Your GA4 Migration: 15 Things You DON’T Want to Miss

mastering GA4

Are you ready to take your analytics game to the next level? The time has come for businesses and marketers alike to make the switch from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). With GA4, you can unlock a whole new world of insights and opportunities. But before you dive in headfirst, there are some crucial things you don’t want to miss during your GA4 migration.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through 15 key steps that will ensure a smooth transition from UA to GA4. From creating a new GA4 property and setting up data collection for websites to migrating audiences and mapping custom events, we’ve got all your bases covered. So buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey into the realm of GA4!

(H2: 1. Create a new GA4 property in your Analytics account)

1. Create a new GA4 property in your Analytics account

So, you’ve made the decision to embrace GA4 and take advantage of its powerful features. The first step in your migration journey is to create a new GA4 property in your Analytics account.

Creating a new GA4 property is relatively straightforward. Simply log into your Google Analytics account and navigate to the Admin section. From there, select “Create Property” and choose “Web” or “App,” depending on your specific needs.

Next, you’ll need to provide some basic information about your website or app, such as the name and URL. This will help you easily identify and differentiate between different properties within your analytics dashboard.

Once you’ve filled out all the necessary details, click on the “Create” button, and voila! Your new GA4 property is now set up and ready to go. It’s important to note that while creating a new property is essential for migrating from UA to GA4, it doesn’t impact any existing UA data or configurations.

Now that you have created a new GA4 property in your Analytics account, it’s time to move on to the next step: adding a data stream. But don’t worry; we’ll guide you through each stage of this migration process so that nothing gets overlooked.

2. Add a data stream

Adding a data stream is a crucial step in your GA4 migration process. It allows you to collect and send data from various sources, such as websites, apps, or other platforms, to your GA4 property.

To add a data stream, start by navigating to the Admin section of your Google Analytics account. From there, select the appropriate GA4 property and click on “Data Streams.” Next, click on the “+ Add Stream” button.

You will then be prompted to select the type of data stream you want to create. For websites, choose “Web” and enter the necessary information like website URL and optional enhancers like user ID or JavaScript tags.

Once you’ve set up your data stream for websites or any other source, make sure to follow Google’s best practices for implementation. This includes properly tagging URLs with UTM parameters for better tracking and utilizing custom dimensions and metrics when needed.

By adding a data stream correctly, you ensure that all relevant data from different sources are captured accurately in GA4. This comprehensive view empowers businesses to make informed decisions based on reliable insights derived from their entire digital ecosystem.

Remember that each platform may have specific requirements for setting up their respective data streams within GA4. Stay updated with Google’s documentation so that you can adapt accordingly and leverage this valuable feature effectively during your migration process.

3. Set up data collection for websites

Setting up data collection for your website is a crucial step in the GA4 migration process. It allows you to gather valuable insights about user behavior and engagement on your site. To do this, you’ll need to add the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) code snippet to each page of your website.

First, make sure you have access to the HTML source code of your website. Then, copy the gtag.js code provided by Google Analytics and paste it just before the closing tag on every page where you want to track data.

Once that’s done, verify that the GA4 property is receiving data by checking the Realtime reports in Google Analytics. This will help ensure that everything has been set up correctly.

Next, consider enabling enhanced measurement features such as scroll tracking or outbound link clicks. These features provide additional insights into how users interact with your website beyond just pageviews.

Don’t forget to configure cross-domain tracking if your website spans multiple domains or subdomains. This ensures accurate attribution of user interactions across different parts of your online presence.

By properly setting up data collection for your website during the GA4 migration process, you’ll be well-positioned to gather meaningful analytics and make informed decisions for optimizing user experiences and achieving business objectives.

4. Activate Google Signals

Google Signals is a powerful feature in GA4 that allows you to gain deeper insights into user behavior across devices. By activating Google Signals, you can track users who are signed in to their Google accounts and analyze their interactions with your website or app.

To activate Google Signals, simply go to the Data Streams section in your GA4 property settings and turn on the toggle for “Enable enhanced measurement.” This will enable cross-device tracking and provide more accurate data about user journeys.

Once activated, Google Signals can help you understand how users engage with your brand across different platforms. You’ll be able to see if a user starts their journey on one device and completes it on another. This valuable information can inform your marketing strategies and allow you to optimize campaigns for better results.

Additionally, by enabling Google Signals, you’ll have access to additional reports such as Lifetime User Metrics, which provide insights into lifetime value metrics like revenue per user over time.

Activating Google Signals is essential for gaining a holistic view of user behavior and optimizing your marketing efforts. Don’t miss out on this valuable feature during your GA4 migration!

