(Last updated:   )

How To Fix Not Set Values For Google Analytics 4 Parameters

TL;DR GA4 event parameters enhance analytics by offering deep insights into customer behaviors through added context to actions such as page views or transactions. Although integrating these parameters via GTM in the GA4 config tag is easy and affects all subsequent events, this approach can lead to inaccuracies if parameter values are not immediately available or if they change. For more precise and adaptable data collection, assigning parameters to individual events or employing an event settings variable is recommended, as it allows for the re-evaluation of values with each new event, thereby revealing more accurate customer insights.

Auke Vos 2020 Headshot
Director of Analytics
Schedule A 1 Hour Consultation To Solve GA4's Reporting Issues
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Contact form success icon

Thank you for getting in touch!

We will get back to you as soon as possible
(usually within one work day).

Table of Contents -

What Are GA4 Event Parameters? How Do They Generate Customer Insights?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) event parameters are attributes that provide additional context or details about the user-based events that are tracked on your website or mobile app.

In GA4, events can be anything from page views, button clicks, user engagements, transactions, to custom events that you define based on your specific tracking needs. Each event can have multiple parameters associated with it, and these parameters help in enriching the event data, making it more meaningful and actionable.

For example event parameters can contain additional information about a product being viewed, such as the product title or SKU, product category, or a user persona tied to this product.

This additional data can be sent to Google Analytics for use in the interface, a data warehouse, and/or a BI tool where it can be analyzed to glean insights about visitor behavior, segment data or even personalization.

How To Implement Event Parameters & Which Methods Cause "Not Set" Values

Choosing the best method of event parameter setup is crucial to deliver accurate data collection and valuable customer insights. Here's a breakdown of the methods available and how to choose the right one.

1. Using The GA4 Configuration Tag

The GA4 configuration tag in Google Tag Manager (GTM) enables an efficient setup where event parameters are defined within the GTM tag. This makes sure that any parameters set will automatically apply to all subsequent events. It's an easy to use method that can save time at the beginning in initial setup stages.

However, this method comes with drawbacks. If the values needed aren't available immediately or change between the time the configuration tag is loaded and when an event occurs, it can lead to inaccuracies.

Since the value is set at the time the config tag loads and won't be reevaluated later, events might send empty parameters, the dreaded “null” values, or incorrect values.

This could also lead to more "not set" values in GA4, something we want to avoid. There are scenarios where this method is appropriate, most of the time it is better to choose one of the dynamic methods discussed below.

2. Setting Parameters Directly In The Event Tag

If a parameter is only needed for a specific event, like when a user visits a specific piece of content related to themes, content types, or categories of content you would consider using the event tag.

This parameter will likely only be used with this particular event, so it makes sense to add this as a parameter to the content or pageview only.

It’s generally considered to be best practice to combine this method with using an event settings variable, described below.

3. The Event Settings Variable

The event settings variable in GTM is is used when you want to collect customer behavior data across multiple events.

The event settings variable will reevaluate values each time the event is loaded. Meaning this will be the most accurate method for all events, which will minimize "not set" values.

This dynamic approach increases flexibility of what data you can collect, and increases the accuracy of that data since it evaluates each time the event fires. Knowing the pros and cons of each method, you can craft your GA4 event parameter implementation to meet your specific data collection needs.

How Do I Determine The Event Parameters To Use For Customer Insights?

Now comes the fun part, creating the blueprint for what event parameters will deliver useful customer insights.

Here are a few questions that will help guide your choices so you can focus on what’s most important.
  1. What user actions best identify user interest, this will help surface the best engagement insights?
  2. Which content types like videos, blogs, lists, articles, and downloads produce desired actions, which will give you parameters to measure content performance?
  3. Which site features like menu drop downs, “click here”, or breadcrumbs highlight what gets used more which can guide website development?
  4. Do you have specific customer groups likely to engage with specific content areas or categories?
  5. Which parts of your site do you expect to contribute to conversions, and are there specific actions or behaviors to monitor to improve conversion rate?
  6. How effective are the variations of CTAs you use?

Google Analytics 4 event parameters can unlock many secrets of customer behavior and intent. This data can be used to optimize paid search campaigns, blog posts and much more. The key to successful use is to identify which event parameters will produce valuable insights and then choose the implementation method which delivers the most accurate data.

About the author

Auke Vos 2020 Headshot

Auke Vos

Director of Analytics

Auke Vos serves as Senior Analytics Manager at Three Ventures Technology Inc. With over 10 years of experience in supporting companies' online presence in different ways, he is focused on helping businesses get the most out of their online advertising efforts. Over the years he has helped many clients grow their online revenue significantly while lowering their costs.

See other posts from Auke Chat with the author on LinkedIn

Contact Us

Our Clients Turn Customer Data Into Dollars.