Google announced plans to transition from Google Universal Analytics (GA3 or UA) to a new version known as Google Analytics 4. The program is designed to measure traffic and engagement across websites and apps. This information can be helpful for website owners, digital marketers, E-commerce businesses, mobile app developers, small business owners, and more.
However, to continue seeing the benefits of Google Analytics, users must make the switch to the new version. You should know that there are some differences you will encounter once making the switch. New features have been added to Google Analytics 4 and here’s how you can best make the transition:
Create your new GA4 properties and launch them. Properties in terms of Google Analytics refer to a website, blog, mobile app, etc. Each property comes with its tracking ID. Prior data from GA3 will not be imported into GA4. This means once you launch new properties, the program will begin tracking the data from that point.
You should begin creating properties before the July 1st, 2023 transition deadline. However, you can begin this process afterward if needed. Use the Google Tag Manager to launch new properties. Afterward, check back and ensure that you are receiving traffic data for those properties.
When you use Google Analytics you’ll learn about goals. They are used to measure how often users complete specific actions. Goals will show you how well your site fulfills the target objectives that you have set. According to Google, goals can represent a conversion, which is another word for a purchase for a business website. However, conversions can take other forms such as when a website user completes a contact information form.
In the new GA4 program, new analytics properties will not inherit certain tracking items like goals, events, and other settings from existing properties. It’s best if you take a look at which tracking items you want to keep. Once you do this you can get a better idea of whether you need to create new tracking items for GA4. If you would like to keep all of the tracking items from the GA3 program, you’ll have to recreate them all in GA4.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you’ll want to migrate your items from GA3 to GA4. Here are some things to remember:
Events – You may notice that some events will be automatically set up for you in GA4. Make sure you take a look at automated goals to see which events GA4 has already set up.
Goals – When you set up GA4, you’ll notice that Goals are now called Conversions. With the new program, every goal is event-based. Migrate event-based, destination-based, and engagement-based goals into GA4.
Metrics – You can set up custom dimensions in GA4. Tags from GA3 should migrate into the new program.
Referral Exclusions – These are now available under Data Streams and More Tagging Settings in GA4.
Product Links – In GA4, product links can be connected to multiple properties. Simply go to Product Links in the admin navigation and connect your Google products (Google Ads).
Audience – You can recreate audiences in GA4 for advertising and conversion purposes. It’s a good idea to set up audiences in GA4 before the deadline so that you can update Google Ads campaigns with audience data from GA3.
E-commerce – Tracking will not automatically update into GA4. You’ll need to create separate tags for GA4 e-commerce tracking. You can achieve this through Google Tag Manager.
Once you launch your tracking items you need to make sure they are performing correctly. Review your data, conversions, and event-tracking items. If you notice any issues with these aspects, you can begin taking steps to fix them. The sooner you are aware of these issues, the better.
During this transition process, it is important to determine when you will fully utilize GA4 solely. Experts suggest waiting until you have at least a year’s worth of data with GA4 before you stop using GA3.
Google has plans to delete all data from GA3 on January 1, 2024. However, you can take steps to archive this information in case you need it later on. Try using a Google Analytics spreadsheet to pull data and sort it accordingly. Don’t group data into large documents or spreadsheets, it can lead to data sampling, which happens when your data is aggregated and delivered as a random data set. Instead, try creating smaller reports, such as yearly reports.
Digital Mules: We’re Ready To Help Your Business Transition
Digital Mules can help your business with essential tasks such as monitoring your business’s Google profile. This is an important part of search engine optimization for your business. We’ll also help with keyword ranking, backlinks, and more.
As a premier digital marketing agency, Digital Mules offers a variety of services that include web design, social media, paid ads, graphic design, copywriting, branding, reputation management, emails, and much more. Get in touch with a member of our team for more information on how we can optimize your online presence.