You are likely aware of the recent Google Analytics update from Universal Analytics (UA) or GA3 to the new and improved Google Analytics 4 (GA4). About a decade ago, the shift from Classic Analytics or GA2 to UA was relatively straightforward. However, this time around, the migration process is more challenging. There are numerous disparities between the present UA version of Google Analytics and the new GA4, and not all UA's features, are included in GA4.
Moreover, Google is urging users to make the switch now. According to a previous update, By July 1, 2023, Google will discontinue the data collection feature of the accessible version of UA. This implies that you need to start working on your analytics strategy immediately. Ensure that your new GA4 property is tracking accurately and can provide you with precise year-over-year data when the time arrives.
This guide provides you with a step-by-step procedure to migrate to Google Analytics 4 in a simple way. If you are still trying to understand and perform the procedure, taking google analytics 4 migration services would be the right choice as they will complete the process without worrying about it.
Here is a Step by Step How to Perform the Migration Procedure -
1. Create Your GA4 Property and Launch It
It is crucial to create and launch your new GA4 properties without delay. Since properties will not be importing historical data from UA, your GA4 property will only begin to track traffic data from the moment it is created and activated. Therefore, the sooner you launch it, the sooner data will appear in your GA4 property.
To launch the new property, follow these steps:
1. Create the new GA4 property.
2. Add the new GA4 tracking tag to your site.
3. This can be quickly done using Google Tag Manager.
After installation, monitor the new property over the next few days to ensure the recordings of the traffic data are accurate.
2. A List Of Your Key Items -
The newly added analytics properties in Google Analytics do not automatically adopt specific tracking items, such as events or goals, from any other properties, including UA properties. Here are some everyday tracking items used in Google Analytics:
Product Link Connections
You may have additional items to include in your list. Once you have created your list, evaluate which items are necessary to keep, which ones to discard, and where there might be gaps where new tracking items, such as new events or new goals, need to be created.
Note that goals created in each reporting view are false with GA4. Therefore, to preserve all your existing goals in multiple reporting views for the same UA property, you must list them all and recreate them in the GA4 property.
Like UA reporting views, which only allowed 20 goals per reporting view, GA4 limits you to 30 conversions per property.
When listing your current goals, identify "non-event" goals, such as destination-based goals, as changes may be required in how they are tracked going forward.
3. Begin By Migrating Individual Items
Events in GA4 are similar to UA, but setting up the tagging for GA4 goals may require starting anew. Some previously manually set-up events, like scroll depth, automatically add up to GA4. To check the automated goals tracking in your GA4 property, navigate to the circumstances under Configure—no need to recreate events that have already been created for you by Google.
- Google Tag Manager is the recommended tool for adding the general GA tracking code to your site.
- Goals in GA4 are now called "Conversions," and all goals are event-based. To migrate existing UA goals to GA4, start with the event-based goals, which are more similar to the original UA goal setup.
- After setting up events in GA4 and marking them as conversions, move on to destination-based goals and engagement goals.
- Content groupings are created through page tagging in GA4, unlike in UA, made in the interface. For implementing content groupings in GA4, refer to Google's reference guide.
- Like with UA, setting up custom dimensions and metrics in GA4 requires setup in both the interface and the code. To set up custom dimensions and metrics in the interface, refer to Google's setup guide.
- Referral exclusions still exist in GA4 and can be found under the Data Streams section of the property admin menu. Select More Tagging Settings and then Configure Your Domains to add referral exclusions.
- Product links now appear at the top level of the property admin navigation. Select each Google product you use and connect your new GA4 property(ies).
- Audiences in Google Analytics are helpful for advertising purposes and conversion setup in GA4. To recreate your audiences in GA4, focus on the audiences in your list in UA and refer to Google's audience creation guide for assistance.
- Ecommerce tracking also won't move from UA to GA4, requiring a separate set of tags for GA4 ecommerce tracking. Google Tag Manager is the recommended tool for implementing ecommerce tagging across the site.
4. Check Your Items Before Launching
After setting up your tracking elements in the recently-established GA4 properties, it is crucial to verify their proper tracking. Assess your ecommerce, conversions, event tracking, and other aspects to ensure their tracking aligns with your expectations in the new properties. In case of any discrepancies, troubleshoot the issue and resolve it promptly.
5. Determine a Date For Migrating To GA4 As Your Single Source
Google Analytics is an essential reporting tool for many organizations. So it's crucial to establish a timeline for when the new GA4 property(ies) will become the sole source of truth for data and reporting. To ensure best practices are followed, wait until you have year-over-year data in your GA4 property(ies) before transitioning to GA4 as your primary source of truth.
This is because the metrics and tracking in GA4 are distinct from UA. It's impossible to accurately compare UA data from one year to GA4 data from another year. If you're using the accessible version of Google Analytics, you'll be required to migrate to GA4 as your primary source of truth.
6. Archive Your Data
To ensure that you have access to data when you need it in the future, it's essential to plan on archiving it, even if you have more time currently. Start by identifying the data that you use regularly. Consider the intervals in which you access this data and archive it accordingly. The UA interface can be cumbersome when it comes to archiving data. For instance, when pulling monthly data for the source/medium report, you can only retrieve two months of data and then download it to a CSV file. This can take a long time.
To make archiving more accessible, consider using the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On, which is compatible with Google Sheets. It's a handy tool that retrieves data quickly. However, be mindful of data sampling issues. If you encounter this problem, try breaking down the report into more minor pulls, such as one year's worth of data per report. You can always combine the data later. Opt for google analytics 4 migration services if you need help understanding the following steps to perform the migration without losing data.
Migration to Google Analytics 4 is an essential step for website owners and marketers who want to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in analytics. With the step-by-step guide provided, the process can be smooth and hassle-free. MakkPress Technologies is a reliable and experienced ecommerce Marketing services provider that can assist businesses with their migration to GA4 and ensure that they are making the most out of their data. With their help, businesses can optimize their website performance and gain valuable insights into their customers' behavior.