How to Migrate Google Analytics to GA4: A Step-by-Step Guide
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to GA4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s analytics platform, designed to provide businesses with a more comprehensive understanding of user interactions across multiple devices and platforms. Unlike its predecessor, Universal Analytics, GA4 focuses on event-based tracking and offers advanced machine-learning capabilities to uncover deeper insights.
2. Key Differences between Universal Analytics and GA4
- Event-based Tracking: GA4 centres around event-based tracking, allowing you to measure user actions on your website or app.
- Simplified Implementation: GA4 provides a simplified implementation process that doesn’t require adding tracking code to every page. Instead, you define events and parameters and implement them where needed.
- Enhanced Cross-Device Tracking: GA4 enables better cross-device tracking, providing a more accurate understanding of user behaviour as they switch between devices.
3. Benefits of Migrating to GA4
- Future-Proofing: GA4 is the future of Google Analytics. By migrating early, you ensure your business stays updated with the latest advancements and features.
- Enhanced Insights: GA4’s machine learning capabilities provide more powerful insights into user behaviour, allowing you to make data-driven decisions more effectively.
- Unified Data View: GA4 combines web and app data into a single property, enabling a holistic view of user interactions across platforms.
4. Preparing for the Migration
4.1 Create a New GA4 Property
Start by creating a new GA4 property within your Google Analytics account. This property will be used to collect data specifically for GA4.
4.2 Link Universal Analytics and GA4
To ensure data continuity during migration, link your existing Universal Analytics property to the newly created GA4 property. This allows data to be shared between the two platforms.
4.3 Enable Data Collection in GA4
In your GA4 property settings, enable data collection for web and app platforms. This step ensures that GA4 starts collecting data as soon as the implementation is complete.
5. Configuring Data Streams
5.1 Web Data Stream
Create a web data stream within your GA4 property for your website. Follow the instructions to generate a tracking code snippet and implement it on all the pages of your website.
5.2 App Data Stream
For mobile app tracking, create an app data stream. Depending on your app development platform, follow the documentation provided by Google to implement the required SDKs and set up the data stream.
6. Setting Up Event Tracking
6.1 Defining Events and Parameters
Identify the key events and parameters you want to track in GA4. Events could include actions like button clicks, form submissions, or video plays, while parameters provide additional context to events, such as the clicked button’s name or the submitted form’s type.
6.2 Implementing Event Tracking in Your Website/App
Implement the event tracking code on your website or app pages for SEO using the provided documentation and code snippets. Be sure to include the relevant event and parameter information.
7. Understanding Metrics and Reports in GA4
7.1 Exploring the GA4 Interface
Navigate through the GA4 interface to access different reports and data insights. Use the left-side menu to switch between reports, configure settings, and access administrative options.
7.2 Analyzing User Behavior with the User Explorer Report
The User Explorer Report provides a detailed view of individual user behaviour, allowing you to analyze their actions, events, and engagement across multiple sessions.
7.3 Creating Custom Reports
GA4 allows you to create custom reports tailored to your specific business needs. The Custom Reports feature combines dimensions, metrics, and filters to generate in-depth analyses.
8. Integrating GA4 with Google Ads
8.1 Linking GA4 and Google Ads Accounts
In your GA4 property settings, find the Google Ads linking section and follow the instructions to connect your accounts.
8.2 Importing Google Ads Conversions into GA4
Once the accounts are linked, you can import your Google Ads conversions into GA4, allowing you to analyze their performance alongside other GA4 data.
9. Setting Up Goals and Funnels in GA4
9.1 Defining Goals in GA4
Identify the key actions or events that indicate a conversion on your website or app. Set up goals in GA4 to track these conversions and measure their success.
9.2 Creating Funnels to Track User Journeys
Funnels provide insights into the steps users take before completing a conversion. Define the stages of your conversion process and create a funnel in GA4 to track user journeys and identify potential drop-off points.