GA4 migration - the deadline is looming!

Anna Barrington

Written by Anna Barrington on .

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Recently you may have received an email from google offering to automatically upgrade your google analytics account.

You have until February 28th to opt out. The automatic migration sounds simple enough, but is it right for your business?

What is GA4?

This is the latest version of google analytics, which includes new features such as cross-platform tracking, enhanced event measurement and machine learning ability. It uses a different data model to Universal Analytics (UA), UA is based on pageviews and sessions, GA4 is based on events and user properties.

It is a significant change to Google Analytics and will give you a bigger picture of your users’ behaviour, but will also require a different approach to tracking and reporting.

Google will stop processing data on 1st July 2023 in your Universal Analytic (UA) accounts.  After this date, all data processing will be on their new platform GA4.

Should I let the upgrade go ahead automatically?

If you have a simple UA setup and do not integrate your data with other platforms, for example a CRM or a marketing platform, an automatic migration may be a way to be up and running with minimal resources.

However, this is not the best choice for all companies, especially if you are using any of the following:

  1. Multiple UA goal types, not just events
  2. You have integrations with other platforms. The automatic migration will cover Google Adwords integration only.
  3. You have more than 50 custom dimensions or 50 custom metrics. The limit for GA4 is 50 for each of these.

The main issue with allowing an automatic migration is your existing events and goals need to fit perfectly with the new data structures in GA4. As the data model is so different this assumption could cause disruption in your data and reporting.

What should I do now?

Many companies have already set up a separate GA4 account that is running alongside their existing UA account so they have comparison data they can use for future reports. If you have not already done so, it is not too late to set up a GA4 account now.  We have a DIY guide on setting up GA4, Tag Manager and linking with Worpress and Joomla websites.  Google also have comprehensive guidelines on the setup here, or contact us and we can set this up for you. But there is no time to delay!

Want to learn more about GA4?

Once you are up and running with a GA4 account, you will need to learn how to make the most of it. There are plenty of free resources that will allow you to be more proficient at GA4. YouTube is a good place to start, google “GA4 free tutorial” and you will get a wealth of resources. If you wish to upskill further Google Analytics Academy is a free online learning platform that gives you courses in Google Analytics. Or talk to our team on what you would like to achieve, and we will be happy to help.

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