Transition to Google Analytics 4: Comprehensive Guide to Migration

As of July 1, 2023, Google will cease processing data from standard Universal Analytics properties and make Google Analytics 4 (GA4) the default for all users.We’ve compiled a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you quickly navigate this migration. So, read on to learn how you can make this transition smoothly.

We have good news for you if you currently use 360 Universal Analytics properties and have an order pending. You’ll receive a one-time processing extension to make things easier until July 1, 2024. This transition introduces many new features and capabilities but necessitates users to migrate their data and refine their analytics strategies. However, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you quickly navigate this migration. So, read on to learn how you can make this transition smoothly.

Steps to Migrate to Google Analytics 4

1. Consider Account Structure:

If you manage multiple websites or apps, it’s crucial to plan your account structure meticulously. It facilitates easy navigation and makes data tracking, interpretation, and decision-making more effective. Remember to keep your structure logical and user-friendly, grouping related properties and views.

2. Create a GA4 Property and Data Stream:

This relatively straightforward step can be accomplished using the GA4 Setup Assistant. Remember, creating a new GA4 property does not affect your existing Universal Analytics property, it merely prepares your account for the transition.

In settings, click “New Property” and name your property.

When you click “next”, select your industry category and business size.

When you click “next”, choose your business objectives. You can select multiple objectives or the “Get Baseline Reports” option.

3. Collect Website and App Data:

In case the GA4 Setup Assistant cannot reuse your tags, you will need to configure them manually using your website builder or Content Management System (CMS) like Shopify, WordPress, etc. This step is crucial for the new GA4 system to gather and analyze your site’s user activity.

When you click “Create”, you must choose your data collection type. Only one option can be selected according to the data type. You must create a new data stream for each platform if you have a mobile app.

4. Turn On Google Signals:

Google Signals must be enabled for advanced remarketing and detailed cross-device reports. You can turn on Google Signals from your property column in GA4 by clicking on “Data Settings,” then “Data Collection,” and finally, clicking on the “Get Started” button to start configuring Google Signals.

Click “Get Started”

Click “Continue”

Click “Activate”

5. Set Up Events:

Events representing completed user activities are vital for understanding user behavior and gauging the effectiveness of your strategies. Some popular events are added automatically on GA4. You can set some unique events and set their conversions as well.

6. Add Users:

This involves granting account access to other users, such as team members or stakeholders. The User migration tool can be employed for this purpose, or users can be added manually, depending on the number and complexity of permissions needed.

7. Link to Google Ads:

If Google Ads is part of your marketing strategy, it’s vital to link your GA4 property to Google Ads. This can be done using the Google Ads links migration tool or manually creating new Google Ads links. This connection enhances your ability to track ad performance and optimize your campaigns.

You can immediately add Google Ads accounts you’re signed into from the same account.

8. Validate Your Conversions:

Once conversions are set up, always validate them to ensure they are tracking correctly. This is vital to guarantee your data’s accuracy and marketing strategies’ effectiveness.

Advanced Setup Needs

For users with advanced setup needs, Google provides options for various tasks. These include mapping Universal Analytics custom events to GA4, migrating e-commerce measurements, importing additional data sources, linking to BigQuery for extensive data set management, enabling cross-platform user-ID reporting, and leveraging the measurement protocol to collect and send data from various environments.

Remember to carefully map your Universal Analytics custom events to GA4 to retain your custom data tracking setup. For e-commerce businesses, it’s critical to migrate e-commerce measurements to maintain a clear view of customer behavior and sales performance.

Importing additional data sources allows for richer analysis and insights. Linking your GA4 to BigQuery helps with data management and advanced analysis when dealing with large data sets.

Cross-platform user-ID reporting is helpful for businesses with multiple digital platforms, as it provides a unified view of user behavior across platforms. The measurement protocol is an advanced feature allowing data collection from various environments, giving you more comprehensive insights.

The transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 represents a significant leap forward in the evolution of website analytics. By meticulously following these steps, you can smoothly transition and harness the power of the new features GA4 offers. Remember, migration is not merely a process of moving data but an opportunity to reassess your analytics strategies and make improvements where necessary.

If transitioning seems overwhelming or you want professional assistance, remember that we at Stradiji are here to help. Our team of experts can provide personalized consultancy for your migration process, helping to ensure a seamless transition. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any queries or support you might need while migrating to GA4.


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