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  • Writer's pictureMartin Roberts

How to Set Up Google Analytics 4: Beat the Deadline with Our Google Analytics 4 Migration Checklist

In this guide, we will show you how to set up google analytics 4 before the deadline in July. Let's dive in and unlock the power of GA4 for your online success.



What is Google Analytics 4?


Google Analytics 4 will become the default tracking option from the 1st of July, 2023 and takes over from Universal Analytics.


Google Analytics 4 (GA4) lets you track and analyse website traffic on your websites and apps. GA4 has new features and improvements, including a focus on customer privacy.

GA4 employs sophisticated methods to safeguard user privacy while still delivering valuable insights.


With AI-driven predictive analytics, GA4 equips you with comprehensive insights for decision-making.


GA4 lets you track user behaviour across different channels and touchpoints to give you a complete view of your online presence.



How does Google Analytics 4 work?


GA4 collects data about how users interact with your websites. GA4 uses events as its main metric for user interactions. You must place a tracking code on your website for GA4 to collect data.


One big advantage of GA4 is its use of machine learning to analyse user behaviour to you valuable insights into your marketing strategy.


Why is GA4 good for digital marketers?


Better User Insights GA4 lets you track user interactions across different devices and platforms. This gives you a clearer picture of how people use your website.


Improved Cross-Device Tracking With GA4, you can track user behaviour across different devices more accurately.


Customisable Events GA4 lets you create custom events to track user interactions. This provides deeper insights into user behaviour and more control over data collection.


Machine Learning Insights GA4 leverages machine learning to analyse user activity and offer meaningful insights. These insights can guide you in enhancing your website and optimising your marketing strategies.


Data Privacy Compliance GA4 prioritises control over user data and ensures alignment with data privacy laws.


Benefits of Google Analytics 4


Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has several benefits that make it useful for users. Here are four main benefits:


Better E-commerce Tracking GA4 has an Ecommerce Purchase Event feature that gives more detailed metrics for conversions than UA. This helps businesses make data-driven decisions.


Cross-Platform Reporting Unlike UA, GA4 lets you integrate web and app data streams into one property for cross-platform reporting. This provides an accurate representation of user activity because it removes duplicate user data.


Cookie-less Measurement GA4 addresses the challenges of declining cookie acceptance. UA relies heavily on cookie data. GA4 uses identity space modelling to reduce dependence on cookies for collecting meaningful data.


Predictive Capabilities GA4 has advanced predictive capabilities that let users gain insights into future outcomes to help businesses make informed decisions about future strategies.


Reasons for Launching GA4:


Cookie Policy GA4 addresses the challenges with policies and increasing numbers of people who don't accept cookies. Using an event-based data model, GA4 reduces reliance on cookies while providing valuable data insights.


Interface The launch of GA4 also aimed to update the user interface of Google Analytics with a modern design that's easier to use.





How to set up Google Analytics 4 with our migration checklist


Create and Launch GA4 Property

The first step is to create your GA4 property and launch it immediately. Remember that historical data from Universal Analytics (UA) won't be imported. Your GA4 property only starts to track data from when it's created. To ensure timely data populates in your GA4 property, aim to complete this phase before the 1st of July, 2022. Follow these steps to launch your new property:

Implement the GA4 tracking tag on your website using Google Tag Manager. Monitor the property in the following days to verify accurate traffic data population.


Identify Key Tracking Items

GA4 properties don't inherit tracking items from UA or other properties. Make a list of the key tracking items in Universal Analytics. Usually, these include:

  • Referral Exclusions

  • Audiences

  • Product Link Connections

  • Custom Dimensions/Metrics

  • Goals (Conversions)

  • Content Groupings

  • Events

Evaluate the list and decide which items to keep, discard, or create anew. GA4 limits conversions to 30 per property, and goals are now event-based, so that adjustments may be necessary.


Migrate Individual Items to GA4

Once you have outlined your list of items to recreate in GA4, you can start the setup process. Here are some tips for setting up common items:


Events Check the automated goals already tracked in your GA4 property. Use Google Tag Manager for event tracking.


Goals (Conversions) Start with goals that are event-oriented, then transition to those that are destination-focused and engagement-centric.


Content Groupings In GA4, the Google Tag Manager creates content groupings through page tagging.


Custom Dimensions/Metrics Set up dimensions and metrics in the interface and code of your property.


Referral Exclusions Access referral exclusions in GA4 through the admin menu of the property. Go to Data Streams and More Tagging Settings.


Product Link Extensions Reconnect the links of your Google products to your GA4 property by navigating to the top-level property admin settings.


Audiences Recreate audiences in GA4 and refer to Google's documentation for detailed setup instructions on each item.


Verify Tracking Items

After launching your tracking items in GA4, ensure they're tracking accurately. Check tracking, conversions, event tracking, and other items to confirm they're working as expected. Fix any issues promptly.


Decide Migration Date to GA4

Agree on when your GA4 property will become your organisation's main data source and reporting.


Archive UA Data

Google plans to delete all historical UA data from the 1st of January, 2024, so archive your old data before the deadline. Decide which data you frequently access and consider the intervals in which you use it. Use tools like the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On for efficient data archiving. Avoid data sampling issues by pulling smaller reports if necessary.


Conclusion

GA4 is a powerful website tracking software that offers improved insights and reporting. To use GA4, create a GA4 property and migrate key tracking items.


The deadline is almost here, don't wait around any longer. Remember to archive your Universal Analytics data before the deadline. Get ready to embrace GA4's enhanced capabilities and stay ahead in digital marketing. Need help to transition to GA4? Get in touch!

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