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How To Migrate To GA4: 5 Easy Steps

June 26th 2023



Imagine waking up one day and realising that your favourite pair of shoes can no longer take you where you want to go. Well, that day is July 1st, because Universal Analytics (UA), our trusted analytics companion, will stop all tracking and data processing. But fear not – while we may be bidding adieu to UA, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is here to guide us into a new era of data-driven success. If you’ve avoided switching over to GA4 for the past year, the game’s up – you now have to move across. Let’s take you through how to finally get that GA4 account set up.

How To Migrate To GA4.

Breaking up is usually never easy, but this time, it kinda is. What you may not realise is that you’ve already migrated to GA4! That’s right, Google set up every UA account with a GA4 property back in March (unless you opted-out). This includes their standard basic set-up, which likely doesn’t include a lot of the data you’re used to seeing in your UA reports.

So while it’s a helpful start, Google has left the heavy lifting up to you (thanks Google!). To transition across seamlessly, you’ll need to complete the 5 steps below. If you use Google Data Studio’s handy dashboard, you’ll need to update this too. Here’s a step-by-step on how to migrate to GA4 with ease:

Step 1: Create a New GA4 Property:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Navigate to the Admin section.
  3. Under the Property column, click on “Create Property.”
  4. Select “Web” or “Apps” depending on your tracking needs.
  5. Fill in the necessary details for your new GA4 property, such as the property name, time zone and currency. And voilá – you are now the proud parent of a GA4 property!

Step 2: Set Up Data Streams:

  1. Within your GA4 property, go to the Data Streams section.
  2. Click on “Add Stream” and select the appropriate data source, such as a website or mobile app.
  3. Follow the provided instructions to integrate the GA4 tracking code or use Google Tag Manager for a streamlined setup.
  4. Verify that data is being collected correctly by checking the Real-Time reports.

Step 3: Configure GA4 Settings:
Enable Google Signals (required for Demographics report).

2. Switch Data Retention from 2 months to 14 months.

3. Add IPs to the traffic filter by going to Data Streams > Configure tag settings > Define internal traffic. Then activate the traffic filters as shown below.

Step 3: Set Up Events and Conversions:

  1. Enable standard events in the Enhanced Measurement section (Admin > Data Streams) by turning them all on (except “Form Interactions” since it doesn’t work properly). You’ll then start to see your events in the Events section of your GA4 property. If you have just created a property, it will take 24-48 hours for the data to appear.
  2. To track an event as a conversion, make sure to tick ‘Mark as a conversion’ on the list of events. Alternatively, you can add a new Conversion event by clicking ‘New conversion event’ in the
  3. Conversions section. This will then also appear in the Events section, marked as a conversion. Note: for this to work, the conversion name must be identical to the event name.
  4. Leverage parameters to capture additional data associated with events, such as product IDs, “phone_number” or “form_type” which are not default.

Step 4: Adjust Your Reporting and Dashboards:

  1. Navigate to the Reporting section in your GA4 property.
  2. Customise your reports by selecting the metrics, dimensions and filters that are most relevant to your business goals. You can also use the Explore section to build more complex reporting (note: standard aggregated reports only allow you to use two dimensions).
  3. Create custom dashboards to visualise your data and monitor key performance indicators.
  4. Use the data export and sharing options to distribute reports to relevant stakeholders.
  5. If you use Google Data Studio, follow this guide to update it.

Bonus Step: Export Your Historical Data.

Don’t forget to export your historical data from UA. You’ll still have access to your UA reports for a while (exactly how long for, nobody knows – Google is yet to confirm this). To avoid any potential headaches, it’s best  to just export yours now.

  1. Head to the reports you’d like to keep.
  2. Click ‘Export’ in the right-hand corner.

Customising GA4.

GA4 isn’t just a one-size-fits-all tool—it’s a customizable playground for your data-driven dreams. From events to parameters, GA4 offers a whole new level of flexibility that UA just can’t compete with. Personalise your reports and dashboards to showcase the metrics and dimensions that matter most to your business.

User Privacy and GDPR In GA4.

In a world growing increasingly concerned over privacy, GA4 shines as a beacon of compliance. With its enhanced privacy features and consent-driven approach, GA4 puts privacy first and ensures that you’re on the right side of the law. The new set-up is able to collect and extract valuable data and insights, while still respecting users’ privacy. If you want to deep-dive into how GA4 is able to do this, take a read of this article from Google.

The Beginner’s Guide to GA4.

We know that change can be intimidating, especially when it comes to analytics. That’s why we’ve compiled (almost) everything you need to know about GA4, and put it into a handy ‘Beginner’s Guide to GA4’ which you can access right here (no sign up needed).  It’s designed to help you navigate the world of GA4, so you can start benefiting from all the data that’s now at your fingertips.

Goodbye, Universal Analytics.

Even though we’re a little reluctant to say goodbye to UA, we can’t deny that GA4 opens up a world of possibilities for advanced tracking, customisation and user privacy. So there you go – you can finally tick ‘Switch to GA4’ off your to-do list!

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