As we all know, Google requires all its users to migrate from Google Analytics UA to GA4. This is because the UA version will expire by July 1, 2023. Therefore, according to Google, you may no longer have your website statistics if you are still using the UA version after this date. This article will show how to migrate from Google Analytics UA to GA4. In this article, we look at some basic migration steps. At the end of the article, we will compare the two versions.
How to migrate from Google Analytics UA to GA4?
Moving from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) involves creating a new property and reconfiguring your tracking system. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the switch:
1. Create a new GA4 property
- Log in to your Google Analytics account.
- Go to the Admin section.
- In the Property column, click on ‘Create property.’
- Choose ‘GA4’ and complete the property setup.
2. Configure your data feeds
In GA4, data is collected through data feeds like websites, iOS apps, or Android apps.
- In the new GA4 property, go to ‘Data Stream’ under the Data Collection menu.
- Decide the appropriate type (Web, Android, or iOS).
- For the web, add your website URL and feed name.
3. Set up your tracking
Unlike UA, GA4 uses “events” for all interactions, including page views.
- You will need to configure your events to track user interactions.
- Some events are automatically tracked, like page_view, scroll, outbound_link, etc., but you can also configure custom events as needed.
4. Implement the GA4 tag on your site
There are different ways to do this, depending on your situation.
- If you’re using Google Tag Manager (GTM), you can set up a new GA4 configuration tag and trigger it on all pages (or as needed).
- If you are not using GTM, add the GA4 tracking code (gtag.js) directly to your website code or via your CMS if it supports it. The code is in the data feed settings of your GA4 property.
5. Configure additional settings
GA4 has several other features and settings. By way of examples, we can cite the following:
- improved measurement,
- conversion tracking,
- definitions of audiences,
Review these settings and configure them as required.
6. Start collecting data and check
- Data should flow once you set up the new GA4 property and tracking.
- You can check the incoming data in the real-time report. Make sure that all expected events are logged.
Remember that GA4 is a significant change from UA and has a different data model. Therefore, the transition may require some learning and adaptation. Furthermore, remember that historical data is not transferred by default from UA to GA4. So, you might want to hold on to your UA ownership for a long time until you’re confident that GA4 has all your analytics needs to be covered. Or work with professionals to help you make the transfer.
Some differences between UA and GA4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Universal Analytics (UA) are two versions of Google’s web analytics service. However, they differ significantly in terms of
- data modelling,
- reporting and
Here are the main differences between the two:
UA — Uses a session-based data model. This is because it emphasizes sessions and page views, and you can add event tracking. Therefore, each interaction during a session is treated as a separate “hit.”
GA4 – Uses an event-based data model. Everything on a website or app is treated as an event, including page views, button clicks, user actions, etc. This gives a more flexible and comprehensive way to track user interactions.
GA4—Has better tracking capabilities across other devices. It can track users across different devices and platforms, giving a more unified view of user journeys.
AU. — It has a fixed set of reports with some flexibility for customization. You can add custom dimensions and metrics, but it’s pretty limited.
GA4—It has a more flexible and customizable reporting system. You can create custom reports based on events, parameters, and user properties.
Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Metrics
AU. — It does not have built-in AI skills or predictive metrics.
GA4 – It has built-in AI that can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data. It also offers predictive metrics like the potential revenue of a particular group of customers.
Privacy and Compliance
UA — Although it offers some privacy features, it is less robust than GA4.
GA4 – Designed with privacy and compliance in mind. It can work without cookies and handle data restrictions due to privacy regulations or browser changes.
Integration with BigQuery
UA — Integration with Google’s BigQuery is only available with the premium version (Analytics 360).
GA — Offers a free connection to BigQuery for raw data analysis and advanced machine learning capabilities.
Some recommendations for GA4 integration depend on the web tool.
The configuration of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) depends on the content management system (CMS) you use for your website. Fortunately, many popular CMSs provide easy ways to add GA4 to your site. Depending on the CMS or web solution, here are some tools you can use.
Google Site Kit — This is an official Google plugin that makes it easy to integrate GA4 into your WordPress site. It also allows integration with other Google tools like Search Console, AdSense, and Tag Manager. MonsterInsights – This WordPress plugin easily integrates with Google Analytics, including GA4. It offers a user-friendly interface to see your Google Analytics stats in your WordPress dashboard.
Shopify has native integration with Google Analytics. You can add your GA4 measurement ID to enable tracking in the Shopify settings.
Wix also offers integration with Google Analytics in its control panel. You can add your GA4 measurement ID to enable tracking.
Squarespace lets you add the GA4 tracking code to your site through the Code Injection section in Advanced Settings.
5. Google Tag Manager
— Regardless of your CMS, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool for managing and deploying tracking tags, including GA4. With GTM, you can add and modify tracking tags without changing your site’s code. It is important to note that the specific configuration may vary depending on the tool and the CMS. Check your CMS and tool-specific documentation for detailed instructions on configuring GA4. Do you need assistance migrating from Google Analytics UA to GA4? Contact us.