Are you a website owner who relies on Google Analytics to track your website’s performance? If so, you need to know about the upcoming transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) before the 1 July 2023 deadline.

This article will explain why it’s essential to migrate to GA4 and the benefits it offers, such as advanced tracking capabilities and enhanced data privacy controls. We’ll also explore the potential consequences of not transitioning before the deadline and provide expert guidance on how to migrate to GA4. Don’t miss out on this critical information – read on to learn why and how to make the switch to GA4.

Google Analytics, GA4 Migration, Website Analytics, SEO Audit Tools

In this article:

The Importance of GA4 in a Privacy-First World

Google is moving towards Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to address the changing needs of businesses and consumers in a privacy-first world. Universal Analytics was introduced over a decade ago and wasn’t designed to address the new challenges that the digital landscape presents. Google is stopping processing data on Universal Analytics to promote privacy. GA4 was built with privacy at its core, providing businesses with a more advanced way to analyse customer behaviour  in a privacy-safe way.

GA4 allows businesses to track user behaviour  without collecting personally identifiable information, which is a significant step towards safeguarding user privacy. Additionally, GA4 addresses the increasing complexity of the digital ecosystem, allowing businesses to analyse user behaviour  across devices and platforms.

Why websites must transition to GA4 before the 1 July 2023 deadline

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation measurement solution replacing Universal Analytics. The transition is essential as standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data from July 1, 2023. Migrating to GA4 is crucial to ensure businesses don’t lose valuable data and have access to more advanced features. This article explores why Google is moving towards GA4, the benefits of making the switch, and how to migrate to GA4.

If websites don’t transition to GA4 before 1 July 2023, they will miss out on several important benefits and may face challenges in accurately tracking their website traffic and user behaviour . GA4 offers several new features and improvements compared to the previous Universal Analytics version.

The transition to GA4 is essential for website owners to gather accurate data, measure user engagement, and optimise website performance. After the deadline, websites that have not migrated to GA4 will no longer be able to access historical data from their Universal Analytics accounts, and will lose out on the advanced tracking capabilities of GA4, such as cross-device tracking, enhanced data privacy controls, and machine learning-powered insights. In short, the failure to transition to GA4 could result in missed opportunities for growth and optimisation for website owners.

The Benefits of Migrating to GA4

Migrating to GA4 provides businesses with access to more advanced features and settings to help them make informed decisions. Some of the benefits of GA4 include:

  • Enhanced Data Model: GA4 has a more flexible data model that can handle events from multiple platforms, including mobile apps, web, and offline events. This feature provides deeper insights into user behaviour across devices.
  • More Advanced Reporting: GA4 provides businesses with more advanced reporting features, such as cross-device reports, that enable businesses to analyse user behaviour across devices and platforms.
  • Improved Conversions: GA4 allows businesses to set up and track conversions more efficiently, providing them with insights into how users interact with their website or app.
  • Smarter Insights: GA4 provides businesses with smarter insights and automated alerts that help them identify trends and anomalies in their data.

The Impact of GA4 on Remarketing and Audience Targeting

The switch to GA4 also has an impact on remarketing and audience targeting. Google Signals, a feature of GA4, enables enhanced remarketing and reporting by providing cross-device and cross-platform insights. With Google Signals, businesses can analyse user behaviour  across devices, such as mobile and desktop, and platforms, such as Google Search, Google Display Network, and YouTube. This enables more accurate audience targeting and personalised messaging.

In addition, GA4 introduces a new way of building audiences based on events. In Universal Analytics, audiences were primarily built based on pageviews, sessions, and user demographics. In GA4, audiences can be built based on custom events, such as clicks on specific buttons, form submissions, or video views. This provides a more flexible and granular way of creating audiences based on specific user actions and behaviour s.

However, the transition to GA4 also means that businesses will need to rebuild their remarketing and audience targeting strategies. Any existing audiences or remarketing lists created in Universal Analytics will not be transferred to GA4. Businesses will need to create new audiences in GA4 based on the new event-based tracking model. This may require a review of existing website goals and user actions to ensure that the most relevant events are being tracked.

Overall, the switch to GA4 provides new opportunities for more accurate audience targeting and personalised messaging. However, it also requires businesses to adapt their remarketing and audience targeting strategies to the new event-based tracking model.

How to Migrate to GA4

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4) now the default experience for new Google Analytics properties, website owners may be wondering how to switch their existing Universal Analytics data to GA4. While the process may seem overwhelming, it can be accomplished relatively easily by following a few key steps. In this section, we will outline the steps necessary to migrate to GA4 to make the transition smoother.

Step-by-Step Guide to Migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

  1. Create a GA4 Property and Data Stream: Website owners need to create a new GA4 property and data stream in their Google Analytics account.
  2. Collect Website and App Data: Website owners need to ensure that their website and app data is collected using the GA4 data stream.
  3. Set Up Conversions: Website owners need to set up conversions in their GA4 property to track user behaviour .
  4. Add Users: Website owners need to add users to their GA4 property to provide access to the new property.
  5. Turn on Google Signals: Website owners should turn on Google Signals to enable enhanced remarketing and reporting.
  6. Link to Google Ads: Website owners need to link their GA4 property to Google Ads to enable more advanced reporting and remarketing.
  7. Link to Search Console: Linking Search Console to GA4 to gain deeper insights into search traffic and keyword performance.
  8. Migrate Audiences: Website owners can migrate their audiences from Universal Analytics to GA4 using the User migration tool.

Migrating to GA4 is essential to ensure businesses don’t lose valuable data and have access to more advanced features. To make the transition smoother, Google has provided various tools such as the GA4 Setup Assistant, Goals migration tool, User migration tool, and Google Ads links migration tool.

Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) for GA4 Implementation

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool that can make the implementation of GA4 much easier and efficient. Once you have created a GA4 property and obtained the tracking code, you can use GTM to add the GA4 tracking code to your website. To do this, you need to create a new tag in GTM and select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration” as the tag type. Then, enter your GA4 measurement ID in the “Measurement ID” field.

Once you have added the GA4 tracking code to your website, you can use GTM to set up custom tracking events, such as clicks on specific buttons or form submissions. This can be done by creating a new trigger in GTM and selecting the appropriate event type (e.g. click, form submission) and specifying the conditions for the trigger to fire. You can then create a new tag and link it to the trigger to track the custom event in GA4.

GTM can also be used to manage all of your tags in one place, reducing the risk of errors and simplifying the implementation process. For example, you can use GTM to manage tags for other marketing and analytics tools, such as Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn Insight Tag, or Hotjar.

Overall, using GTM tags for GA4 can make the implementation process easier, faster, and more efficient. However, if you prefer to implement GA4 manually, you can still do so without using GTM.

Businesses should start planning and implementing the migration process today to ensure a seamless transition and continued access to valuable data.

Get Expert Help with Your GA4 Transition Journey

If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about the transition to GA4 before the July 1, 2023 deadline, don’t hesitate to contact BlueMagnet for assistance.

Our team of experts is ready to guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful transition. With our help, you can take full advantage of the new and improved features of GA4, optimising your website’s performance and maximising your return on investment. Contact us today to learn more and get started on your GA4 transition journey.