How to Migrate Your Service Business to Google Analytics 4

In Google’s latest version of Google Analytics, there will be a transition to an entirely new platform. Google Analytics Universal will stop collecting data on July 1, 2023. Google Analytics 4 is a powerful development in website data tracking that accounts for user privacy and offers better information on how individual users experience your site.

We reviewed the importance of collecting website analytics and previewed the upcoming Google Analytics 4 (GA4) changes in a previous article. If you haven’t yet set up your GA4 dashboard, follow this guide to start collecting key data from your website right away. The earlier you build your GA4 page, the more time you will have to adjust it to track the most valuable data.

Set Up Website Events in Google Analytics 4

Events are the big things that happen on your website. Every action users take on your site can be considered an event, and there are even more actions on each page. Your GA4 dashboard will include a few events right out of the box, such as page views, page scroll, form fill, and a few others.

When you consider all the assets on your website, identify which actions are worth tracking. You’ll need to track more than just the events that result in a sale. Tracking behavior on your website will help you make changes that motivate users to contact you (or make a purchase), so think about how various events impact the sales funnel:

  • Is there a button on your site that most users click?
  • Do users click the links within pages or blog posts?
  • Do users start forms but not submit them?
  • What page do users consistently visit?

Once you set up these events, you can create widgets on your dashboard to get more visual representations of them. Google Tag Manager is an important element in working with customized events. When you identify the clicks that best serve the purpose of your website, create them as tags so that GA4 can collect the data and display it on your dashboard.

Goals are Called Conversions in Google Analytics 4

In GA Universal, website owners used the Conversions tab to create goals. A goal helps you set targets for how users complete events. In GA4, goals have been removed in favor of the term conversions. In GA4, conversions help you get a deeper insight into certain events.

For some events, you just need to see how often it happens. Other events deliver actual measurable information. These are the events that need to be conversions in GA4. Conversions do not necessarily mean sales but often indicate that a user has transitioned to a deeper place in the sales cycle.

Setting up custom events and tracking conversions will pull valuable information about how users interact with your website.

Data Streams and Wholistic User Experience 

One familiar term from GA Universal that is missing from GA4 is “bounce rate.” In GA Universal, each website visit was counted as a single event. The bounce rate calculated how quickly people clicked away from the site or a page. If a user quickly looked at a website on their phone, then returned later, it would be counted as two sessions, with the first having a high bounce rate. The same thing happened if a user looked up a website on their phone and decided to visit it from their laptop instead.

In GA4, the user journey is tracked as a singular experience. When the same user interacts with your website, all of their activity stays with them. When they come back later or visit from a different device, you can get a better picture of what is really happening.

This new user experience tracking allows you to set up better data streams or traffic sources. Whether you need to differentiate between demographics, devices, or event trends based on either of those, it can be set up in a data stream. Because GA4 is much more aligned with user privacy, it applies artificial intelligence to fill in some of the information that guarded users do not share. Through the information that is shared, GA4 offers up valuable patterns that website owners can use to complete more sales.

Compare Your Google Analytics 4 Dashboard to Google Analytics Universal

Once your GA4 dashboard returns data, compare it with your GA Universal dashboard. Because the two analytic systems track data differently, the numbers might not match. But it will give you a good idea of whether or not you’re capturing and measuring your information with continuity. The earlier you complete your migration, the longer you will have to compare the two dashboards and adjust GA4 to deliver a high-quality analysis.

No matter how web-savvy you have become as a business owner, setting up GA4 will be a time-consuming process. Getting it just right will take a bit of trial and error as you get accustomed to the new features and labels. Motto Marketing partners with small businesses to make GA4 migration a seamless experience. Contact us to learn more about how Motto Marketing can complete your GA4 upgrade with a focus on your specific business needs.