With Google’s recent announcement that Universal Analytics will be ‘sunset’ on 1st July 2023, the time has come to embrace the new standard in web analytics. GA4 is Google’s brand new stream-based analytics solution, and offers far more flexibility with both data collection and measurement.
Sadly, the transition from UA to GA4 isn’t always simple. That’s why we’re offering a free review and migration plan. Fill in your details below, and one of the team will be in touch.
The move from Universal Analytics to GA4 has been quite a shock to many people, mainly due to the drastic change in the way data is collected and displayed. UA was what is referred to as a ‘hit-based’ platform, where GA4 can be classed as ‘event-based’. Events were present in UA (and used as part of a good measurement model), but have now become the entire basis of GA4. Where as before pageviews, ecommerce data and other metrics were measured as hits, they are now all treated as individual events and form part of a stream of data, rather than a collection of pageviews.
What this means for most sites, is you’ll receive a far more complex overview of a user’s journey on your site and each waypoint they reach making use of events. Where we can help is in helping you to plan your GA4 migration to ensure you get the very best data for your marketing and UX projects.
After the 1st July 2023, Universal Analytics properties will no longer accept new data. This means that any reports, dashboards or third party tools relying on your analytics data will cease to work. Google have stated that historic data will be available for at least a year after this date, but possibly longer.
Our recommendation is to organise your migration at least a year in advance, so you have a year of comparable data before the switch-off happens. This gives you plenty of time to ensure you’re still capturing the right data, and update any reports or third party tools to use this new data stream.
Sadly not. Setting up your new GA4 property is very easy, but replacing your existing goals, events and custom dimensions and metrics requires some planning. Event data in UA was managed with a set structure, where GA4 uses a more flexible parameter-based method.
An example of an event in UA:
Event name = Contact Form Submission
- Event Category = Form Interaction
- Event Action = Form Submission
- Event Label = Contact Form
The same Event in GA4 might look like:
- form_interaction_type = Form Submission
- form_name = Contact Form
In order to track conversions (GA4’s version of goals), you also need to define events as ‘conversion events’. It’s also necessary with some events to create custom dimensions or metrics for reporting purposes.