In this guide, we will discuss the migration from Google Analytics 3 (GA3) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), covering the benefits of upgrading and the steps to complete the process. This information is essential for small businesses and agencies with SEO clients who currently use GA3 and need to upgrade to GA4. Watch the video below, or read more for summarised steps.
1. What is GA4?
GA4 is the latest version of Google’s web analytics platform. It offers more advanced analytics solutions to better understand customers and make data-driven decisions. Key features include artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, predictive analytics, a flexible data model, event-driven architecture, and an improved user interface.
2. Why Upgrade Now?
Google will automatically upgrade all GA3 accounts by the end of February, but upgrading manually ensures that you can start collecting data sooner. Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, so migrating early allows you to accumulate more historical data in GA4.
3. How to Upgrade Manually
Here are the steps to manually upgrade to GA4:
Step 1: Create a GA4 Account
Use the GA4 Setup Assistant to create a new GA4 property, which will copy your GA3 property’s name, website URL, timezone, and currency settings. The Setup Assistant will also activate enhanced measurement in your GA4 property and create a connection between your GA3 and GA4 properties.
Step 2: Compare Metrics
Over the next one to two months, compare traffic and reports between GA3 and GA4 to ensure the data matches up. This step is crucial as manual GA4 migration might miss some settings that Google would automatically migrate.
Step 3: Final Steps
- Add any users to the new GA4 property who were on GA3.
- After testing the metrics for one or two months, and if they seem accurate, close the GA3 property or leave it until it stops collecting data on July 1.
- After July 1, you can access historical GA3 data for at least six months. However, it is advisable to export your historical reports to keep the data for future reference.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.