Google Universal Analytics is Going Away – Is Your Website Ready?

Universal Analytics is Going Away are you ready for GA4?

Switching from Google Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4 is not on most people’s minds. At this point, GA4 (Google Analytics 4) is still new to everybody. However, now is the time to make sure GA4 is installed on your website. You may be asking yourself why should I make the switch since Google’s Universal Analytics is working fine. A good reason to migrate now is that Google will stop collecting data in UA by July 1, 2023, so by switching now you will have a head start with data collection in GA4 and have a smooth transition. You’ll also have more time to learn before UA is gone.

Make a Plan for Moving from Universal Analytics to GA4

First, make a plan. See how your site is currently set up in Google Analytics by answering these questions:

  • Do you have any goals set up to track conversions such as file downloads or form submissions?
  • Are you connected to Google Ads, Google Search Console or Data Studio?
  • Are you using Google Analytics code or Google Tag Manager code on your site? Note, you can easily see which one you’re using with the Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension
  • If you’re using Google Tag Manager, what tags are you using to track events on your site?  These will need to be set up as new tags.
  • What customizations have been added to your UA account that will be needed in GA4?

If you don’t understand these questions, ask your website developer to help or contact us for assistance.

What are Your Most Used Reports and Dashboards in UA?

Compare pages reports in in UA and GA4
Compare Pages report in in UA (left) and GA4 (right)

Determine which UA reports and dashboards you are using now. For instance, many people want to know how many users saw a particular page. In UA, this is the Pageviews report found under Behavior. In GA4, this is the Pages and Screens report found under Engagement. By deciding which reports are the most useful for you now, you can research and find equivalent reports in GA4. You have time to get used to this new interface by switching back and forth between the two until next July.

Once You Have a Plan, Make the Switch

First of all, do not remove UA. Keep UA running along with GA4 so you don’t lose any data.

Google provides information on how to set up your GA4 profile and connect it to your website. Also, see Google’s more detailed info on making the switch.

How to Track Goals in GA4

Once GA4 is running on your site, it’s important to test that your site’s goals are being tracked. In GA4 Conversion Events are what were called Goals in UA. Many conversion events are easily tracked by turning on a toggle in the settings. Go to Configure and then Events, here you can switch on a toggle under Mark as Conversion to track clicks, file downloads, purchases, and more. If you don’t see what you want to track on this page, then your developer will need to set a tag up in Google Tag Manager to send the data here.

Check your analytics account often. This will help you to become familiar with the differences between GA4 and UA. If you would like to learn more about GA4, contact us for help or check these sites for tutorials: https://measurementmarketing.io/ or https://www.analyticsmania.com/

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