Google Analytics has become the prominent tool for digital marketers to analyze their digital marketing strategies, since its launch in 2015. Its current version - Universal Analytics (UA), will be shut down on the 1st of July 2023 in order to develop an effective platform. For Google Analytics 360 users, it will be set down in 2024. The Universal Analytics version will stop measuring data from the given time. Thus, it becomes mandatory for companies to implement the newer version of the tool which is Google Analytics 4 (GA 4).
Why is it important to migrate from UA to GA4?
Google Analytics 4 will be the latest Business Intelligence tool in webmaster tools provided by Google. Effective from July, Universal Analytics (UA) will stop recording data and you are only able to consult the data history for the next 6 months after the final migration date. Mainly, because of this reason, you must start migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as soon as possible.
Under are the top 3 reasons to switch from UA to GA4:
1.) Begin your New Data History:
There is a lot of difference between the data structure of Google Analytics versions; that is Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. This states that the details will not be inherited from the first version to the latest version.
This is the prominent difference between these two versions of Google Analytics and it will directly affect the data measurement model. So as you will configure GA4 you can start developing new data history.
2.) Cross-Channel View:
Google Analytics 4 offers a comprehensive view of all channels involved in the customer lifecycle, allowing users to gain insights across multiple channels. By leveraging predictive marketing techniques, the tool delivers enhanced information and more effective ways to take action. GA4's latest features are primarily designed toward enhancing marketing decisions and optimizing ROI.
3.) Better Integration with Google Ads:
Google Analytics 4 integrates with artificial intelligence technology to offer helpful user insights across all platforms and devices. In layman's terms, a company can measure user interactions in the application and on the web from the same place.
With this new version, the company can get an extensive view of its audience and more reliable results. The main motto of this updated version is to be able to calculate the conversion rate and ROI which are achieved via Google paid ads, YouTube videos, search engines, social media platforms, and email marketing.
Now you know the essential aspects of why you should migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4, let’s jump to how you can switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 effortlessly.
How you can Switch to Google Analytics 4
With the start of Google Analytics 4, users will witness an evolution in measurement standards, letting them calculate diverse kinds of data from Android apps, iOS apps, and the Web.
Here is the streamlined process that you require for migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
1. Create a GA4 Property in your Analytics Account:
Initiate by creating a new property in GA4. You can do this by following the setup process in the Google Analytics 4 admin interface.
- Click on the Account column, go to Property > Create new Property.
- Suggest a name for the Property.
- Select the reporting time and currency.
- Select your industry category and business size.
- Finalize the account creation process.
2. Install the GA4 Tag:
For this step, you will require to install the GA4 tag on your website or app to collect data for the new property.
Also, this can be done using the Google Tag Manager or by adding the GA4 tag code directly to your website.
3. Set Up Data Streams:
Next, you will need to add data streams to collect data from your website or application.
- In the Property column, click on Data Streams > Add Stream.
- You can add a data stream from an iOS app, Web, or Android app.
4. Set Up Data Collection for Websites:
Here is the process that is required to collect data from web pages:
- Add the Google tag to your web pages: To start collecting data in your new GA4 property, you need to add the Google tag to your web pages.
- Find your G-ID: Your G-ID can be found in the top right corner of the Data Streams page.
- Use your CMS to add the G-ID: If you're using Google Sites, HubSpot, Wix, WooCommerce, or WordPress, you can paste your G-ID into the Google Analytics field provided by your CMS.
- Use custom HTML feature: If you do not have access to a field to enter your G-ID, you can paste the Google tag into your CMS’s custom HTML feature.
- Select Web data stream: To do this, go to the Data Streams page and select the Web data stream.
- View tag instructions: Under Google tag, click View tag instructions and then Installation instructions.
5. Enable Google Signals:
Enabling Google Signals is a necessary step for advanced remarketing and reporting.
By activating Google Signals, GA4 can create audiences that can be used in Google Ads cross-device-eligible remarketing campaigns. This allows Google to serve ads to users who have given consent to Ads Personalisation across different devices.
6. Import Universal Analytics Data:
You can import your Universal Analytics data into GA4 by linking your Universal Analytics property to your GA4 property. This will allow you to see historical data in GA4.
7. Configure Data Settings:
Configure data settings for your GA4 property, such as custom dimensions and metrics, event tracking, and user properties.
8. Test and Verify:
Test the GA4 tag installation and data collection to ensure that everything is working correctly. You can also compare the data in GA4 to Universal Analytics data to ensure that the migration was successful.
9. Analyze and Optimize:
Once the migration is complete, start analyzing your data in GA4 and optimizing your marketing efforts based on the insights you gain.
It's necessary to note that the migration process may vary depending on your specific requirements and circumstances, and it's recommended to consult the official documentation and seek professional assistance if needed.
We also recommend checking the Google Comprehensive Guide once!
Migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 is a necessary step to stay up-to-date with the latest analytics features and capabilities. To ensure a successful migration, it's important to follow the recommended steps, such as creating a new GA4 property, setting up data streams, adding the Google tag to your web pages, and enabling Google Signals.
Additionally, it's recommended to review your current analytics setup, assess your data needs, and consult official documentation and professional assistance if needed. With proper planning and execution, migrating to GA4 can provide more comprehensive and actionable insights for your website or app.
Frequently Asked Questions
A lot of people don't appreciate the moment until it’s passed. I'm not trying my hardest, and I'm not trying to do
To begin, choose the Universal Analytics property that is currently gathering data for your website from the Property column. Next, in the Property column, select GA4 Setup Assistant, which is the first option. Finally, click on "Get started" below the "I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property" option.
Google Analytics 4, like Universal Analytics, is a type of property that can be used for free. This means that there are no charges or expenses associated with setting up and using one or more GA4 properties on your account.
Brands should consider migrating to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible, especially if they want to ensure their digital ads are based on current and reliable data. Google has announced that it will be gradually reducing support for Universal Analytics 360 throughout 2023 and will completely focus on Google Analytics 4 in 2024.
It is advisable to switch to Google Analytics 4 as your cross-platform analytics solution now, as Universal Analytics - the previous generation of Analytics - is going to be phased out starting this year. From July 1, 2023, all standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process new hits. Therefore, if you want to continue gathering valuable insights from your website's data, it is essential to start using Google Analytics 4 without further delay.