Google recently launched the next generation of web and app analytics – Google Analytics 4 (GA4). It replaces the classic Universal Analytics which has been around for over a decade. GA4 provides several improvements and new capabilities to generate deeper insights.
Some key things to know about GA4:
GA4 tracks data as events instead of pageviews. This event-based model captures all user interactions like clicks, taps, scrolls, purchases etc. as events to provide a holistic view of user behavior.
GA4 can track user interactions across websites, Android and iOS apps, and offline sources using the same property. It offers a unified view of how users engage with your brand across devices and platforms.
GA4 leverages machine learning to provide predictive and automated insights. Features like anomaly detection, predictive metrics and automated insights help identify patterns and trends to optimize your strategies.
Setting up GA4 requires adding a new tracking code on your site or app. The implementation is streamlined compared to Universal Analytics, making it easier to customize data collection and event tracking.
GA4 emphasizes data privacy and protection. It offers consent controls, data retention limits and data deletion options in line with privacy regulations.
The GA4 interface provides an updated experience with powerful data exploration and customized reporting capabilities using Analysis Hub.
GA4 natively integrates with Google BigQuery to export raw, unsampled data for advanced analytics using SQL and other tools.
While GA4 offers many improvements, migrating from Universal Analytics is not a direct upgrade. The data models differ, so planning and testing are crucial to a successful transition.
To maximize GA4, familiarize yourself with its features, read Google’s guides, and understand your needs and goals. Our team of SEO analysts can help you navigate the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. With the right strategy and implementation, GA4’s evolution can help you gain deeper insights, optimize efforts and grow your business.
What are some best practices for migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 ?
Here are some best practices for migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4:
Test the new implementation – Start by implementing the new GA4 tracking code on a test page or in a test app. Test all event tracking and data collection to confirm it’s working properly.
Connect to BigQuery – Configure GA4 to export data to BigQuery as early as possible. This will give you time to test and optimize your BigQuery structures and queries.
Maintain both platforms – After implementing GA4, keep Universal Analytics running for a while to compare data and reports between the two platforms. This will help you validate the accuracy of GA4 data.
Select the right data streams – Carefully choose which data streams you need based on your reporting and analysis requirements. Start with the most important streams, then add more over time.
Configure appropriate property settings – Configure things like data retention, data deletion, and consent settings to match your privacy, security and compliance needs.
Customize event tracking – Review all your current event tracking and page tracking to determine how to implement equivalent tracking in GA4. Test and optimize your event tracking.
Create essential reports – Recreate your most important reports in GA4. Either build these from scratch or migrate existing Universal Analytics custom reports.
Integrate with your systems – If GA4 data needs to feed into other systems, update those integrations to work with GA4 event and data stream formats.
Plan a controlled migration timeline – Decide on a schedule to fully migrate traffic, taking an incremental approach. Monitor data closely throughout the transition.
Hope this gives you a good starting point for your GA4 migration! Let us know if you have any other questions.