Migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) requires careful planning and execution. Here are the steps to prepare for your GA4 migration:
  1. Familiarize Yourself with GA4: Start by understanding the key differences between UA and GA4. GA4 offers a more event-driven, user-centric approach to tracking and reporting compared to the session-based model of UA. Study the GA4 documentation and resources provided by Google to gain a solid understanding of the platform.
  2. Set Clear Goals and Objectives: Define your migration goals and objectives. Consider what specific data and insights you want to capture in GA4 that you couldn’t achieve with UA. Determine how you’ll measure success in GA4 and align your migration plan accordingly.
  3. Perform a Gap Analysis: Identify the gaps between UA and GA4 in terms of tracking and reporting. Analyze the differences in data collection, dimensions, metrics, and reporting capabilities. This analysis will help you determine the necessary changes and adjustments for a successful migration.
  4. Review and Update Your Data Strategy: Evaluate your existing data strategy and make necessary adjustments to accommodate GA4’s event-based tracking approach. Consider the events you need to track, the parameters associated with those events, and the desired user journey you want to capture. Review your data layer and implement any necessary changes to align with GA4’s data model.
  5. Implement GA4 Tracking Code: Install and configure the GA4 tracking code on your website or app. The process differs from the UA tracking code, so refer to the GA4 documentation for detailed instructions. Ensure that the tracking code is properly implemented across all relevant pages and platforms.
  6. Update Your Measurement Plan: Review & update your measurement plan to reflect the changes in GA4. Determine the events and conversions you want to track, and define the custom dimensions and metrics required for your analysis. Create new event definitions and set up conversion goals in GA4.
  7. Configure Data Streams: Set up data streams in GA4 to collect data from your website, app, or other platforms. Configure the data streams to capture the desired events, parameters, & user interactions. Consider using Firebase for app tracking & take advantage of enhanced measurement capabilities.
  8. Test and Validate Data Collection: Perform thorough testing to ensure accurate data collection in GA4. Use Google Analytics Debugger, Real-time reports, and DebugView to validate that events are firing correctly and data is being captured as expected. Compare data from UA and GA4 during the testing phase to ensure consistency and identify any discrepancies.
  9. Set Up Custom Reports and Dashboards: Create custom reports & dashboards in GA4 to match your reporting requirements. Leverage the new features & capabilities offered by GA4, such as enhanced data exploration, analysis hub, and machine learning insights. Align your reporting with the goals and objectives defined earlier.
  10. Train and Educate Your Team: Provide training & education sessions to familiarize your team with GA4 & its new features. Ensure that everyone understands the changes in tracking, reporting, & analysis processes. Encourage your team to explore GA4’s capabilities and leverage them to gain valuable insights.
  11. Plan for Data Retention and Audiences: Determine your data retention policy in GA4 and configure it accordingly. Decide how long you want to retain data and create a plan for exporting and storing historical data if needed. Set up audiences and user properties to leverage GA4’s advanced audience segmentation capabilities.
  12. Monitor, Analyze, and Optimize: Once the migration is complete, closely monitor and analyze your GA4 data. Compare it to your previous UA data to identify any discrepancies or insights. Continuously optimize your tracking, reporting, and analysis processes based on the new insights and capabilities offered by GA4.
Remember that migrating from UA to GA