If you are using Google Analytics or any other related Google product, you have undoubtedly received multiple emails from Google announcing that Google Analytics 4 is taking over on July 1st, 2023. On July 1st, 2023, if you do not have a Google Analytics 4 account created, you will have no Analytics reporting. Learn why the switch to Google Analytics 4 is happening and what steps to follow to ensure a smooth transition from your current Analytics into Google Analytics 4. Finally, when you have your Google Analytics 4 account created, how to set it up and optimize it.
Why Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 is the “next generation of Google Analytics.” It offers better privacy protection, more advanced artificial intelligence is built-in and allows for better integration with other Google products. These things combined to deliver the opportunity for more optimized campaign performance and drive marketing ROI.
You can read the official announcement from Google here.
How to switch to Google Analytics 4
It will be best to get switched over before the deadline so you have time to adjust and optimize your setup.
On a day-to-day basis, the most significant change for most Google Analytics users is a new layout and interface when they log in to Google Analytics. So it may take a while to get used to the navigation and where everything is in the new design. It may also be challenging to identify all the previous indicators you were monitoring in your earlier version of Google Analytics.
There will be a blue notification bar at the top of your Google Analytics screen that provides information about the switch to Google Analytics 4 and has a blue “Let’s go” button on the far right that will start the process for you.
You will be sent directly to a page in the settings. It will tell you which Google Analytics property you are using, and there will be a box that says, “I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property. Click the blue “Get Started” button below to start the process.
A pop-up window will provide more information about switching over to Google Analytics 4. There will be no historical data in this new property, so if you need to look at any data from the past, it will need to be within your previous Google Analytics property. Historical reporting will be more complicated since the data will be split between the two properties depending on the time frame.
A new Google Analytics property will be created, and all basic settings will transfer automatically. However, additional settings like conversions, events, and link tracking will need to be manually added through the setup assistant in the next step. New Google Analytics 4 tracking tags will also need installation on your website to complete the process.
Inside the pop-up on the bottom left corner, click the blue “Get Started” button to create your new Google Analytics account. Getting started will transfer you to a new settings screen.
You will see the new name of your Google Analytics 4 property and the ID to go along with it. There is a blue button in the box above that, “See your GA4 property”, clinking that will all you to explore and set up your Google Analytics 4 property.
A new tab on your browser will open and send you to the Google Analytics 4 set-up assistant. You will find the global site tag that will need installation on your web page so Google Analytics 4 can collect the data. You will be able to link your new Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account to share data.
The last step to take on this page is to import existing goals, conversions, and events from your previous version of Google Analytics.
The “Get started” button opens a pop-up that shows your goals and allows you to import them to your new property. You can also choose not to select any goal you do not want transferred to Google Analytics 4. Click “Import selected conversion” to complete the goal transfer in the top right corner. Any tag customizations will not transfer, so check your data once you are in Google Analytics 4 and make sure to add in any custom tags you still need from your previous analytics account.
Lastly, you can manage and change user permissions on the setup assistant.
How Google Analytics 4 Looks
The setup is complete. There will probably be adjustments, but your new Google Analytics property is ready to go.
The homepage and left-side navigation look slightly different. The home page will show a snapshot of your user data and a real-time report.
The Reports tab includes a large amount of user data information.
The report’s homepage includes snapshots of user acquisition, traffic acquisition, and a report on the most viewed pages. Here again, you will see the user snapshot and real-time report.
“Advertising” makes it seem like it would only be for your Google Ads campaigns, but that is not the case.
The advertising page is where all of your conversion data will live. All data related to conversion is here, including how many conversions and the paths users followed to complete a conversion.
Lastly, inside the configure tab, you will be able to create and modify all events.
Google’s switch may seem daunting, but it’s painless with all built-in automation. The most challenging part for users will be getting used to the new layouts and configurations inside Google Analytics 4. After some getting used to it should provide you with everything and more from your previous Analytics account.