Migrate To GA4 in 12 Steps

GA4 Migration Guide in 12 Steps

Less than 1 year left for your business to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
Many companies are left wondering what and how to even prepare for Google sunsetting Universal Analytics.
Questions such as, what will happen to my data? I’m not familiar with the new tool? How do I even get started?
This resource will help guide you through this process and provide a roadmap for your team.
Why should I migrate as soon as possible?
  1. Google Analytics does not allow you to get historical data into GA4. Data starts once you have migrated over to GA4
  2. You won’t be able to migrate historical data from UA to GA4 as they are based on different models. There is a workaround using BigQuery but this requires extensive technical aptitude. If you require historical data, Contact Us to see how Data Partners can help.
  3. GA4 is promoted by Google as being better than UA. While this may true in some regards, there are still many features that GA4 does not have.
Nevertheless, migration should be done as soon as possible to start collecting data with GA4. You will also upgrade your skillsets.
The earlier you start, the better you will be working with GA4

1. Audit your UA Property

You can do this manually by following a checklist such as: https://www.bayleafdigital.com/how-to-run-google-analytics-audit/ or you can do this automatically by downloading a tool such as: https://optimoanalytics.com/google-analytics-audit/
The point of this audit is to have a clear understanding of your UA accounts and their properties. Having a document such as below to track your audit is helpful.

2. Plan your GA4 Account Structure

Web and Mobile Data can be within one property. For ex: you have 1 website, 1 IOS app, and 1 Android. This would mean 1 property with 3 data streams.

It is important to determine how many properties and streams to setup before beginning to use GA4

3. Assign the Right User Permissions

Give access to the people who need it and not to everyone. 

Establish a good user permission process from the start

4. Go Over Property Settings

During your UA audit, make sure to keep note of settings. You can check things such as
  1. Time Zone
  2. Currency
  3. Referral exclusion list
  4. Cross-domain tracking
  5. Filters

5. Get all Events to be Migrated from UA

List all your UA events before recreating in GA4. There is a tool from Google which lets you automatically migrate your events which is helpful for quick migration

But this is not helpful for most migrations as you won’t have complete customization and control of your data

GA4 gives more freedom in tracking and creating custom parameters

Check if there are events that could be replaced by GA4 enhanced measurement

6. Identify custom dimensions and metrics to setup

Understand the difference between UA and GA4 on custom dimensions.

UA and GA4 differ in scope, which determines which events a specific dimension applies to.

In UA, there are 4 levels of scope: session, hit, product, and user.

But custom dimensions in GA4 are configured as either event-scoped or user-scoped.

Custom dimensions in GA4 describe event or user


When creating custom parameters in GA4 for your events, remember to register them as custom dimensions or metrics

You can set up 50 event-scope custom dimensions and 50 custom metrics and 25 user-scoped custom dimensions per GA4 property

7. Recreate Conversions

UA goals are called conversions in GA4. You can setup up to 30 conversions per GA4 property.
If you had many goals across different views in UA, you have to come up with a new measurement strategy as views don’t exist in GA4. Smart goals also don’t exist in GA4

8. Implement eCommerce tracking

Pay close attention to required parameters for eCommerce. If you don’t follow the right parameters, events will not appear in eCommerce reports.
While some events and parameters in UA can be translated in GA4, not all of them will. 
It will be helpful to have a new eCommerce implementation for your GA4 property

9. Link GA4 to tools

GA4 allows you to connect to BigQuery (a feature that was only available in GA360)
Check out what other integrations you can do by following the picture below