Google Analytics 4

Have you migrated to GA4 yet?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides valuable insights into user behaviour on your website, including their sources and demographic information. While it may not offer explanations for user actions, GA4 serves as a crucial tool for digital marketers across various roles, offering answers to important queries such as campaign performance, the impact of A/B tests on conversion rates, conversions (including eCommerce purchases), top-performing landing pages, eCommerce funnel analysis, events (including custom events), views, users, average engagement time, revenue and visitor demographics. The inclusion of revenue as a business metric enhances the comprehensive view of website performance provided by GA4.

Moreover, GA4 allows you to customise events, dimensions, and metrics, enabling you to tailor the analytics to your specific needs. However, it’s important to note that GA4 has limitations in terms of providing in-depth insights into how user experience impacts website performance. Its focus is primarily on data validation errors, JavaScript errors, 404 pages, and similar issues rather than offering extensive information on user experience.

On GA4 migration

The migration to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a time-sensitive process due to Google’s decision to discontinue processing data in Universal Analytics (UA) starting from July 1, 2023. Users have been notified about the need to migrate to GA4 as UA will no longer be supported. Historical data will still be accessible in UA properties, allowing users to refer back to past analytics.

While the transition to GA4 is necessary, some individuals believe that Google’s decision to sunset UA relatively quickly poses challenges, particularly for larger businesses. The complexity arises from the fact that the metrics in GA4 are not directly comparable to those in UA, requiring additional effort and time for businesses to adjust and align their measurement practices. 

It’s important to note that this discussion does not intend to criticise GA4 but rather highlights the practical considerations faced by businesses during the transition. The extended timeline and understanding of the unique metric mapping between GA4 and UA would better facilitate a smoother migration for businesses of all sizes. 

When migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s essential to be aware of the changes in event structure. In GA4, events are defined by an event name and parameters, which differ from the category, action, and label structure in UA.

To track events effectively in GA4, you’ll need to adapt your tracking implementation. Instead of categorising events, you now define the event name itself to represent the specific action or interaction you want to track. Parameters can be used to provide additional context and details about the event, such as form type, page path, and more.

It’s important to note that the event model in GA4 emphasises events and parameters, allowing for more flexibility and detailed tracking compared to the traditional UA approach. Adapting to this event structure will enable you to gather more comprehensive data and insights in GA4.

When migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s crucial to identify the events that need to be migrated. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

  1. Ensure that your GA4 account setup is complete and you have access to the necessary tools and resources.
  1. The next step requires careful planning for measurement, as the event model in GA4 differs significantly from UA. Enlist all the UA events that are currently being tracked in your analytics setup.
  1. Evaluate the importance of each UA event to your business objectives and determine valuable events. Identify the events that provide valuable insights and align with your measurement goals. These events should be prioritised for migration to GA4.
  1. Google has introduced a tool that automates the migration process, adjusting UA events to the GA4 event model. This tool can be helpful for a quick migration. However, keep in mind that using the tool may limit your control over the migrated events and their configurations.
  1. Which brings us to the next point, for greater control and to fully leverage the capabilities of the new event model, it is recommended to set up events from scratch in GA4. This allows you to tailor the event names, parameters, and configurations to your specific needs, unlocking the full potential of GA4’s event tracking capabilities.
  1.  Set up custom dimensions and metrics considering the event scope and Recreate conversions in GA4 based on your UA goals.
  1. Establish integrations and manage historical data with tools like BigQuery

Migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is crucial to ensure the continuity of your data analysis and tracking. The organisations which started the migration as early as possible have retained valuable historical data. If you’re yet to successfully migrate to GA4, establish a clear strategy and create a detailed plan. Break down the migration into actionable steps and systematically go through each of them. If you require support after the migration process, it is advisable to enlist the services of a professional team such as Media360. We can expertly manage the transition, ensuring a seamless migration to GA4 and enabling you to fully leverage the capabilities of GA4.

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