Online Marketing

Fred Lebhart Posted by Fred Lebhart on May 10, 2023

Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Google Analytics 4

Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics is an essential tool for many website owners and digital marketers. With the upcoming transition from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (G4), many users will need to switch over to the new platform to continue accessing the same level of data and insights. Universal Analytics will be going away in July, so you'll want to transition soon. 

However, making the switch from UA to G4 can be a bit complicated, and there are some common mistakes to avoid. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the most important things to keep in mind when transitioning to G4.

Not Understanding the Differences

One of the most significant mistakes people make when switching over to G4 is assuming that it is just an updated version of UA. However, the two platforms are very different in many ways. G4 is a new platform that has been built from the ground up to better serve the needs of modern businesses.

Some of the main differences between UA and G4 include:

  • G4 is designed to be more flexible and customizable, allowing businesses to track a wider range of user interactions and data points.
  • G4 uses machine learning to provide better insights and predictive analytics, making it easier for businesses to make data-driven decisions.
  • G4 focuses on cross-device tracking, allowing businesses to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how their users are interacting with their website or app across different devices.

To avoid mistakes, it's important to take the time to familiarize yourself with these differences and understand how they will impact your data collection and analysis.

Not Setting Up a New Property

When making the switch to G4, it's important to set up a new property rather than just upgrading your existing UA property. This is because G4 uses a different data model and tracking code than UA, and you’ll need to start fresh to avoid any issues with data compatibility.

Setting up a new property will allow you to start collecting data in G4 without any interference from your old UA data. You can still access your old UA data by keeping your old property active and running alongside the new G4 property.

Not Updating Your Tracking Code

Once you have set up your new G4 property, you will need to update your website or app’s tracking code to start collecting data. This is where many people make the mistake of simply copying and pasting their old UA tracking code.

However, G4 uses a different tracking code than UA, so it's important to generate a new tracking code specific to your new G4 property. This will ensure that you are collecting the correct data and that your analytics are accurate.

Not Mapping Your Data

When you first start using G4, you may notice that some of your old UA data is not automatically mapped to your new G4 property. This can result in gaps in your data and make it difficult to compare your old UA data to your new G4 data.

To avoid this, you can use the data import feature in G4 to manually map your old UA data to your new G4 property. This will help to ensure that your data is accurate and complete and that you can make accurate comparisons between your old and new data.

Not Taking Advantage of New Features

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when switching to G4 is not taking advantage of all the new features and capabilities that the platform offers. G4 is designed to be more powerful and flexible than UA, and it includes many new features that can help you gain deeper insights into your users’ behavior and preferences. Some of the most important new features in G4 include:

  • Enhanced tracking of user interactions, including scroll depth, video engagement, and file downloads.
  • The ability to track user behavior across multiple devices and sessions, giving you a more comprehensive understanding of your users’ journeys.
  • More advanced reporting and analysis capabilities, including machine learning-based

Get Help Transitioning to Google Analytics 4

 For our existing clients who are doing SEO, PPC, or social media with us, we’ll be providing a free upgrade to Google Analytics 4. There’s no need to worry about how to make the change. We put our clients and their needs first. That’s why we’ll make sure it’s done so that your goals from Universal Analytics are set up properly with GA4.

If you aren’t an existing client of ours, reach out to get started. We’re happy to help you and your business get transitioned to Google Analytics 4 and make sure you’re getting the most of the data it provides.