Using the GA4 test property

A Google Analytics 4 property comes with only one reporting view. So whenever you change one of the settings of your GA4 property, you permanently change the way the data is collected, processed and reported in your reporting view.

Following are the various methods through which you can change the settings of your GA4 property:

Every change you make to your GA4 property setting(s) has the potential to permanently inflate/skew your current analytics data

A typical website updates all the time. Likewise, we launch and pause marketing campaigns all the time. 

All of these changes force us to change the settings of our GA4 property from time to time. But whenever we change GA4 property settings, we risk inflating/skewing our analytics data.

Let us suppose you applied a new data filter to your GA4 property in order to exclude internal traffic from GA4 reports. Now if this data filter is not set up correctly, you will have to make changes to it. 

But while you are making changes to your data filter, you are also unknowingly skewing your analytics data in the background. 

So you need to create a separate GA4 property just for testing purposes. We can call this property a GA4 test property. 

Get the E-Book (50 Pages)
Get the FREE E-Book (50+ Pages)

Creating a test property in Google Analytics 4

A test property is just like any other GA4 property. You create a test property in the same way, you create any other GA4 property:

Follow the steps below to create a new GA4 test property: 

Step-1: Navigate to your existing GA4 property and then click on the ‘Admin’ button:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Create Property’ button:

Step-3: Give your new property a name (use the words ‘GA4 test property’ somewhere):

Step-4: Select your reporting timezone and currency and then click on the ‘Next’ button:

Step-5: Supply your business information (like industry category, business Size, how do you intend to use Google Analytics with your business?) and then click on the ‘Create‘ button at the bottom:

Step-6: Click on the ‘Web’ data stream:

Step-7: Enter your website URL and stream name and then click on the ‘Create stream‘ button:

Step-8: Copy the measurement ID by clicking on the copy button. We are going to use this measurement ID later while deploying the GA4 tag via GTM:

Step-9: Navigate to your Google Tag Manager account and then click on the ‘New Tag’ button:

Step-10: Name your new tag ‘GA4- Test Property’:

ga4 test property

Step-11: Click on ‘Choose a tag type’:

Step-12: Click on the tag named ‘Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration‘:

Step-13: Enter your measurement ID in the ‘Measurement ID’ text box:

Step-14: Click on the ‘Choose a trigger’ button:

Step-15: Click on the ‘All Pages’ trigger:

Step-16: Click on the ‘Save’ button to save your new tag:

Step-17: Click on the ‘Preview’ button:

Step-18: Enter the URL to your website and then click on the ‘Start’ button to begin previewing your container:

You should now be automatically redirected to your website. 

Step-19: Navigate back to the GTM preview window and then click on the ‘Continue’ button:

If you see your tag ‘GA4- Test Property’ listed under the ‘Tags Fired’ section then it means your GA4 test property tag is firing on your website:

Step-20: Click on the cross button at the top left-hand side of your screen:

Step-21: Click on the button ‘Stop Debugging’:

Step-22: Click on the three dots menu:

Step-23: Click on the ‘Delete’ option from the drop-down menu:

Step-24: Navigate back to your GTM account and then click on the ‘Submit’ button:

Step-25: Give your version a descriptive name and then click on the ‘Publish’ button:

Step-26: Navigate to your website and then browse a couple of web pages.

Step-27: Navigate to the ‘Real Time’ report of your GA4 test property:

Step-28: Scroll down to the section ‘Event count by event name‘:

You should now be able to see some ‘page_view’ data in the report. 

This proves that the data is flowing in your GA4 Test property.

Note: If you don’t immediately see any data then wait for full 24 hrs and then try again. 

Step-29: Copy all the configuration settings that you are using in your live GA4 property to your test GA4 property. 

So if you have enabled Google signals for the live GA4 property then enable Google Signals for your test GA4 property.

If you are sending ecommerce data to your live GA4 property then also send ecommerce data to your test GA4 property. 

Make your test GA4 property a carbon copy of your live GA4 property in terms of set up.

Step-30: Going forward use your test GA4 property for testing any new configuration setting before you use it in your live GA4 property.

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder,
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
error: Alert: Content is protected !!