The sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) is looming, so it’s time to make that all-important upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
To futureproof your data, you need to get your GA4 property set up and tracking as soon as possible, and we strongly advise that you run UA and GA4 side by side for at least 6 months (or as long as possible). This might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’re here to help ease this process and have put together a handy guide for you to follow.
Step 1: How To Enable Your GA4
If you already use Universal Analytics, a recommendation tab should pop up when you enter your account, telling you to upgrade to the GA4 property. This is the easiest way to complete step one and is as simple as clicking create and confirming; the GA4 setup assistant will create your property parallel to UA!
Two things to note here:
- This won’t affect your existing UA property, and it will continue to collect data until July 2023.
- The GA4 setup assistant will not backfill the property with historical data, which is why it’s essential to get this up and running ASAP to start data collection.
To use the GA4 property setup assistant, click “Let’s go”, and the following options will appear:
Under “I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property”, click “Get Started”.
Once you’ve clicked this, you’ll need to select one of the following options that coincide with how your site is tagged:
Option 1: Create and Continue. Select this option to move on to the “set up your Google Tag” page. From here, you can select one of the following options:
- Use the Google tag found on your website (this is the recommended option and will allow you to complete the setup without having to alter your site’s code)
- Use a Google tag you already have
- Install a Google tag
If you are unsure which of these options to choose, check out this article, or get in touch with us, and we’ll be able to help.
Option 2: Create Property. If this option appears on your screen, Analytics can reuse your UA tagging for your new GA4 property.
You have successfully connected your properties! 🎉
Once you’re in your new GA4 property, head to the Admin tab in the bottom left-hand corner and click Setup Assistant; this will help you complete the setup process and guide you through the new interface.
Step 2: Setting Up Conversions in GA4
Now you’ve completed the first part, it’s time to start tracking your conversions!
GA4 tracks conversions in a completely different way than Universal Analytics. In UA, conversions are measured through goals and e-commerce transactions, whereas in GA4, there is no distinction between goals and e-commerce. Instead, they are measured through GA4 conversion events, which are triggered every time a user interacts with your website or app.
To make things more straightforward, you can migrate your UA goals to GA4 conversion events using GA4’s migration tool. We’ve broken down the steps to help guide you through this:
- In Google Analytics, ensure you are in the correct account and are in an Editor role.
- Go to Admin > Property > Setup Assistant.
- Then click Conversions > Import existing goals from your connected UA property > Get Started.
- Select the goals you want to recreate as conversion events in GA4 > Import selected conversions.
- You can find these new conversion events in Configure > Conversions > Conversion Events.
To set up a new conversion, you can follow this step-by-step guide put together by Google and go through the process manually.
The process for Defining Audiences is the same as setting up conversions – an option to import your audiences from Universal Analytics will appear, click this and follow the instructions.
Step 3: Linking Google Ads to your GA4 property (if applicable)
If you run ads, you’ll need to head into your Google Ads account to link your account to the new GA4 property.
Once you’re in Google Ads, Navigate to Tools and Settings > Shared Library > Audience Manager.
Now you’re in the Audience Manager, go to the left-hand side and select Data Sources. From here, link the account to the new GA4 property by clicking “Link to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Firebase” (as shown below).
You’ll then be directed to a final screen to “link.” And that’s Step 3 complete!
Step 4: Setting Up Enhanced Conversions (if applicable)
Enhanced conversions match your customer data to Google data, improving the accuracy of your conversion measurements in a privacy-safe way, meaning that your data is hashed before Google receives it.
Here are a few easy-to-follow steps to set up your enhanced conversion tracking, and we’ve linked a couple of valuable videos below to help guide you through the process.
1. To set up enhanced conversions in Google Ads, go to Tools and Settings > Conversions > Click ‘Insert the name of the conversion action’ conversion.
2. Once you’ve clicked on the above, select Enhanced Conversions > ‘Turn on enhanced conversions’ > ‘Global site tag or Google Tag Manager’ > Next.
3. Now enter your website URL and click ‘Check URL.’
4. Finally, you need to select the tag type. The most common practice is to manually implement enhanced conversions, either through Google Tag or Google Tag Manager.
If you use the Google Tag implementation, select ‘Automatic setup’ and ’email.’ Alternatively, if you need to do this manually, check out this video for more details or you can get in touch with us for further support.
Google Tag Manager
If you are using the Google Tag Manager implementation, select this option to be directed to the Google Tag Manager interface. From there, go to “Tags” on the left-hand side and click on the conversion tag to edit.
GA4 Set Up Complete!
Hopefully, you’ve now got Google Analytics 4 all set up and ready for the upcoming switch. It’s really important to get used to the new interface and explore what it has to offer so that you’re confident with it when it becomes the leading reporting tool!
If you’re struggling to get to grips with the GA4 upgrade, or are entirely new to Google Analytics, give us a call, and we’ll be able to assist.