Have you just signed into Google Analytics, seen this pop-up, and realised it’s about time to migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Well, if you’ve ended up here, you’ve done the right thing! As a group of digital marketing professionals, our digital team at Sciad understand that changing to a new and unfamiliar analytics platform can seem like a big task. That’s why we’ve created this user-friendly guide to walk you through the actions you need to take to start benefiting from the new features of GA4 before the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) on 1st July.

Ready to get started? Just pick the steps that apply to you and follow the instructions. If you get stuck, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team!

  1. Do you manage a large business account?

If you only have one website/app, skip to step 2. If the answer is YES, this step may apply to you.

  • GA4 doesn’t have the Views segmentation of UA, so if you have a large business account, it’s best to review your account structure. Let’s start with some definitions:
  • Your ACCOUNT is the whole collection of data owned by a company. This can contain PROPERTIES which represent the data from different user bases. Within a property, DATA STREAMS represent different sources of data from apps and websites.
  • The general rule is to have 1 account per company, 1 property per brand/business, and 3 data streams per property for web, iOS & Android data.
  • Find further instructions here.
  1. Are you ready to create your GA4 property?

If NO, let us convince you otherwise… it’s not too bad! If YES (which now applies to all of you), great news, follow this step.

Fortunately there’s a helpful GA4 Setup Assistant wizard to create the property for you! This wizard will copy the property name, website URL, time zone, and currency from UA, connect UA & GA4, and ensure your GA4 property gets data from your existing Google tags. Let’s start:

  • In Google Analytics, click Admin, and check the correct account is showing.
  • In the Property column, select your UA property and click GA4 Setup Assistant.
  • When you see ‘I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property’, click Get started.
  • In this pop-up screen you can either:
    • Create property – if you see this option, yay! You can reuse your existing UA tagging and skip to step 4.
    • Create and continue – this option means you’ll need to set up your Google tags – move to step 3 to learn how.
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. GA4 Setup Assistant couldn’t reuse your tags?

No worries, follow this step to collect website & app data.

The ‘Set up a Google tag’ page gives you a number of options:

  • You can use the Google tag found on your website to complete setup without making changes to your site’s code.
  • You can use a Google tag you already havethat’s labelled “On site”.
  • You can install a Google tagif you don’t already have one – this can be done with your website builder or manually:
    • You may need to Install Manually if your website builder doesn’t support the Google tag, your web developers are manually tagging your website, your website is tagged with analytics.js, or you use Google Tag Manager
    • To do this, go to the Install Manually tab where you’ll see the JavaScript snippet for your Google tag. The tag is the entire section of code beginning with <!– Google tag (gtag.js) –> and ending with </script> . Copy and paste this tag in the code of each page of your website after the <head> element.
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. Will you need enhanced remarketing and reporting?

If you want additional data about users who’ve turned on ads personalization and signed into their Google Accounts, this step is for you. If not, skip this one.

  • To collect additional data, you’ll need to turn on Google signals.
  • Go to the Setup Assistant and click the Actions menu.
  • Click Manage Google Signals.
  • In Data collection turn on Google signals data collection.
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. Do you want to set up conversions manually or using the goals migration tool?

Remember your goals in UA? GA4 calls these conversions. You can either migrate your UA goals to GA4 conversions automatically or set up conversions manually.

  • If you’re using the Goals migration tool, go to the Property column and select your GA4 property.
  • Click Setup Assistant, and in Property settings go to Set up conversions and click Actions.
  • Click Import from Universal Analytics and go to the import existing goals from your connected property panel to select the goals you want to recreate as conversions.
  • Click import selected conversions to finish. Find more instructions here.

Note that if your goal is complex, it is best to set it up manually.

  • If you’re setting up goals manually, start by creating the event you want to track.
  • In Google Analytics, go to the Property column, click Events > Create eventCreate.
  • Name the event and add your conditions in the Matching conditions section.
  • Then, in Parameter configuration click Add modification twice to enter the value of the lead in the first column and the currency in the second column. 
  • Mark the event as a conversion by going to the Property column, clicking Conversions, selecting New conversion event and entering the name. Find more instructions here.
  1. Will other people need to access your Analytics account?

If you’re the only user of this account, skip this step. If other people will use the account, you can either migrate them from UA or add them manually.

To migrate users:

  • Use the GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics Google Sheets add-on. Create a new Google Sheet & activate the add-on sidebar by clicking ExtensionsGA4 Migrator for Google AnalyticsMigrate users to GA4. Find more instructions here.

To add users manually:

  • Go to the Account or Property column and click Access Management. In the Permissions list click + and Add users, then enter the email address, choose the permissions, and click Add. Find more instructions here.
  1. Are you running ads in Google?

If not, you’ve done all you need to do for now, congrats! If YES, this following section applies to advertisers, and the first step is to link your GA4 property to your Google Ads account.

Linking GA4 with Google Ads means data flows between the two, allowing you to see your campaigns in the reports, access new report dimensions, import Analytics conversions into Google Ads, and enhance remarketing with Analytics audience data. You can do this with the migration tool or manually.

To use the migration tool:

  • Go to the Property column, select the GA4 property, and click Setup Assistant.
  • Under Google Ads, go to Link to Google Ads, and select Import from Universal Analytics from the Actions menu.
  • Select the Google Ads links you want to import, click Import selected Ads links > OK. Find more instructions here.

To link manually:

  • Go to Product links in Analytics and click Google Ads Links > LinkChoose Google Ads accounts, select the account, Confirm > Next. Review your settings then click Submit.
  • There’s one final step to take action of this data: in Google Ads you need to either import conversions or add audiences to a campaign/group (for remarketing).
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. Do you want to carry on using your audiences from Universal Analytics?

If you’re creating new audiences, skip this step. If you want to use the same audiences, it’s time to Migrate your Audiences.

  • If you’ve linked GA4 and Google Ads, this is simple. Just go to the campaign or ad group where you’re using your UA audiences, open the Audiences section, and add the GA4 audiences to the targeting options in addition to the UA audiences.
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. Replicated your Universal Analytics conversions in GA4, and found they don’t add up?

Before importing GA4 conversions into Google Ads, it’s best to compare them to UA conversions. The volumes should be similar, but if conversion counts differ significantly, you can validate your migrated goals.

  • Simply change UA goals from Primary to Secondary conversions in Google Ads, then import GA4 conversion events and mark as Primary. Now you can compare the two.
  • Find more instructions here.
  1. Do you want to give your Google Ads smart bidding access to data that helps optimise bids?

If you’re not worried about this for now, you’re all done! But if you want to allow GA4 data to help optimise the performance of your ads, it’s time to import conversions into Google Ads for bidding.

  • In Google Ads, click Tools and settings, go to Measurement > Conversions, click New conversion action > Import.
  • Select your GA4 properties and click Continue. Choose your conversion events and click Import > Continue > Done.
  • You can then edit the goal in the dropdown menu to set it as a Primary action.
  • Find more instructions here.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully migrated your property to GA4 and beaten the sunsetting of Universal Analytics!

If you want to find out more about how Sciad can help you with your website, ads, or any communications challenges, contact our team of science communications specialists today.

Note: information may change subject to further Google updates going forward. Please check the Google support site for future updates

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