If you’re a website owner who relies on Google Analytics to track your website’s traffic and gather insights on user behavior, it’s time to consider upgrading to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 is the newest version of Google Analytics and offers more advanced features and reporting functionalities that can provide you with a complete overview of your website performance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 so you can take full advantage of all the benefits this new version has to offer. Whether you’re a digital marketer or a website owner, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make a seamless transition to GA4.
Complete Guide: Migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
If you’ve been using Google Analytics to track your website traffic, you’re likely familiar with Universal Analytics. However, Google has recently released its latest version called Google Analytics 4, or GA4, which offers a host of new features that can help you better understand your web traffic.
This article will offer a complete guide to migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4. We’ll explore the key differences between the two versions, how to set up GA4 using Google Tag Manager, and a look at some of the best features of GA4.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4
- Understanding key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics
- Setting up GA4 using Google Tag Manager
- Exploring the Enhanced Measurement feature in GA4
- Extra resources available
How to migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4
Migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 may seem intimidating, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Create a new GA4 property: To get started, create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. This can easily be done by clicking on the “Admin” button in your analytics dashboard, and then selecting “Create Property.” From there, choose “Web” as the platform.
- Upgrade your Google Analytics plugin: If you’re using a plugin to connect Universal Analytics to your website, you’ll need to upgrade it to support GA4. This way, the plugin will send your tracking data to both Universal Analytics and GA4 simultaneously.
- Create a new data stream: Once you’ve created your new GA4 property, you’ll need to set up a new data stream. A data stream is simply a connection between your website and GA4 that allows data to be collected and analyzed. To set up a new data stream, you’ll need to install a new tracking code on your website.
- Add GA4 to Google Tag Manager: Finally, you can add GA4 to Google Tag Manager by creating a new tag. Simply click on “Tags” in the sidebar of your Google Tag Manager dashboard, and then “New.” From there, select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration,” and fill out the necessary information.
Understanding key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics
While GA4 features many of the same capabilities as Universal Analytics, there are a few key differences you should be aware of. Here are some of the most significant differences:
- Event-based tracking: In Universal Analytics, tracking is based on sessions and pageviews. However, GA4 uses event-based tracking, which allows you to track specific user actions like button clicks or video views.
- User-centric data: GA4 is designed to provide more user-centric data. This means you can see a more comprehensive view of how individuals are interacting with your website, rather than just looking at pageviews.
- Enhanced Measurement: GA4 features an Enhanced Measurement feature that allows you to track specific actions like file downloads, outbound link clicks, and scroll tracking without additional code.
- Data retention: In Universal Analytics, you can set data retention periods that range from 14 months to “Do not automatically expire.” However, in GA4, data retention is set to a default of two months, with an option to extend to 14 months.
Setting up GA4 using Google Tag Manager
One of the easiest ways to set up GA4 is using Google Tag Manager. Here are the steps to follow:
- Create a new GA4 property: First, create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. You can do this by clicking on the “Admin” button, and then selecting “Create Property” and “Web” as the platform.
- Create a new data stream: After creating your GA4 property, you’ll need to set up a new data stream using a tracking code. To do this, click on your GA4 property, and then navigate to “Data Streams.”
- Add GA4 to Google Tag Manager: Finally, you can add GA4 to Google Tag Manager by creating a new tag. Select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration” as the tag type, and fill out the necessary fields.
Exploring the Enhanced Measurement feature in GA4
One of the most compelling features of GA4 is Enhanced Measurement. This feature allows you to track specific user actions like file downloads, outbound link clicks, and scroll tracking without additional code.
To enable Enhanced Measurement, simply navigate to your GA4 property settings, and then select “Data Collection” from the sidebar. From there, you can select specific actions that you want to track.
Extra resources available
Google offers a range of additional resources that can help you better understand GA4 and how to use it effectively. Here are a few of the best resources available:
- GA4 Checklist: Google offers a helpful checklist that outlines the steps you need to take to set up GA4 effectively.
- GA4 tutorial: If you’re new to GA4, Google offers a comprehensive tutorial that covers all the basics.
- Free and paid courses: Google offers several courses that can help you master GA4.
Migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually a relatively straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set up GA4 on your website and take advantage of its many new features.
Remember to take advantage of Google’s resources as well, such as the GA4 Checklist and tutorial, as well as free and paid courses. With a bit of effort, you’ll be able to master GA4 and gain a comprehensive view of your website traffic.
- What is GA4?
GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics.
- How is GA4 different from Universal Analytics?
GA4 uses event-based tracking instead of session- and pageview-based tracking, offers more user-centric data, and features Enhanced Measurement.
- How do I migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4?
To migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4, create a new GA4 property, upgrade your analytics plugin, create a new data stream, and add GA4 to Google Tag Manager.
- What is Enhanced Measurement?
Enhanced Measurement is a feature in GA4 that allows you to track specific user actions like file downloads and outbound link clicks without additional code.
- Where can I find more resources on GA4?
Google offers a range of resources on GA4, including a GA4 Checklist, tutorial, and free and paid courses.