5. Link to Google Ads

Linking your GA4 property to Google Ads is a crucial step in your migration process. By doing so, you can seamlessly transfer data between the two platforms and gain valuable insights into your advertising campaigns. Here’s how you can go about it:

– First, make sure that you have administrative access to both your GA4 property and Google Ads account.
– In your GA4 property settings, navigate to “Data Streams” under the “Data Setup” section. Click on “Add Stream” and select the appropriate platform for linking with Google Ads.
– Follow the instructions provided by Google to complete the setup process. This typically involves enabling auto-tagging in Google Ads and entering your unique tracking ID or measurement ID in GA4.
– Once the link is established, wait for a few hours or up to 48 hours for data to start flowing between both platforms.

By linking GA4 with Google Ads, you’ll be able to view comprehensive reports on user behavior and campaign performance directly within Analytics. This integration allows you to optimize ad spend, track conversions accurately, and make data-driven decisions based on real-time insights.

Remember that this is just one of many important steps in migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4. Each step plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition while preserving essential data for analysis. So let’s move on to the next phase of our migration journey!

6. Map UA custom events to GA4

When migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s crucial to map your UA custom events to GA4. Custom events play a significant role in tracking user interactions on your website, such as button clicks, form submissions, or video plays. By mapping these events correctly, you ensure that the data is accurately collected and analyzed in GA4.

To map UA custom events to GA4, start by identifying the custom event names used in your UA implementation. Next, create corresponding event names in GA4 based on your specific requirements. It’s important to maintain consistency between the two platforms while taking advantage of the enhanced features offered by GA4.

Once you have created the relevant custom event names in GA4, update your website’s tracking code or tag manager configuration accordingly. This ensures that all future interactions are mapped correctly and recorded accurately in both systems.

Remember to thoroughly test and validate your mappings before finalizing them. Conducting tests will help identify any discrepancies or errors early on so you can make necessary adjustments.

Mapping UA custom events to GA4 is a critical step during migration as it ensures seamless transition of data collection and enables accurate analysis for improved insights into user behavior on your website.

7. Migrate UA goals and conversions to GA4

Migrating your UA goals and conversions to GA4 is an essential step in ensuring a smooth transition to the new analytics platform. By doing so, you’ll be able to track and measure key actions that are important for achieving your business objectives.

To begin the migration process, start by identifying the goals and conversions you currently have set up in Universal Analytics. Take note of their names, descriptions, and any associated values or conditions.

Next, create corresponding events in GA4 that align with these goals and conversions. The event names should closely match the original goal or conversion name from UA to maintain consistency.

Once you’ve created the events in GA4, update any relevant tracking codes on your website or app to capture these new events. This will ensure that data is properly collected and attributed within the GA4 property.

After implementing the necessary changes, it’s crucial to validate that your migrated goals and conversions are working correctly. Test them by performing actions on your site or app that trigger these events and verify if they are being recorded accurately in GA4.

By migrating your UA goals and conversions to GA4, you can continue measuring important metrics such as form submissions, purchases, or other specific user interactions across different channels. This allows you to gain valuable insights into user behavior and optimize your marketing efforts accordingly.

Remember that this migration process requires careful planning and attention to detail. It’s advisable to consult with experts who specialize in Google Analytics migrations if you’re unsure about any steps involved.

Keep reading our blog for more tips on successfully migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4!

8. Validate and bid to conversions in Google Ads

When it comes to migrating your analytics data to GA4, one crucial step is validating and bidding to conversions in Google Ads. This step ensures that your advertising efforts are aligned with the new GA4 setup, allowing you to accurately measure the success of your campaigns.

To validate conversions in Google Ads, start by reviewing your conversion tracking tags. Make sure they are properly implemented on all relevant pages of your website. Double-check that the correct events are being tracked and that they align with your desired goals.

Once you’ve validated your conversions, it’s time to set up bidding strategies in Google Ads based on these new metrics. With GA4, there are additional options for optimizing bids beyond just keywords or demographics. You can now leverage machine learning algorithms to bid based on user behavior patterns.

By utilizing these advanced bidding strategies, you can maximize the effectiveness of your advertising budget and drive more qualified traffic to your website. It’s important to regularly monitor and adjust these bids as needed based on performance data from GA4.

Remember, this process may require some trial and error as you fine-tune your bidding strategies in alignment with GA4 data. Stay proactive and constantly analyze the results to optimize conversions and achieve better ROI for your ad campaigns.

Validating and bidding to conversions in Google Ads is a critical step during the GA4 migration process. By ensuring accurate tracking of conversions and leveraging advanced bidding strategies offered by GA4, you can improve campaign performance while maximizing the return on investment for each ad spend dollar

9. Migrate audiences

9. Migrate Audiences

Migrating your audiences from Universal Analytics to GA4 is an essential step in ensuring a seamless transition and continuity of data insights. Audiences play a crucial role in targeting and personalization, so you don’t want to miss this!

