This transition isn’t as easy. You may already be familiar with Google Analytics (UA). However, the newest version, Google Analytics 4, differs significantly from UA and lacks some of UA’s capabilities. In addition, Google is insisting that we make the switch immediately. Google Unified Analytics’ free tier will cease data collection on July 1, 2023. To ensure your new GA4 property is tracking correctly and providing you with reliable year-over-year data, you should consider your analytics strategy as soon as feasible.
Moving to Google Analytics 4? Here’s how.
- Build and release your GA4 property.
Getting your new Google Analytics 4 properties up and running as soon as possible is paramount.As of GA4, properties can no longer import historical data from UA, so all traffic statistics for your GA4 property will start from the moment you create it onward. As a result, the GA4 property will start to fill with information sooner if the change is done sooner rather than later.
To introduce the new facility:
Make a brand-new GA4 asset.
It would be best if you implemented the latest GA4 tracking tag.
Using Google Tag Manager is the simplest way to achieve this. Verify that traffic data is being populated in the new property the following days after deployment.
- Create a short list of essentials.
No monitoring data from an existing property, not even UA properties, can be transferred to a new analytics property. The most common tracking parameters I employ in Google Analytics are detailed below. These are just a few of the more common ones that you should add to the list; others will likely come to mind as well.
Categories of Data, Individualized Quantitative Units, and Referral Restrictions
After compiling your data, you can pick what to keep, what to delete, and where to insert new tracking criteria (events, goals, etc.).
Remember that goals are made for every possible perspective on the reports. Keeping goals from numerous reporting views for the same UA property in GA4 will require listing all the reporting views and recreating the objectives in the GA4 property, as reporting views are not used in GA4.
The number of conversions that GA4 can track is capped at 30 per property, comparable to the maximum of 20 objectives that UA reporting views can track.
To better tailor your tracking technique, it is essential to identify which of your current goals are “non-event” goals (such as destination-based).
- Start moving specific products to the GA4 platform.
The main setup work for GA4 comes once you have your list of items to reproduce.Listed below are the most often seen objects requiring setup, along with some pointers: You may need to set up the tagging again for GA4 objectives, but the event set up in GA4 is very similar to UA.
In GA4, we’ve automated adding several events, such as scroll depth, that may have previously required manual configuration.To begin, navigate to the GA4 property’s Configure section and look at the events there to verify that automatic objectives are being tracked. Google Calendar saves you the trouble of organizing events from scratch. Like adding the standard GA tracking code to your site, Google Tag Manager is the most straightforward tool to employ in this endeavor.
- Double-check Everything
It would be best if you verified the correct tracking of your goods after releasing them into the new GA4 properties. Verify that everything functions as it should in the new properties by evaluating e-commerce, conversions, event tracking, and more. If not, investigate the cause and implement a solution quickly.
- Schedule your transition to GA4 as the authoritative data source.
As Google Analytics reports are relied upon by many groups, it is crucial to know when the new GA4 property(ies) will become the “single source of truth” for data and reporting.
Since GA4’s metrics and tracking differ from those in UA, you cannot reliably compare UA data from one year to another in GA4. If you want to follow best practices, you shouldn’t switch to GA4 as your source of truth until you have data from the previous year in your GA4 property(ies).
- Store your UA Information
Google has not only forced everyone to switch to GA4 immediately but also to erase all of our prior UA data as of January 1, 2024.
Even though you have more time, you should still plan to store this information in case you need to refer to it in the future.
Think about the information you need regularly first. The source/medium report is one tool I frequently employ.
Next, think about how often you access this information. I typically access the data on a monthly basis, such as between June 1 and 30. Your data archiving strategy should reflect how your organization typically uses storage.
Finally, the purpose of GA4 is to get us all closer to cross-device reporting and true ROI. However, development and alteration are challenging. Humans often dislike it.