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GA4 – The Future of Analytics & How to Migrate

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The future of analytics lies in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is a novel platform that adopts a distinct approach to data collection compared to Universal Analytics (UA). GA4 offers numerous advantages over UA, and it’s essential to migrate to the new platform because UA is sunsetting very soon (June 2023!).

Here’s all that you need to know to get started.


Why Migrate Now?

First, GA4 is considered to be the future of free analytics software, which is why UA will be discontinued. Neglecting to migrate means you will lose access to UA data, which means you will lose all of the information you have collected about your website visitors. Making sure that your data stays consistent is key!

Next, GA4 offers superior benefits compared to UA, including more precise data collection, comprehensive insights, and innovative features like cross-platform tracking and machine learning.

Finally, to abide by privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA, GA4 is the only viable option because UA does not comply and will not be made compliant. Therefore, if you do not switch to GA4, your website is in danger of violating privacy regulations.


How Do You Migrate?

The migration process to GA4 may seem overwhelming, but it can be simplified by following these tips:

  1. Begin planning now to ensure a smooth transition. UA will be sunsetting before we know it!
  2. Develop a migration plan incorporating a timeline, a list of resources, and a task inventory to keep track of your progress. Additionally, ensure that you have all of your prior website goals outlined so that you can migrate and mimic them on GA4.
  3. Test your data before migrating it to GA4, utilizing tools such as GA4 Data Migration Assistant to check for accuracy and completeness.
  4. Migrate your data to GA4 once you have completed testing.
  5. Once the migration is complete, configure your new GA4 account, including setting up a new property and adjusting settings.
  6. Start using GA4 for tracking data and gaining insights into website traffic and user behavior with GA4 reports.


Considerations When Migrating to GA4

Migrating to GA4 can be a heavy lift depending on the number of custom events and dashboards you have. Still, it is a decision you will not regret and is necessary if you rely only on Google for your website monitoring and analytics.

GA4 is a new platform with a different data model and reporting interface than UA. It’s important to understand these differences when developing your plan for migration. Always migrate your data in parallel with your Universal Analytics account so you never lose any data. Be sure to test and evaluate results, and make sure tracking on similar audiences in UA looks the same in GA4.

Finally, Google itself can be a fantastic resource for assisting with GA4 migration. Take advantage of the GA4 preview tool, which allows you to try out GA4 and understand the data model before you migrate. It can help you iron out any issues ahead of time. Additionally, you are able to run UA and GA4 on your website at the same time – known as dual tagging. This is recommended while you finalize the GA4 instance.

If you need assistance with your website tracking or understanding the suite of Google products available for your website or business, contact us today! We’d love to help you implement this tool and better identify opportunities for tracking and analytics on your website.

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