Migrating to Google Analytics 4 from Universal Analytics can seem a challenge as you need to ensure that all your important data is sent to the new platform. As Universal Analytics will stop collecting data from July 2023, GA4 migration is imperative. While there is still time till GA4 completely takes over, getting started now can help you get used to the new platform.
If you want to migrate to GA4 then here is a checklist that can help you ensure that you send all your important data to the new platform. This checklist will cover all the aspects that are necessary for seamless migration.
Audit your UA property
To get started with your migration, first you would need to take a look at how your UA is set up. Gather the information from your UA accounts and properties to get a clear overview. Once you understand how your UA is configured it will be easier to move forward with your GA4 configuration.
Maintain a document that details all the information from the UA audit you have conducted.
Structure your GA4 account
In Universal Analytics you have views that help you create separate collections of data. In GA4, views are not available and you can separate data in different ways. Based on your business you can decide how many properties and data streams you want to set up.
A property represents data for one user base. If data should be generally analyzed together then it should be in one property. Data stream lives within a property and it is the source of data from an app or website. The best practice is to use 3 data streams in a single property.
Add GA4 tracking tag to your website
The GA4 configuration tag is the tracking script that enables you to track page views. Through this you can also send all other custom events in GTM to the GA4 account. After adding the tag check the property over the next few days to ensure that the traffic data is being collected.
Identify the events to be migrated
GA4 has an event based data model which is very different from UA. Universal Analytics hit types include page hits, event hits, and social interaction hits. In GA4 any interaction is counted as an event.
Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 events have no Category, Action and Label. Before migrating it is better to rethink your data collection in terms of Google Analytics 4. Determine the UA events that are valuable to your business and those should be migrated to GA4.
You can set up your events from scratch to make the most of the new data based model. The new GA4 data model gives more flexibility to customize the parameters when it comes to tracking data. Consider the GA4 events before emigrating UA events. Check if there are any events that can be replaced by GA4 enhanced measurementents. Moreover, also check if you want to use any events that are recommended.
Google Analytics provides many dimensions and metrics. Setting up custom dimensions and metrics is a two-step process that requires set up in both the interface and code. The existing UA custom dimensions and metrics tags can migrate to GA4, however you will need to set up dimensions and metrics in GA4 property interface.
When setting up custom dimensions the scope determines which events a particular dimension applies to. In UA there are four levels of scope which are Session, Hit, Product, and User. In GA4 a custom dimension has either an event scope or user scope.
You can set up 50 event-scoped custom dimensions or 50 custom metrics, and 25 user-scoped custom dimensions per GA4 property.
In GA4, goals are now renamed as Conversions, and they are all event based. In Universal Analytics conversions are measured by setting up goals and ecommerce transactions. In GA4 all conversions are measured through GA4 events. GA4 events are triggered when users interact with your website or app. You can tag the events that are relevant to your business as conversions. Whenever these flagged events are triggered a conversion is registered in your GA4 property.
With GA4 you can reconsider which conversions are more relevant for your business. While replicating existing conversions, reevaluate your conversion tracking strategy. In GA4 you can set up 30 conversions per property.
Ecommerce tracking will not move automatically from UA to GA4. Google recommends creating separate tags for ecommerce tracking, even if it is the same as UA. If you use your existing UA ecommerce implementation with a GA4 property, your GA4 ecommerce reports will not be complete.The names for some ecommerce events and parameters have changed for Google Analytics 4 properties. The gtag.js library automatically translates some UA events and parameters into GA4.
Google Tag Manager is the easiest way to implement your ecommerce tags across the website. Where a UA event is deprecated in GA4, you should create a duplicate event with an updated GA4 name.
Audiences enable you to segment your users in a way that is relevant to your business. Google Analytics audiences are useful for advertising purposes and conversion setup in GA4. It is important to set up audiences before July, 2023 so that you can update your Google Ads campaigns when the UA properties stop collecting data.
To recreate audiences in GA4, focus on the audiences list in the UA property and look for the ones that have Google Analytics as the audience types. These audience types will be recreated in GA4. Note that the terminology and the way you create audiences has changed in GA4.
Link GA4 to other tools
Check all the integrations you use for UA and link your GA4 properties to the other tools to make the most of your GA4 capabilities.
Export UA data
All the historical UA data will be deleted on January 1, 2024. Although there is still time for this, you will need to plan on archiving your data for future reference. Data is important for your business and you need to ensure that you take the right steps to maintain it for the future. Since Universal Analytics and GA4 have different data models you cannot migrate your historical data. However, you can export your UA data to GA4.
You can export your data using BigQuery to continue your analysis. With the help of this integration you can collect raw data and use it for advanced analysis.
GA4 migration can take time and require lots of planning. You would need a detailed plan that helps you migrate seamlessly to Google Analytics 4. This GA4 migration checklist covers the important points you need to focus on while you plan your migration.
We understand it is challenging to adapt to these new changes, and we are here to help. Our team can help you migrate seamlessly to GA4 and use it to its full potential. Learn more about our GA4 migration services.