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How to move from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

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By Shane McClelland 22 May, 20235 MIN READ
How to move from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - Wibble Web design and Web Development

Google has made an announcement that on 1st July 2023, it’s going to make a shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. On this date, Universal Analytics will completely stop processing data. In light of Google suspending Universal Analytics and switching to Google Analytics 4, businesses have to be prepared well in advance. In this blog I will explain the steps that you need to take in order to continue tracking data on your website.

Step 1: Create a new GA4 property

The first step is to create a new GA4 property. To create a new property, log in to your Google Analytics account and click on the “Admin” tab. In the “Property” column, select “Create Property” and choose the “GA4” option.

Step 2: Install the GA4 tracking code

Once you have created a new GA4 property, you will need to install the GA4 tracking code on your website. Unlike the Universal Analytics tracking code, the GA4 tracking code is different, and you cannot simply replace the old tracking code with the new one.

Your new tracking code should look like the example below:

<!-- Google tag (gtag.js) --> <script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-VWSD5WZMPT"></script> <script> window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-VBGD5WZMXT'); </script>

I forgot to copy my new GA4 code and I’ve lost it

To go back and find your new GA4 code follow these steps:

  • Click ‘Data Sreams’ in the menu under your new GA4 Property
  • Click your relevant web stream
  • Click ‘Configure tag settings’ > Admin > Install this Google Tag > Install manually
  • Copy tag using button in top right corner

To install the GA4 tracking code, you can contact the Wibble support team at [email protected], simply copy and paste your new tracking code into the email so we can quickly add it to your website.

Step 3: Set up events and parameters In GA4 (optional)

If you’re using Universal Analytics, you can migrate your existing data to GA4. This process is optional, but it can be helpful if you want to maintain a complete historical record of your data. 

Events are the primary way to track user behaviour on your website. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 uses a more flexible event-based tracking model that allows you to track any user interaction on your website.

To set up events and parameters, you will need to define your key business goals and user interactions on your website. You can create events and parameters under the “Events” tab in your GA4 property.

Step 4: Verify data collection (optional)

Once you have set up events and parameters, it is essential to verify that your data is being collected accurately. You can use the “Real-time” report in your GA4 property to test your events and parameters.

Step 5: Compare data with Universal Analytics (optional)

After you have verified that your data is being collected accurately, you can start comparing your GA4 data with your existing Universal Analytics data. This will help you identify any discrepancies or gaps in your tracking and ensure that your data is consistent across both platforms.

Step 6: Switch to GA4

Once you are satisfied that your GA4 tracking is set up correctly and your data is being collected accurately, it is time to switch to GA4 fully. You can do this by updating all of your website properties and dashboards to use your new GA4 property.

Frequently asked questions

What Is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is the newest version of Google Analytics. it is a new generation of web analytics that will allow business owners and marketers to effectively analyse important customer usage metrics, not just track traffic.

Why do I have to move to Google Analytics 4?

When do I need to migrate to Google Analytics 4?

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Shane McClelland

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