Are you ready to take your analytics game to the next level with Google Analytics 4 (GA4)? As the latest iteration of Google’s robust analytics platform, GA4 offers enhanced tracking capabilities, insightful reporting, and invaluable data for your business. However, ensuring a seamless transition to GA4 requires meticulous planning and attention to detail.
To help you navigate the migration process effortlessly, we have curated a concise checklist. This checklist encompasses all the essential steps, additional considerations, and advanced techniques necessary for a successful migration to GA4.
In the following sections, we’ll break down the checklist into three sections: Essential Steps, Intermediate Steps, and Advanced Steps.
Each category focuses on specific aspects of the migration process, from the initial setup to advanced features such as custom insights and cross-domain tracking. By following this checklist, you’ll be well-prepared to unlock the full potential of GA4, gaining valuable insights into your website’s performance and user behavior.
Get ready to embark on a smooth Google Analytics 4 migration as we guide you through the key steps and strategies required for a seamless transition. Let’s dive in and make the most of GA4’s powerful capabilities!
Utilise the Set Up Assistant in Universal Analytics, accessible through the Admin section. Be sure to have the GA4 code properly implemented on your website to enable data collection.
Set up a Google Analytics 4 property:
The first step is to set up a new Google Analytics 4 Property or use the one premade by Google.
Then you need to install the Google Analytics code on your website. You can do this in a few ways including manually by a web developer, a plugin of the platform or using Google tag manager.
Data collection (Data Streams):
– Collect website and app data to gain comprehensive insights into user behaviour.
– Implement the Google tag on your web pages to collect event data effectively.
– Obtain the Tracking ID: Once you have created your Property, you will receive a Tracking ID. This unique identifier is necessary to connect your website to Google Analytics.
Install the Tracking Code:
There are several methods to install the Google Analytics tracking code on your website:
a. Manual Installation:
If you have access to the source code of your website, you can manually insert the tracking code snippet just before the closing </head> tag of each webpage. This requires basic HTML and coding knowledge.
b. Web Developer:
If you’re not familiar with coding or don’t have access to your website’s source code, you can ask a web developer to assist you. Provide them with the tracking code and ask them to add it to your website.
c. Platform Plugin:
Many website platforms, such as WordPress, offer plugins that simplify the process of integrating Google Analytics. Look for a reputable plugin in your platform’s marketplace and follow the installation instructions provided.
d. Google Tag Manager:
Alternatively, you can use Google Tag Manager (GTM) to manage your Google Analytics tracking. Set up a GTM account and container, and then follow the instructions to install the GTM code snippet on your website. Once GTM is installed, you can easily add and manage various tags, including Google Analytics, without modifying your website’s code.
Set up Enhanced Measurement Tracking:
– Within the Admin section, locate your website’s Data Stream and access core information about your GA4 property.
– Enable Enhanced Measurement and select specific events, such as downloads, site searches, and video watches, for automatic tracking.
Activate Google Signals:
– Enable Google Signals to gather additional user data, including age and gender information, to enhance audience insights.
– Benefit from aggregated data from users with Google accounts who allow Ads Personalisation.
Link to Google Ads:
– Connect your GA4 property with your Google Ads account in the Admin section to import conversions for Conversion/Conversion Value based bidding.
– Ensure seamless export of GA4 audiences and conversion-event data to Google Ads.
Set your data retention window:
– Adjust the data retention window to store user data for 14 months, aligning with your data management preferences and regulatory requirements.
Import conversions or set up new ones:
– You can import your existing goals from the legacy Google Analytics Univeral (3.), or you can create new conversions by identifying the key user events crucial to your business and set them as conversions in the Admin section.
– Alternatively, create Conversion Actions during event setup to streamline conversion tracking.
The last step in the fundamental essentials is to test the implementation to make sure it is working. This can be done using the Google Chrome Tag Assistant or using Google Tag Manager.
By following this checklist of the essential steps, you’ll establish a solid foundation for your GA4 account, empowering you to unlock the potential of this analytics platform.
From granular data collection to effective audience targeting, GA4 equips you with the insights needed to drive informed business decisions.
Website Search Tracking:
If your website includes a search function, set up Site Search Tracking in GA4 to understand what users are searching for. Ensure that your site search parameters are configured correctly so that you can accurately track and analyse user search behaviour. Additionally, consider adding Site Search Terms as a Custom Definition to facilitate easier reporting and analysis of search data.
