Are you ready?
Back in October 2020, Google announced Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next iteration of its website and app analytics tool. Google has kept its existing analytics tool, Universal Analytics (UA), functional to date, but it will stop collecting new data as of July 1. That means you’ll lose important website analytics information like traffic, goal tracking, ecommerce and user journeys unless you migrate to GA4 before the deadline.
Migrating to GA4 is the only way to continue to have analytics data available going forward, but once the switch is made there are benefits. It allows for more flexibility in defining events and conversions on your website. Even better, if you have a mobile app, GA4 allows for merging tracking data across both your website and app. Additionally, now is the perfect opportunity to review all your analysis and tracking needs to ensure your website is set for the future.
There is no straight upgrade path from UA to GA4 and historical data can’t be imported. Your best solution is to implement a GA4 property on your website now so that it can begin collecting data prior to the end of UA.
We recommend a four-step approach for moving to GA4:
- Review your paid and organic marketing efforts and identify all the events that are important to your sales cycle and customer retention. Define how those events are measured and which platforms need the information.
- If you don’t already have Google Tag Manager implemented on your site, this migration process is the time to introduce it. Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to easily define important metrics and share them to multiple platforms, including UA, GA4, Google Ads and Meta ad platforms, usually without involving your website development team.
- Update campaign reporting in Google’s Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) or other reporting tools to reference the newly created GA4 data and highlight the metrics identified as important in step 1.
- Continue to run both UA and GA4 simultaneously for the short term to ensure all your analysis needs are covered prior to removing UA from your website.
If all this feels overwhelming, don’t panic! MP&F has been working with these tools and our clients that use them, and we feel confident that we can help. We can provide more detailed guidance, or we can complete the entire migration on your behalf. Reach out and we’ll be happy to discuss further.