To migrate your audiences, first identify the key segments that are valuable for your business goals. Analyze their performance in UA and determine how they can be replicated or improved upon in GA4.

Next, recreate these audiences using the new audience builder tool provided by GA4. Take advantage of the enhanced capabilities offered by GA4, such as machine learning-based predictions and advanced filtering options.

Remember to review your audience definitions carefully during the migration process. This is an opportune time to refine or optimize them based on changes in your business objectives or customer behavior.

Once you have migrated your audiences, it’s important to test them thoroughly before fully relying on them for targeting campaigns. Compare the performance of these migrated audiences with their counterparts in UA to ensure accuracy.

Additionally, leverage GA4’s integration with Google Ads to seamlessly share audience lists between platforms. This will enable better ad targeting across channels and maximize campaign effectiveness.

Migrating audiences is a critical step towards harnessing the full potential of GA4 analytics capabilities. By carefully evaluating and recreating your key segments within GA4, you can unlock new opportunities for targeted marketing strategies that drive results!

10. Audit and appraise your Universal Analytics account

10. Audit and appraise your Universal Analytics account

When embarking on a GA4 migration, it’s crucial to start by auditing and appraising your existing Universal Analytics (UA) account. This step allows you to assess the current state of your analytics setup and identify any areas that need improvement or adjustment.

Begin by reviewing your tracking implementation in UA. Check if all the necessary tags are properly implemented across your website or mobile app. Look for discrepancies, missing data, or potential issues with data collection. It’s important to ensure accuracy and reliability before migrating to GA4.

Next, evaluate the goals and conversions you have set up in UA. Take note of which metrics are essential for measuring success and aligning with your business objectives. Consider whether these goals can be migrated directly into GA4 or if adjustments need to be made based on new features and event tracking capabilities.

While conducting this audit, pay attention to any custom dimensions or metrics that you’ve defined in UA. Determine if they can be carried over into GA4 as-is or if modifications are required due to changes in schema structure.

Additionally, take the time to review any integrations you currently have in place with other platforms such as Google Ads or CRM systems. Ensure that these integrations will continue seamlessly once you migrate to GA4.

As part of the appraisal process, consider exploring new reporting capabilities offered by GA4 compared to UA. Familiarize yourself with the updated user interface, navigation options, and available reports so that you can leverage them effectively after migration.

Remember not only to focus on technical aspects but also on understanding how well your existing analytics setup aligns with your business goals overall. By thoroughly auditing and appraising your UA account before moving forward with migration planning, you’ll be equipped with valuable insights for a smoother transition into GA4 without compromising data integrity or losing critical information about user behavior.

11. Set up your GA4 account

Setting up your GA4 account is a crucial step in the migration process. It’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary configurations in place for accurate data collection and analysis.

To set up your GA4 account, start by creating a new property within your Analytics account specifically for GA4. This will allow you to keep Universal Analytics (UA) data separate and avoid any confusion during the migration process.

Next, add a data stream to your GA4 property. A data stream is where you specify the source of the data you want to collect, such as a website or mobile app. Make sure to follow Google’s guidelines on setting up data streams accurately.

Once your data stream is set up, it’s time to configure data collection for websites. This involves adding the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) code snippet to each page of your website. You can also use Google Tag Manager (GTM) if you prefer a tag management solution.

In addition, don’t forget to activate Google Signals within your GA4 account. Google Signals provides enhanced tracking capabilities by utilizing signed-in user information from various Google products.

Linking your GA4 property with Google Ads is another essential step. This integration allows you to import conversion events from GA4 into Google Ads for better optimization and reporting.

It’s also important to map UA custom events from Universal Analytics with their corresponding equivalents in GA4. This ensures that any custom event tracking setup in UA continues seamlessly in GA4 without losing valuable insights.

When migrating UA goals and conversions over to GA4, make sure they are properly configured within the new platform so that they continue tracking effectively.

Validating and bidding towards conversions in Google Ads becomes easier once everything is properly set up in both platforms – this way, advertisers can optimize campaigns based on more accurate performance metrics provided by GA4.

Migrating audiences from UA should be done carefully as well; ensure that audience definitions are correctly transferred to GA4, allowing for continued targeting and segmentation in your marketing efforts.

12. Migrate over the events you were using in Universal Analytics

One crucial step in the GA4 migration process is migrating over the events that you were using in Universal Analytics. Events play a vital role in tracking user interactions on your website, such as button clicks, form submissions, and video plays.

To ensure a smooth transition, start by identifying all the events you have set up in your Universal Analytics account. Take note of their names and parameters. With this information at hand, you can easily recreate them in your GA4 property.

