Migrate to GA4: All You Need to Know
Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing data this July 1. If you don’t want to be caught off guard and not be ready for the switch when the time comes, the time to migrate to GA4 has come.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about:
- Why GA4 is way more than just a simple Universal Analytics upgrade
- Why migrate to GA4 should be on the top list of your priorities
- How Trackingplan can help you successfully migrate to GA4 without losing any of your historical data
Migrate to GA4: More than just a new version
11 years have passed since the release of Universal Analytics back in 2012. 11 years in which mobile applications have seen exponential growth and, consequently, have transformed the way consumers interact with them.
While Universal Analytics measurement model was based on sessions and page views, GA4’s flexible event-based data model measures users’ engagement by their User ID. A change that takes digital analytics to a whole new level as it allows businesses to measure the lived experience and understand their customers’ journey independently on where they are navigating through.
In that sense, the new reporting interface can perform advanced analysis and create specific funnels with a complete picture of your users’ behaviors and their entire journey around your websites and apps.
Considering this, users of Universal Analytics are not only adapting themselves to a new UI. GA4 is conceptually a different platform that aligns with contemporary browsing behavior and understands how consumers’ mindsets and attitudes have changed over the years.
Why you should migrate to GA4 now
This situation might come with some risks, concerns, and hundreds of questions. However, if there’s one true thing is that, eventually, you will need to switch over to GA4. Most importantly, considering you won’t be able to import your previous data, you should start collecting data now so that so you have at least some historical data in your GA4 reports when UA stops working.
But that’s not the only reason. Considering the many differences between UA and GA4, having a soft launch period before Universal Analytics’ phase-out can be extremely beneficial to get comfortable with the new platform instead of being rushed into it when the time comes.
With this move, you will not only have this transition period to smoothly migrate to GA4 and ensure that what matters to you and your company is being collected correctly, but you will also start reaping the benefits of having better data based on and user-centric model much more aligned with today’s customers.
That’s why, our recommendation -and Google’s- is to install GA4 and run it parallel with UA through this period. While there will be no changes to your Universal Analytics properties, you’ll have this time to ensure your data is migrated carefully and accurately as you get familiarized with the new interface.
How Trackingplan can help you
If you’ve logged into Universal Analytics recently, you’ve probably seen that Google’s notifications pushing you to migrate to GA4 have recently started to pop up. What’s more, they have even started to offer the possibility to automatically handle the migration for you.
But as we’ve mentioned before, GA4 is conceptually so different that requires an intentional effort to accurately measure the most important parts of your customer journey. In that sense, letting Google decide won’t likely capture the huge potential of GA4, as you might not want to simply copy and paste what you already have in Universal Analytics nowadays.
Moreover, if your site has a complex goal-tracking configuration, you’ll need an expert’s help. And here is where we come in.
Whether you have the classic client-side GTM setup or you are already fully advanced with GTM server-side tagging, you can use Trackingplan to see in real-time if the migration works.
- Automatically discovering the tag implementation you have in your Universal Analytics data layer
- Ensuring you never loose data throughout the process thanks to Trackingplan’s fully automated QA system for your digital analytics
- Allowing you to quickly check if your events are being fired according to your specifications every time you migrate to GA4 any of your tags.
If you’re feeling worried about migrating and the implementation process or you are unsure of where to start or what to do next, Trackingplan has the solution to help you migrate to GA4 successfully and smoothly. Learn more about how we can help here.