Set up Custom Events:
Review your website and identify specific events you want to track in Google Analytics. If these events are not already tracked, set up Custom Events in the Admin section of your GA4 property. You may also need to define Custom Definitions for specific parameters related to events and conversions.
Utilise Standard Reports:
Tailor the Primary Dimensions and Metrics in your standard reports to focus on the data that matters most to you. Remove any irrelevant data to streamline your reporting.
Create Custom Reports:
You may need custom reports that go beyond the standard Google Analytics 4 reports. For example, consider creating a Landing Page Report to analyse the performance of different landing pages.
Tailer Menu Interface:
Remove unnecessary reports from the menu and publish the reports that are essential for your analysis and reporting needs.
Set Up Custom Definitions:
To include specific Dimensions and Metrics in your custom events, conversions, and reporting, set up custom definitions in the Admin section. This allows you to capture data such as Link URL, Site Search Terms, File Name, and more.
Cross Domain Tracking:
If you have multiple domains that you want to track within the same GA4 property, set up Cross Domain Tracking. This allows you to gain insights into user behavior across different domains. For example, if you have www.mtraining.co.uk and www.mtraining.tickets.com, you can track them in the same GA property by implementing cross-domain tracking.
E-commerce Website Tracking:
If you have an e-commerce website that sells either products or services like subscriptions, membership etc, collaborate with your developers to set up e-commerce tracking for your GA4 account. Major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento have plugins to guide you through the process.
Set up Unwanted Referral Exclusions if needed. Analyse your acquisition reports and identify any referrals that are not genuinely relevant to your website. Common examples include payment processors like PayPal.com, or paypal.co.uk or other sources that do not provide real traffic. Exclude these referrals in the Admin section to ensure accurate reporting.
Create Advanced Reports in Explore:
Utilise the Explore feature in Google Analytics 4 to create custom reports tailored to the specific needs of your organisation. This allows you to focus on the most important data points and gain deeper insights into your analytics.
Create Audiences for Remarketing and Comparisons:
In the Admin section, set up remarketing audiences to use in Google Ads. This enables you to target specific user segments for remarketing campaigns. Additionally, creating audiences can help with comparisons and analysis within your GA4 reports.
Build Comparisons (Advanced Segments) in GA4 Property Reports:
Use the Comparisons feature in GA4 to compare different groups of visitors. This allows you to analyse and understand the differences in behavior and performance between segments. You can define your own custom comparisons based on specific criteria or user groups.
Create Audience Triggers:
Once you have defined your audiences, you can create triggers to track when new users enter specific audiences. For example, you can create triggers for users who visited a particular page and downloaded a specific file. By creating triggers, you can monitor and analyse these user actions in your event reports.
Create Custom Insights in GA4:
Take advantage of Custom Insights in GA4 to receive email notifications when specific targets or metrics are hit or missed. This feature allows you to stay informed about the performance of key metrics and take prompt action when necessary.
Content Grouping for Very Large Websites:
If you have a large website with numerous pages, consider implementing Content Grouping in Google Tag Manager. Group similar pages together to simplify reporting and analysis. For example, you can group different types of products by colour and generate reports based on those groupings.
Migrating to Google Analytics 4 requires careful attention to ensure accurate data collection and reporting. By following this comprehensive checklist, you can navigate the setup process effectively and maximise the potential of GA4.
The checklist covers essential steps, such as setting up a GA4 property, installing the GA4 code on your website, and defining audiences for personalised marketing efforts. It also includes intermediate steps like enabling Enhanced Measurement Tracking and activating Google Signals to gather additional user data.
Linking GA4 with Google Ads allows for seamless integration and the ability to import conversions for optimised bidding strategies. Setting the data retention window and configuring conversions further enhance your data management and tracking capabilities.
By implementing these steps, you establish a solid foundation for your GA4 migration, empowering you with granular data collection, effective audience targeting, and comprehensive insights. This, in turn, enables informed business decisions and strategic growth.
Unlock the true potential of GA4, elevate your analytics game, and harness the power of data to make data-driven decisions that propel your business forward. Embrace the opportunities that GA4 offers and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving digital landscape.