_name

Follow the steps below to create a custom dimension in Google Analytics. 

  1. Click Admin.

  2. Choose Custom definitions from the Data display menu.

  3. Make sure the Custom dimensions tab is selected (it is by default).

  4. Click Create custom dimensions.

  5. Name the dimension.

    Custom_dimension.png

  6. Choose Event for the scope type.

  7. Give the dimension a description.

  8. Select the event parameter to associate with this custom dimension.

  9. Click Save.

You will need to repeat this process for every piece of attribution data that you’d like to use as a dimension.

Create custom metrics

You'll need the Editor role to create custom metrics.

We recommend using custom metrics for the following units of measurement:

  • call_duration (time: seconds)
  • engagement_time_msec (time: milliseconds)
  • value

Follow the steps below to create a custom metric in Google Analytics. 

  1. Click Configure.

  2. Choose Custom definitions from the Data display menu.

  3. Make sure the Custom metrics tab is selected.

  4. Click Create custom metric.

  5. Name the metric.

    Custom_metric.png
  6. Choose Event for the scope type.

  7. Give the metric a description.

  8. Select the event parameter to associate with this custom metric.

  9. Select the unit of measurement to associate with this custom metric.

  10. Click Save.

You will need to repeat this process for every piece of attribution data that you’d like to use as a metric.

Marking events as key events (optional)

You'll need the Editor role to mark an event as a key event.

You can mark our events as key events in GA4. This is an optional step. However, by marking events as key events, you can see our events as key events in Acquisition, Engagement, and Advertising reports. 

We recommend completing this setup after activating your integration and receiving the first phone call, text, chat, or form event in GA4. This can be the same test event we recommend creating after activating your integration.

Follow the steps below to mark an event as a key event in Google Analytics.  

  1. In Google Analytics, click Admin.

  2. Choose Events from the Data display menu.

    Key Events GA4.png

  3. In the Existing events table, select the toggle under Mark as key event. You can find CallRail key events under the following names:
    - phone_call
    - first_time_phone_call
    - repeat_phone_call
    - form
    - chat
    - sms

Deactivating Google Analytics 4 integration

Deactivating a company's integration with GA4 will prevent your call data from being sent to your Analytics account. We'll keep your GA4 credentials saved in case you'd like to reactivate your integration in the future.

  1. Click the Settings icon on the left navigation bar.

  2. Choose the company where you'd like to deactivate the integration.

  3. Click Integrations at the top of the page.

  4. Choose Google Analytics 4 from the list of integrations.

  5. Select Deactivate Integration on the right side of the page.

FAQs

Why isn't GCLID data populating in GA4?

The custom dimension for GCLID must be capitalized in GA4. If your GCLID custom dimension is in lowercase, you can remove it and replace it with a capitalized version. This will ensure that CallRail can populate GCLID data in GA4.

Can I send value data to GA4?
Yes, CallRail can send a value along with a goal or event. However, you'll need to add the value to the interaction within CallRail before the interaction is completed.

How long does it take for data to appear in GA4?
Data often appears soon after the integration is active. However, it can take up to 24 hours after activation for data to begin appearing in GA4.

What data does CallRail send to GA4?
CallRail will send the following data:

  • call_duration
  • call_id
  • campaign
  • chat_id
  • client_ID (used for attributing events to users, not available for reporting purposes, not available for custom dimension/metrics)
  • company_name
  • device
  • engagement_time_msec (session duration in msec)
  • first_time_caller (yes/no)
  • form_id
  • form_name
  • GCLID
  • landing_page_url
  • medium (direct, organic, cpc, etc)
  • qualified
  • referrer
  • session_id (for interactions with session data, such as calls or texts to website pools, form submissions, or chat conversations, this will be a Google Analytics issued session ID, which means Google Analytics will attribute the event according to their in-house logic. For interactions without session data, such as calls and texts to source trackers, this will be a session ID generated by CallRail.)
  • sms_id
  • source
  • tags
  • timestamp_macros (used for populating the real-time report, not available for custom dimension/metrics)
  • tracking_number
  • tracking_number_name
  • value (used for calls, forms, and chats)
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