4 Things You Need To Do Before GA4 Arrives
The long awaited setting of Universal Analytics is nearly here, and as we approach the July 1st 2023 deadline, we’re here to guide you through the process.
Not only will UA stop processing new hits on this date but (and just as vital) access to historical data could also shut down as early as January 1st 2024.
So, setting up GA4 now whilst your UA page and data is still accessible is crucial, as you will lose access to custom reports and events if you don’t act now.
Not only will this give you time to build up data in GA4 before UA officially shuts for good, but it also gives you and your team time to familiarise with GA4’s new systems and features.
The clock’s ticking – in just over a month ⏰ – GA4 arrives. Need to know what needs refreshing? We have the answers here as well as a FREE glossary and checklist for you to download – so you’re as ready as you can be for the big switch.
Set up your new GA4 Property and Data Streams
First things first you need to set up your new GA4 Property inside your existing GA account. By default you’ll create a web or app data stream. Data streams are a key feature of GA4 and allow you to separate the data that enters your GA4 property for example from your web and app. All reports can be filtered by a unique data stream allowing for easy data segmentation.
So why is this great to set up now? Well, with GA4 you can actually have a few of the streams automatically set up for you. For web data streams, you can lay back and relax with a few tracking elements already set up for enhanced measurement. With the key areas automatically tracking page views, scrolls, file downloads, video plays, site search, and outbound link clicks. (Need help with any of those terms? Check out our glossary)
But, it is important to ensure all your streams and additional figuration is added before the big switch, as UA data will disappear.
Update your tracking codes
GA4 uses a different data collection and reporting system than UA, so updating your tracking code and reporting dashboards to reflect these changes is an important step. Each data stream has a different measurement id and you’ll need to use this where appropriate when setting up tracking across your website.
GA4 now tracks a user’s session longer than the previous UA parameters, e.g cutting off after midnight. It also has the capability for cross device and channel reporting, and with new tools comes new tracking requirements. If you’re monitoring data on your website, you’ll need to update and add GA4’s tracking code properties. Your Universal Analytics tracking code won’t do the trick anymore.
To set up a GA4 property for your website, you’ll need a Google tag ID, which can be found in the “Admin” section of your Google Analytics Account.
Activate Google Signals for cross device tracking
When users turn on Ads Personalisation, Google is able to develop a holistic view of how those users interact with an online property from multiple browsers and multiple devices, and with GA4 you can track it all.
To do this though, you will need to activate Google Signals, but don’t stress, this is a fab new feature to make the most of your tracking ability. With Google Signals you get cross device insights across all your channels.
So what are you waiting for? Time to upgrade to GA4, then once you’ve turned on the switch to Enable Google signals data collection, hey presto, you’re good to go.
But don’t forget, Google signed-in data expires after 26 months – so keep pulling your reports to save all those golden nuggets.
Train the team!
The more your team understands GA4 and its features, the greater use you’ll get out of it.
GA4 can be a little daunting to explore, so training your team on how to use it efficiently is a must. This could include training in how to use specific new features, such as its event-based data model or how data reports differ with the new system.
If you’re looking for expert training in GA4, we’ve got you covered. Our Google-partnered team is ready to help you transfer, set up and train your team in everything GA4. So make sure you get in touch with us now.
If you’re looking for EVEN MORE offers and advice for all things GA4 – take a look below 👇
Ready for the next step? We’re here to help!
To make sure you’re all set for the big change, we recommend you make sure all the points above are in place.
And we’re to help with that!
We’re offering a free, no obligation Google Analytics audit to give you a head start. Everything we do is powered by research, data and strategy. That’s why auditing your current analytics set-up is so important.
And then, just because we love love love it (and you), we’ll provide tailored recommendations to help you to visualise and report on your marketing activity better.
So, claim your FREE audit today and make the most of your data starting right now!
Don’t forget, you also can download our free Google Analytics 4 glossary and checklist down below 👇