As businesses and webmasters prepare for the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the migration process. Scheduled to sunset July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer process data, making it mandatory for website owners to adopt GA4 if they want to continue receiving analytics data from Google. This brand-new system offers advanced features and more comprehensive insights. To ensure a smooth migration and gain maximum benefits out of the new tool, it’s important to have a GA4 migration checklist in hand.
In the constantly evolving world of digital analytics, GA4 is designed to help businesses keep up with the data requirements of modern marketing and adapt to users’ changing behaviors. The migration process can be intricate and may present some challenges for those who are not familiar with the platform. A well-planned migration checklist ensures that every essential aspect is covered, reducing the possibility of errors and enhancing the overall migration experience.
The GA4 migration checklist provides step-by-step guidance, from evaluating the current measurement strategy to implementing dual data tracking in both Universal Analytics and GA4. This ensures a seamless transition and minimizes any disruptions to the essential data-driven decision-making process. By following the checklist and embracing the new features of GA4, businesses will have a greater opportunity to refine their website performance and enhance their digital presence.
GA4 Migration Overview
Why Should I Update to GA4?
As the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) draws closer, it is essential to begin the process of migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). UA will cease collecting data on July 1, 2023, and July 1, 2024, for Analytics 360 properties. Migrating to GA4 ensures the continuity of data collection and provides access to advanced features and improved integration with other Google products.
GA4 brings several new enhancements in its reporting and machine learning capabilities. Some of the benefits of migrating to GA4 include:
- Improved data collection
- Enhanced machine learning for better insights
- Advanced analytics and user-focused reporting
- Pre-built advanced analysis techniques
- Built-in support for cross-platform analysis
Difference Between Universal Analytics and GA4
The main differences between Universal Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) primarily lie in their underlying data model, reporting structure, and feature set. Here are few key differences between the two:
|Universal Analytics (UA)||Google Analytics 4 (GA4)|
|Session-centric data model||Event-driven data model|
|Limited by cookie tracking and cross-device analysis||Greater user-focused analysis, allowing for cross-device tracking|
|Custom dimensions and metrics||Custom parameters|
|Enhanced Ecommerce tracking with additional setup||Natively integrated ecommerce tracking|
|Reporting based on predefined categories||Flexible reporting with custom report builders|
Migrating from UA to GA4 requires following a step-by-step process. Some of the key steps include:
- Setting up a new GA4 property
- Migrating your events from UA to GA4
- Connecting your GA4 account with other Google products, such as Google Ads or Google Tag Manager
- Creating reports in GA4
- Monitoring your data regularly
- Evaluating your current measurement strategy
While the GA4 migration process may seem daunting initially, it is a necessary step to ensure continued data collection and access to advanced analytics features. Embrace the change and begin planning your migration to leverage the power of GA4.
Preparing for Migration
Audit Your Current UA Set-Up
Before starting the migration process, it is important to audit your current Universal Analytics (UA) property set up. This involves:
- Reviewing your tracking code implementation
- Identifying website events, goals, and conversion tracking
- Evaluating the structure of your UA properties, views, and filters
Doing a comprehensive audit will ensure a smooth transition and help with the proper configuration of your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property.
Define Measurement Strategy
A measurement strategy is essential for a successful GA4 migration. Start by defining your key metrics, then consider the following:
- Map out key events and user interactions that you want to track on your website or app
- Determine how you will track events in GA4, keeping in mind the new event model and structure
- Revisit your conversion goals and see if they need any adjustments in the context of GA4
Having a clear measurement strategy will guide your GA4 configuration and make it easier to monitor your website’s performance.
Review Historical Data
Before migrating, it’s vital to review the historical data in your UA property. Some reasons for doing this include:
- Ensuring data consistency between UA and GA4
- Assessing the data quality and previously identified anomalies
- Identifying any data gaps or untracked events
Reviewing historical data will help you make informed decisions during the migration process and set your GA4 property up for success.
Setting Up GA4
Creating a GA4 Property
To migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the first step is to create a GA4 property. A GA4 property is where all your data streams will be collected and analyzed.
- Start by logging into your Google Analytics account.
- Navigate to the “Admin” section located at the bottom left of the dashboard.
- In the “Property” column, click on the “+” icon and choose “Create Property.”
- Fill in the necessary details and click “Next” to complete the property creation process.
Upon completion, you will have successfully set up your GA4 property.
Setting Up Data Streams
Data streams are a critical component in collecting data from your platforms, such as a website or mobile app. To set up data streams for your GA4 property, follow these steps:
- In the “Admin” section of your GA4 property, go to the “Property settings” and click on “Data Streams.”
- Choose the type of platform you wish to collect data from (e.g., Web, Android, or iOS).
- For a Web data stream, provide your website’s URL and the stream name. For Android or iOS data streams, input the relevant app details.
- Click “Create stream” to finalize the data stream setup.
Now you have successfully set up data streams to collect information from your chosen platforms. With your GA4 property and data streams in place, you can begin collecting and analyzing your website and app data. Remember, GA4 migration is a significant process, so take your time and ensure each step is executed properly.
At TruBlu Consulting, we understand that migrating to GA4 can be a daunting task for small to medium businesses. That’s why we’re here to help. With over 10 years of experience working with Google, we have the expertise to guide you through the transition process and ensure a smooth migration. Don’t let the fear of change hold you back from unlocking the full potential of your data.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a more data-driven future.