When migrating events to GA4, it’s important to understand that event structure has changed. In UA, events consisted of categories, actions, and labels. In GA4, they are called “event_name” and “params.” You will need to update your tracking code or use Google Tag Manager to send these new event structures to GA4.

Additionally, take advantage of the enhanced measurement feature offered by GA4. This allows for automatic event tracking without needing custom code implementation for basic interactions like page views and scrolls.

By successfully migrating over your events from Universal Analytics to GA4 while adapting them to the new event structure and taking advantage of enhanced measurement capabilities,
you’ll be able to continue effectively tracking user interactions on your website with confidence during this migration process!

13. Create any custom metrics you will need

When migrating to GA4, it’s essential to create custom metrics that align with your specific business goals and objectives. These metrics can provide valuable insights into user behavior and help you track the success of your marketing efforts.

To begin, take a close look at the metrics you were tracking in Universal Analytics (UA). Identify which ones are still relevant and meaningful for your GA4 property. You may discover that some metrics need to be updated or replaced with new ones that better reflect the changing digital landscape.

Once you have identified the custom metrics you need, head over to your GA4 account and navigate to the “Admin” section. From there, select “Custom Definitions” under the “Data Streams” tab. Here, you can create new custom dimensions or metrics based on your requirements.

When creating these custom metrics in GA4, make sure they are aligned with your key performance indicators (KPIs) and allow for accurate measurement of important actions on your website or app. Consider factors such as page views, conversions, engagement levels, or any other relevant data points.

Remember to give each metric a clear name and description so that anyone reviewing your analytics data can easily understand its purpose. Additionally, consider setting up alerts for specific thresholds or events related to these custom metrics so that you can proactively monitor their performance.

Creating custom metrics tailored specifically for your business will ensure that you have access to actionable data insights in GA4. By closely aligning them with KPIs and monitoring their performance regularly, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about optimizing campaigns and driving growth.

14. Have a plan to archive historical data

When migrating to GA4, it’s essential to have a plan in place for archiving your historical data. This is important because once you switch over to GA4, your Universal Analytics data will no longer be accessible in the same way.

First and foremost, take a moment to evaluate which historical data is most valuable to your business. Identify the key metrics and insights that you rely on regularly. By understanding what information is critical, you can prioritize its preservation during the migration process.

Once you have identified the important data points, consider how you will store and access this information in the future. Will you export it into a separate database or cloud storage solution? Or will you utilize Google’s Data Import feature within GA4?

Regardless of your chosen method, make sure that it aligns with any applicable privacy regulations or compliance requirements. It’s crucial to handle customer data responsibly and securely throughout this transition.

Remember that while preserving historical data is vital for continuity and trend analysis, GA4 offers new opportunities for tracking user behavior and engagement. Take advantage of these advancements by focusing on collecting fresh insights moving forward.

By having a well-thought-out plan for archiving historical data before migrating to GA4, you’ll ensure seamless continuity while embracing new possibilities for growth and optimization.

15. Best practices when using GA4

15. Best practices when using GA4

As you navigate through your GA4 migration, it’s important to keep these best practices in mind:

1. Familiarize yourself with the new interface: Take some time to explore and understand the different reports and features available in GA4. It may look different from Universal Analytics, but with a little practice, you’ll become comfortable navigating through it.

2. Utilize enhanced measurement: GA4 offers enhanced measurement capabilities that can automatically track common user interactions like scrolling, video engagement, file downloads, and outbound link clicks. Take advantage of these features to gain deeper insights into user behavior.

3. Set up conversion tracking properly: Make sure you have accurately configured your conversions in GA4 by defining events or goals that align with your business objectives. This will help you measure key actions on your website or app effectively.

4. Implement custom dimensions and metrics: Customize your data collection by creating custom dimensions and metrics specific to your business needs. These can provide additional context for analyzing user behavior and segmenting audiences.

5. Use filters cautiously: Apply filters only when necessary and ensure they are correctly configured to avoid filtering out important data unintentionally.

6. Analyze cross-platform data: With GA4’s ability to track both web and app interactions within a single property, take advantage of this feature by analyzing cross-platform data together for a more holistic view of user behavior across devices.

7. Regularly review data quality: Keep an eye on the accuracy of your data by monitoring any anomalies or discrepancies regularly. This will help ensure that the insights derived from GA4 are reliable and trustworthy.

8. Track trends over time: Compare performance between periods using date range comparisons or create custom segments based on specific timeframes to identify trends over time effectively.

9. Stay updated with new features & updates : As Google continues to enhance its analytics platform, stay informed about any new features or updates released for GA4. This will help you leverage the latest capabilities and stay ahead in your data analysis