The End of Universal Analytics is Coming. GA4 Marketers Prep Guide

It’s important to get GA4 property set up on your website as soon as possible. Why? Continuity of data.

For over a year Google has floated the possibility of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) taking over from its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA). Now there’s a date; July 1, 2023. 

You may think “Oh, there’s plenty of time”, but there’s a number of reasons to get this migration completed as soon as possible. Here’s our quick guide for ensuring your GA4 migration runs smoothly. 

Tip 1: Setup your GA4 Property ASAP

It’s important to get GA4 property set up on your website as soon as possible. Why? Continuity of data. Even if it’s just at a base level (i.e. inserting the GA4 script on your website or via GTM) without events, it’s important to have the data streaming in for analysis later down the track.

This is a pretty straightforward process and there’s plenty of guides online on how to do it (like this one here).

Tip 2: Run GA4 & UA Concurrently to Mitigate Against Data Loss

There’s no issues running GA4 and UA together at the same time (unlike running multiple UA’s at the same time). You (or your analytics agency) can deploy both scripts and track both sets of data with ease.

There is one caveat though - GA4 automatically tracks most ecommerce features from UA via Gtag, however not all. If you’re running an ecommerce site, we recommend you migrate your ecommerce tracking to GA4 sooner rather than later.

Tip 3: Get Your Head Around UA & GA4 Events & Implications of Switching Over

You’re probably aware of UA event attributes, category, action, label and value. These attributes do not exist in GA4 - each event (including pageviews) can carry their own custom attributes, and you’re not limited to 3. Why is this important to know? It can completely change how you view your reports in the Google Analytics interface, it can have an impact on any of your data visualisations in Data Studio, PowerBI, Tableau etc or can impact any queries you have in Big Query or any other data storage. 

It’s not just as easy as changing over, there are implications as the implementation gets more complex….another reason why step 2 is important.

Tip 4: Don’t Forget to Migrate Custom Metrics, Dimensions & Goals

GA4 still includes support for custom metrics, dimensions & goals (called conversions in GA4) that work in a fairly similar way. It’s important to migrate these over to ensure you get the same level of reporting functionality.

If you need help migrating from UA to GA4 (or anything else analytics-related), get in contact below for a free consultation.