Google recently announced it will be replacing Google Analytics as of July 1, 2023.
The bottom line is that if your website is currently using Google Analytics, or you plan on using Analytics in the future, you will need to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) sooner rather than later.
What’s the difference?
“Universal Analytics”, better known as Google Analytics, was session-based and was more focused on page hits, event hits, and social interaction hits.
The new Google Analytics 4 is event-based, all hits like “pageview” are now events.
Keep in mind that the basics are still the same, so be not afraid. Here’s a link that explains more about the differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9964640?hl=en#zippy=%2Cin-this-article
Sounds like a big hassle. No worries, the switch is rather easy, and you should take care of it.
Here’s how to make the change: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9744165?hl=en
Here are the steps to install GA4:
GA4 Setup Assistant wizard
Follow the instructions below to create your GA4 property. The instructions are the same regardless of whether your website pages have a Google Analytics tag (gtag.js or analytics.js) or a Google Tag Manager container. To use the GA4 Setup Assistant, you need Editor role for the account.
- In Google Analytics, click Admin (lower left).
- In the Account column, make sure that your desired account is selected. (If you only have one Google Analytics account, it will already be selected.)
- In the Property column, select the Universal Analytics property that currently collects data for your website.
- In the Property column, click GA4 Setup Assistant. It is the first option in the Property column.
- Click Get started under I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property.
- If your site uses the gtag.js, tag, you have the option to Enable data collection using your existing tags.If you use a website builder/CMS that already supports the gtag.js tag (e.g., WordPress, Shopify, Wix, etc.), you may have the option to Enable data collection using your existing tags.
If your website builder/CMS does not yet support the gtag.js tag, if you use Google Tag Manager, or your website is tagged with analytics.js, the wizard can’t reuse your existing tagging and you’ll need to add the tag yourself (instructions).
Note for advanced users: Enable data collection using your existing tags implements standard data collection for your GA4 property. If you’ve implemented any custom tags for your UA property, review these considerations for additional steps.
- Click Create Property.
Once you click Create Property, the setup wizard:
- Creates your new GA4 property.
- Copies the property name, website URL, time zone, and currency settings from your Universal Analytics property.
- Activates enhanced measurement in your GA4 property.
- Creates a connection between your Universal Analytics and GA4 properties. This connection makes it possible for you to use Setup Assistant in your Google Analytics 4 property to migrate configurations from your Universal Analytics property to your GA4 property.
- (If your site is tagged with gtag.js and you elected to Enable data collection using your existing tags in Step 6 above) Create a connected site tag between your Universal Analytics and GA4 properties.
Once this process is complete, you will see “You have successfully connected your properties” at the top of your Google Analytics 4 Property Setup Assistant page.