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How to Migrate Google to Analytics 4 - Property and Goals

Google Analytics is universally known as a powerful tool that helps businesses track and analyze website traffic and user behavior. The newest version (GA4) provides even more insights, designed to handle the changing landscape of digital marketing and data analysis. If you're using an older version of Google Analytics, it's time to migrate to the new platform. Here's how to do it in a few simple steps.

What's the Difference Between Universal Analytics and GA4?

A is an older version of Google Analytics that relies on a session-based model for tracking user interactions. It provides data on website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. GA4, on the other hand, uses an event-based model that allows for more granular tracking of user interactions across multiple devices and platforms.

GA4 also offers advanced features like machine learning-powered insights, predictive analytics, and cross-device tracking. Overall, GA4 represents a more modern and versatile approach to website analytics compared to UA.

Step 1: Create a Google Analytics 4 Property

The first step is to create a new Google Analytics 4 property. You can do this by logging into your Google Analytics account and navigating to the Admin section. From there, click Create Property and select Google Analytics 4 as the property type. Follow the prompts to complete the setup process.

create property settings in GA 4

Step 2: Install the Global Site Tag

Once you've created your new property, you'll need to install the global site tag on your website. This will allow Google Analytics 4 to start tracking your website traffic. The global site tag is a small piece of code that you'll need to add to every page of your website. When continuing the setup process, it will ask you what kind of data you want to collect. If you're wanting to collect from your website, choose Web.

start collecting data options

Once you've chosen an option, it will ask you a series of question to better understand how you intend to use the platform. This eventually leads to the tag installation screen where you can copy the tag and follow the on-screen instructions to install.

global site tag installation instructions

If you skipped this step initially when you started the process, you can use the Setup Assistant under the Admin > Property section to help guide you through the installation process as well. If you're using a CMS like Wordpress or Wix, it could be much easier to install than manually placing the global site tag within HTML yourself.

Step 3: Set Up Custom Dimensions and Metrics

Custom dimensions and metrics allow you to track specific data points that are important to your business. For example, you might want to track the number of times a visitor clicks on a certain button or the amount of time they spend on a particular page.

To set up custom dimensions and metrics, navigate to the Admin section of your Google Analytics account and click on Custom Definitions. From there, you can create custom dimensions and metrics and start tracking the data you need.

create custom definitions in GA4

Step 4: Review and Update Your Data Collection Settings

Google Analytics 4 collects data in a different way than previous versions, so you'll need to review and update your data collection settings. In the Admin section of your account, click on Data Streams and select your Google Analytics 4 property.

From there, you can review your data collection settings and make any necessary updates.

review data streams

Step 5: Explore the New Features of Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 provides new and improved features that can help you gain insights into your website traffic and user behavior. Some of these features include cross-device tracking, machine learning insights, and enhanced data visualization. Take some time to explore these features and see how they can help you make better business decisions.

I recommend taking a Google Analytics 4 Certification to truly understand how to utilize the entire platform.

How to Migrate Goals to GA4 Conversion Events

In Google Analytics 4 properties, you measure what used to be "Goals" as conversion events. You can automatically migrate your Universal Analytics goals to Google Analytics 4 conversion events with a built in tool.

Destination goals and event goals are the only goals that can be migrated to GA4 conversion events. Pages/screens per session goals, duration goals, smart goals, and any goal that uses regular expressions are not migratable.

To use the goals migration tool, you need the Editor role on your account.

  1. In Google Analytics, click Admin.

  2. Make sure you are in the correct account.

  3. In the Property column, select the Google Analytics 4 property that currently collects data for your website.

  4. In the Property column, click Setup Assistant.

  5. Under Property settings, go to Set up conversions, and click the Actions icon .

  6. Click Import from Universal Analytics.

  7. In the Import existing goals from your connected property panel, select which goals you'd like to recreate as conversion events in your new Google Analytics 4 property.

  8. Click Import selected conversions in the top right.

To view these new conversion events in your Google Analytics 4 property, go to Configure > Conversions and look in the Conversion Events table. It could take up to 24 hours for new conversion events to appear in your reports.

In the end, migrating to Google Analytics 4 is an important step for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve in terms of tracking their overall digital footprint, considering Universal Analytics is set to sunset, its also necessary. By following these steps, you can make the transition to the new platform and start taking advantage of its powerful features. Remember to review your data stream settings and explore the new features to get the most out of Google Analytics 4.

If you need help with your migration process or want to understand GA4 and how it can be further utilized in your SEO efforts, contact RankRealm today and lets see if we can help! We are certified on both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

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