The End of Universal Analytics: Getting Started with GA4

The Google Analytics Loco

It’s finally here, the dawn of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has arrived (how did it come around so quickly!). If you hadn’t heard, the previous and most commonly used version of analytics, Universal Analytics (UA), is being switched off on July 1st 2023. In order to track traffic and engagement on your website using Google Analytics, you need to have GA4 setup on your account.

Don’t fret, making the switch and getting started with GA4 isn’t as daunting as it sounds. We’ve made a smooth transition to GA4 for many of our current clients, and ensured they are tracking website conversion changes through it. Read our blog and download our guide to have everything you need to help your business succeed. If you still require help, feel free to contact us and arrange for Google Analytics support with one of our marketing experts.

GA4 Setup Made Easy

Thankfully, Google has made the GA4 setup process as easy as possible. As long as you have a Universal Analytics account, you can create a GA4 property within that same account and import the majority of elements, such as goals. In the admin panel for your GA4 property, this is called the Setup Assistant, which gives you a checklist and settings to copy from your UA property to GA4.

It won’t backdate your data, but you can always look back at your UA property to compare data from both accounts. If you have tags setup on UA (and you should), you still have time to create a historical record using dual tagging. This lets you build data such as website conversion changes in GA4 while still being dependent on UA until the switch is finalised. To do this, check “enable data collection using your existing tags” when importing tags from UA.

You’ll find that the Setup Assistant takes care of the majority of your GA4 setup and makes this smooth sailing. Though, you may encounter difficulties if you never made the most of Universal Analytics and did not set it up correctly. If you didn’t set up the tag manager, Google Search Console, or did not ensure your goal tracking was up-to-date, you may need to set these up from scratch. You can always ask us for Google Analytics support and setup of GA4 if this is the case.

Ensure All Your Linked Accounts Switch to GA4

Anything that you have linked to your analytics account – such as your email marketing suite or e-commerce suite – will need to be switched to use your new GA4 account. Here are a few popular platforms many businesses integrate with Google Analytics

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Ads
  • Social media platforms
  • Email marketing platforms (e.g. Mailchimp or Constant Contact)
  • Popup systems (e.g. Optinmonster or Optimonk)
  • Booking/ecommerce systems (this may require additional setup on your website)

If you are unsure how each platform or provider integrates with Google, check their Google Analytics support guides for specific instructions. But once your accounts stop using UA and start sending their essential marketing data to GA4, you will have finished the first part of the transition to GA4.

Orient Yourself with the New Layout and Improvements

As for the functionality changes to GA4, there’s a lot that stays the same from UA to GA4, they’re just located in different places or have slightly different names. If you’d like an overview of GA4 and its differences from UA, make sure to download our guide below! We’ve explained the terminology changes, the names for the new reports, and plenty more useful information to help you orient yourself with GA4.

It may be confusing at first, but the change needed to be made for compliance and for the benefit of your business. It’s good to note that GA4 works by recording everything someone does on your website as an event. Every page they go to, every scroll/click they make will be recorded as separate events for that session (visit to the website). This already gives you plenty more information to work with from analytics, and is essential if you plan to make website conversion changes and improve your sales/leads. Events also helps for cases like one-page websites, where UA wouldn’t have been useful to track anything previously.

If you need any more help, contact us and arrange for Google Analytics support with one of our marketing experts. If needed, we can set up Google Analytics from scratch, ensuring you are tracking the events and goals you need to measure tangible results from your marketing efforts.