As a website owner or marketer, you need to keep up with the latest analytics updates to stay ahead of the competition. One of the most significant updates in recent years is the release of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 offers improved insights, better user tracking, and more advanced features than its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA). However, migrating to GA4 can be a challenging task. In this article, we will provide you with a GA4 migration checklist to help you ensure a smooth and successful migration ahead of UA’s shutdown on July 1st 2023.
What is GA4?
GA4 is the latest Google Analytics version, launched in October 2020. It offers improved user tracking, cross-device tracking, and more advanced reporting features. Unlike UA, which focuses on sessions and pageviews, GA4 emphasises events and user engagement.
Why Migrate to GA4?
Migrating to GA4 offers several benefits, including:
- Improved user tracking: GA4 tracks users across devices and platforms, giving you a complete view of user behaviour.
- Advanced reporting features: GA4 offers more advanced reporting features, such as predictive metrics, that provide insights into user behaviour.
- Better integration with Google Ads: GA4 integrates seamlessly with Google Ads, allowing you to track and optimise your campaigns more effectively.
- Enhanced measurement capabilities: GA4 provides enhanced measurement capabilities, such as cross-domain tracking and data import, that enable you to track user behaviour more accurately.
Before you start migrating to GA4, there are several things you need to do to prepare.
Back your data up
Before you make any changes to your analytics setup, it's essential to back up your data. You'll be making sure that you won't lose any critical data during the migration process.
Analyse your current setup
Understand how your website is being tracked by identifying the metrics you're currently tracking and how they're being used. You'll be able to identify any gaps in your tracking that need to be addressed during the migration.
Update your tracking code
Update your tracking code to the latest version of GA4. This ensures that your website is collecting data in the correct format.
Set up your data streams
Set up your data streams to ensure that you collect data from all relevant sources, including your website, mobile app, and other digital assets.
Enable data-sharing settings
Enable data-sharing settings between different properties and accounts. It'll enable you to share data with other teams or agencies working on your website.
Now that you've crossed all the pre-migration action items off your list, it's time to start migrating to GA4. Here's a step-by-step checklist to guide you through the process:
Create a GA4 Property
Create a new GA4 property for your website. This property will be used to track all data related to your website.
Set up Data Import
Set up data import to ensure that you're collecting all the data you need. Data import allows you to import data from other sources, such as CRM systems or email marketing platforms, into GA4.
Create Custom Reports
Create custom reports to track the metrics and dimensions that are most important to your business. It ensures you're collecting the data you need to make informed decisions.
Test Your Setup
Test your setup to ensure that you're collecting data correctly. Use the GA4 DebugView feature to identify any issues with your tracking setup.
After you've completed the migration to GA4, there are several things you need to do to confirm that your analytics setup is working correctly.
Check Data Accuracy
Check the accuracy of your data to ensure that you're collecting the proper data. Compare your GA4 data with your old UA data to identify any discrepancies.
Set up Goals and Funnels
Set up goals and funnels to track user behaviour and measure the success of your website. Goals and funnels enable you to track user behaviour, such as the number of users who complete a purchase.
Create Custom Audiences
Create custom audiences to target users who are most likely to convert. This feature enables you to target users based on their behaviour on your website.
Use Enhanced Measurement Features
Use enhanced measurement features like cross-domain tracking and data import to track user behaviour more accurately. Collect data from multiple sources for a complete view of user behaviour with these features.
Migrating to GA4 is essential to keep up with the latest analytics updates and to gain a complete view of user behaviour on your website.
We know how daunting it is to migrate due to its complexity. So following a pre and post-migration checklist is critical to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can prepare for the migration, test your setup, and ensure the accuracy of your data after the migration. With the right approach and a comprehensive checklist, you can make the most of GA4 and take your website analytics to the next level.