Ah, Google Analytics. We’ve had a good run, but it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t worry, we’re not breaking up for good – we’re just upgrading to GA4.
If you use Google Analytics to track your website stats, it will stop working on July 1, 2023, unless you upgrade to Google Analytics 4.
Why, you ask?
The current version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics), came out the same year Carly Rae Jepsen was topping the charts with Call Me Maybe. In the world of software? It’s OLD.
Google’s Universal Analytics will soon be depreciated, so it’s time to migrate to GA4 before it’s too late. But fear not, the process is relatively painless.
First, let’s talk about the main differences between Google Analytics and GA4. Google Analytics has been the go-to for tracking website data for years, but GA4 is a new and improved version that offers more advanced tracking and analysis capabilities.
One of the key differences is that GA4 is designed to track user behaviour across multiple platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and even offline interactions. It uses machine learning to provide more accurate and in-depth insights into user behaviour, including predicting future actions and providing real-time data.
So why do you need GA4 for your small business? Well, if you’re serious about understanding your customers and optimising your online presence, GA4 is a must-have. With its advanced tracking capabilities, you can see exactly how users interact with your website or app, what pages or products they’re interested in, and where they drop off. This data can help you make informed decisions about how to improve your website or app to better meet your customers’ needs.
Now, let’s get down to business.
Here’s how to migrate your Google Analytics account to GA4:
Before you start:
Check if you already have a Google Analytics 4 Property
If you have a web developer or agency who helps manage your website, they may have already started this process for you, so it’s best to check with them first!
It’s also possible that Google may have automatically created a GA4 property for you. To check:
- Go to the Google Analytics website (analytics.google.com) and sign in with your Google account.
- Click into the top left corner drop-down menu ‘all accounts’ and select the relevant account for your website.
- You’ll then see which ‘properties’ are set up for your website. This is where your data is visible!
If your property ID starts with ‘UA’, then this is the old version (Universal Analytics). If it’s just a 9 digital number, this is a GA4 property. You may have one of each, and this is totally fine! Do not delete your original UA property.
Step 1: Set up a new GA4 property if you don’t already have one.
This can be done by clicking on “Admin” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, selecting “Create Property,” and choosing “GA4 property” from the options.
Step 2: Link your existing Google Analytics property to your new GA4 property.
Next, you’ll need to link your existing Google Analytics property to your new GA4 property. This can be done by going to “Admin,” selecting “Data Streams” under your GA4 property, and then clicking on “Set up Stream.” From there, you can select your existing Google Analytics property and link it to your new GA4 property.
Step 3: Install the GA4 tracking code on your website.
This step may vary depending on which platform you’re using. We’d recommend looking up the best practices for each platform. You’ll find a few of the faves here:
If you’re using Google Tag Manager, you can also install the code this way, following the directions from Google here.
If you’re not listed above and you need to manually install, keep reading. Now it’s time to install the GA4 tracking code on your website. This is similar to the process of installing the Google Analytics tracking code, but with a few minor differences. You’ll need to copy the GA4 tracking code from your GA4 property and paste it into the header of your website.
If you don’t feel confident doing this, ask your web developer or someone who helps you with your digital marketing/website management.
Step 4: Set up e-commerce tracking (optional).
If you have an online store, you’ll want to set up e-commerce tracking in GA4 to track transactions, revenue, and other important metrics. Google Analytics will automatically start tracking a number of pre-built events, based on interactions that visitors are taking with your store. Because the e-commerce events automatically populate dimensions and metrics and Google performs calculations to provide you with more valuable insights, you should use these events instead of creating your own custom events. But if you’re using a website like Shopify, it’ll do most of the heavy lifting for you.
To dig a little further into how this works, check out this article here.
Step 5: Set up Conversions.
You’ll want to set up tracking in GA4 to track transactions, revenue, and other important metrics like leads.
Step 1: Create an event for the confirmation page
To record a conversion whenever someone views a confirmation page, first create a separate event using the page_view event. In this case, you will use the generate_lead recommended event. You should use recommended event whenever possible, instead of custom events, to take advantage of new Analytics features as they become available.
- In Google Analytics, click Admin > Events on the left.
- Click Create event and then Create.
- In the Custom event name field, enter the name “generate_lead”.
- In the Matching conditions section, enter the first matching condition “event_name equals page_view”.
- Click Add condition.
- Enter the second matching condition “page_location equals https://www.example.com/contact-us-submitted”.
- In the Parameter configuration section, click Add modification twice. Because you are using a recommended event, you need to define each of the required parameters. Otherwise, Google Analytics will treat the event as a custom event.
- In the first row, enter parameter “value” and value “100” to define the value of the lead.
- In the second row, enter parameter “currency” and value “USD”.
- Click Create.
Step 2: Mark the event as a conversion
Analytics hasn’t received the new event yet, so you need to preemptively mark the event as a conversion.
- On the left, click Admin > Conversions.
- Click New conversion event.
- Enter the name of the new event, “generate_lead”.
Verify the conversion event
When you mark an event as a conversion, it can take some time (from a few minutes up to a few hours) for the configuration to apply to the event.
Once your configuration is applied to the event, visit the confirmation page on your website. Then go to the Conversions by Event name card in the Realtime report and look for “generate_lead”. If you see the event in the card, then Analytics is treating the event as a conversion.
Report on conversions
The quickest way to see all your conversions is in the Conversions report. The Conversions report shows you which conversion actions are most common, how many people performed each action, and how much revenue is associated with each action.
You can click an event name in the report to see more information about the event, including the number of times the event was triggered (event count) and the number of times it was triggered recently (event count in the last 30 minutes).
Next, you can go into the User acquisition report and select “generate_lead” from the drop down under Conversions. When you select the the conversion event from the drop down, you will be able to see the default channel grouping associated with a user’s first session that generated the most conversions. The Conversions metric is available in most other reports.
Finally, you can go into the Conversion paths report in Advertising. The Conversion paths report helps you understand your customers’ paths to conversion and how different attribution models distribute credit on those paths.
You go Glen Coco