Efficiently migrate to Google Analytics 4

Since July 2023, Google will stop supporting Universal Analytics (UA) and start the full rollout of Google Analytics 4. So in case you haven't set up your GA4 environment yet, it's time to do so! In this blog post, we share a practical checklist to help with a smooth transition from UA to GA4.

1. Implement tracking codes on the website correctly

It is important to implement tracking codes correctly to ensure that the right data enters GA4. Instead of an automated link from Google UA, it is better to implement a generic GA4 tag on all pages of your website. In addition, it is also important to implement separate event tracking in GA4 to track specific events.


2. Remove all obsolete (hard-coded) tracking codes

With the transition to GA4, it is important to remove all obsolete tracking codes. This includes, for example, hard-coded UA tracking codes that will no longer be supported after July 2023. Not removing these tags could lead to duplicate data and possibly technical issues.

Make sure you go through everything thoroughly and remove all unnecessary tracking codes.

3. Use a well-considered GA4 checklist

When transitioning from UA to GA4, it is important to use a well-thought-out checklist. At PHPro, we created a good GA4 checklist especially for you. This checklist helps set up the current and configured settings from UA into the right GA4 stream. Examples include: internal filters, conversions, cross domain tracking and more.

By carefully transferring these settings, you will ensure that the GA4 implementation runs as smoothly as possible. Be sure to check out the PHPro blog regularly to stay up to date on what's new in GA4.

4. Take the time to remove unnecessary tracking, tags or events

While you are in the process of migrating from UA to GA4, it is a good time to evaluate tracking. This clean-up process will ensure that your GA4 implementation remains optimised and can also have a positive impact on the performance of your website.

Do you still have pieces of code on your website that are no longer needed? Get rid of them!


5. Keep GDPR and privacy in mind

It is important to consider GDPR legislation and privacy issues when collecting data with GA4. As the website owner, you are responsible for collecting data in a way that does not violate privacy laws.

Try to stay up-to-date with the latest developments regarding Google Analytics 4 within the EU and contact us with any questions.

6. Consider alternative analytics tools alongside current analytics tools

Besides GA4, it is worth considering alternative analytics tools such as Matomo, Piwik Pro and other similar tools.

Using multiple analytics tools reduces dependence on one tool and helps protect your data and gives you more flexibility when analysing data.

7. Map out current tracking

Create a detailed overview of the current dashboards, reports and metrics you currently use in Universal Analytics. Identify which tracking data is still missing in GA4 and what changes are needed to report a similar set of data.

8. For e-commerce customers: switch to Enhanced E-commerce

If you have an e-commerce website, it is advisable to switch to Enhanced E-commerce in GA4. This allows you to collect detailed information about users' interactions with products and purchases on the website.

Think of revamped events like "Add to wishlist" and other specific events.

9. Check/audit all data and tracking after migration

After migrating to GA4, it is important to perform an audit of all data and tracking. This helps to identify any faulty tracking and find discrepancies between UA and GA4 data.

10. View GA4 links to external platforms

Make sure GA4 is linked to other platforms such as Google Ads, Search Console and more. With these links, you can collect even more valuable data and get a better picture of your online presence.

If you have a large website with a lot of traffic and data, consider sending this data to a "warehouse", and manage it from there.

11. Update all dashboards using Universal Analytics data

Because not all statistics are adopted and available 1-to-1 in GA4, it is important to make timely adjustments to your dashboards.

In doing so, make sure you either adjust your way of reporting or be sure to use the right data sources so that you can definitely keep making the same interpretations.

12. Export any old analytics data

Since UA data is only kept for 6 months by Google, it is definitely valuable to export all your data. Currently, there are four ways to export all your data from Analytics. More info on these can be found here.

Contact us for more information or questions.

With this checklist in mind, you will be well prepared for the transition from UA to GA4. Be sure to take the time to execute these steps carefully and possibly enlist help if needed. At PHPro, we are ready to guide you through this migration and ensure a smooth transition to GA4.