GA4 is revving up and it's time to get moving.

As you probably know, the ‘old’ version of Google Analytics (GA3, aka Universal Analytics) will stop working from July of this year. This means the way in which brands will be tracking and analysing the traffic coming through their website is about to change significantly.

We’re busy preparing our clients for the big changeover and ensuring that the data they are accessing and collecting will continue to be useful and usable once it happens. As an experienced digital analyst, I have a few pieces of advice that should make life a lot easier when GA4 finally lands.

Get started

To make the migration to GA4 as successful as possible, we’re encouraging our clients to begin using GA4 data now: as not only will it get them up-to-speed with the new UI before the old one stops working, it’ll also ensure that any changes in the reporting data (which is inevitable when changing platforms) don’t come out-of-the-blue.

The basics

We’re making sure all of our clients have GA4 setup on their site. It sounds basic because it is, but not all businesses are prepared. Once they’re established on GA4, we're then ensuring that their setups are providing the necessary data; it's important to make sure that their accounts are configured in a way that (at least) replicates their GA3 setup. If they use custom tracking or e-commerce, we need to make sure the equivalent tags are setup in Google Tag Manager along with things like making sure Google Ads and Search Console are configured correctly, and that compatible enhanced e-commerce datalayers are deployed.

The skills 

It’s important to find out the level of existing competency and comfort our clients have using GA4 and understand if they are getting the most out of it, for example, do they know where to find their BAU data, or equivalent. We always try and empower and up-skill our clients. We're hitting home that GA4 isn't an upgrade on the old version, it's a whole new platform... so there’s an opportunity here to provide some training or on-boarding. Essentially, they have 6 months to get to grips with GA4 before GA3 dies a digital death.

Reporting and measuring

We provide regular reports for our clients, and in preparation for the migration to GA4, some changes to the backend system need to be made to ensure that the reports are working as they did before. A silver lining of the change is that moving to GA4 presents a rare opportunity to review a websites purpose and what is measured. GA4’s event-driven data model means that clients are far less shackled to a page view or user-centric way of evaluating their sites’ success. There is an opportunity here to review a site and provide an improved measurement framework.

We’ve been ahead-of-the-curve in getting clients onto GA4. But the general feeling amongst the analytics community is that many companies still haven’t migrated and are essentially burying their head in the sand about the demise of GA3. So, take the above as a heads up, from one friendly analyst to another, and to other companies out there who might not be thinking ahead. You’ve still got time to put the wheels in motion and make the move to GA4 as seamless as possible.

If you’d like to speak to us about how we could help prepare your business, then get in touch.

Related articles