Transitioning to Google Analytics 4

*This article is complimentary to How Google Analytics 4 Plans to Change the Data Game.

This article reflects the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) on July 1, 2023. On June 30, UA data will no longer be collected, only Google Analytics 4 (GA4) data will be. There are two steps involved in the transition from UA to GA4. 

Step 1: Setting Up GA4 Tracking

One natural question is whether UA data can simply “roll-over” to GA4. Unfortunately, the underlying structure of the data is changing, with some metrics getting replaced. Because of this, the data isn’t a one-to-one match, and therefore, you must have separate mechanisms to collect this new data.

Websites have different structures for capturing UA data and many also have customizations within each UA property. The new set-up for GA4 can be relatively simple. For other sites, however, this can be complex. Amongst the variables:

  • Does your site have ecommerce?
  • Does your site utilize Google Tag Manager (GTM), whether for events or for collecting UA data?
  • Do you have events which are hard coded to your site?

The nature of your setup will drive what needs to be done and the level of effort associated with it.

Step 2: Utilizing the New Metrics for GA4

Shouldn’t I just start using the new metrics right away? You could . . . but you would have next to no data to view. Before UA turns off, you’ll want to have GA4 data to be able to make decisions with. We are recommending our clients begin gathering the data right away. Once you have a strong foundation of data, you will be ready to transition to using the new metrics. For most, this means spring of 2023 which is when plans on educating clients on how to evaluate their site with the new metrics.

How is Addressing Steps 1 and 2

With Step 1, is offering the opportunity to begin becoming data driven, or to advance your capabilities. We have three offerings:

  1. Installing your GA4 tracking codes. This begins with a two-hour analysis to determine the total number of hours needed for this effort. If you approve, you will receive:
    1. Installation of necessary code for GA4 data gathering
    2. Event/goal analysis for focused transfer
    3. Customization of data gathering to match existing views
  2. A data quality audit. This will involve a four-hour engagement to test the reliability of your data. You will receive:
    1. Compliance audit
    2. GA implementation review for data quality
    3. Our custom dashboard connection and review
  3. Analytics overview. This can be either an on-going retainer or a one-time analysis of your data. You will receive:
    1. A session with a data and analytics strategist, with a complete review of your site, highlighting things that work as well as finding opportunities for improvement.

With Step 2, coming in spring of 2023, we will formalize plans for educating clients in the most effective way possible as we draw nearer to that time.

The data game is changing and it’s paramount that your website be set up for success. If you are interested in learning more about the transition to GA4, and how can help you, please contact us today

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