GA4 Lets You Recreate UA Audiences and Personalize a Home Page

Almost 20 years have passed since the launch of Google Analytics (GA) in 2005 under the name Urchin. Over the years, the platform has seen many updates, some minor tweaks and others more substantial.

In October 2020, Google unveiled the latest iteration of their analytics tool, GA4, representing a major shift in functionality and data insights. GA4 replaces universal analytics (UA), which will be phased out in 2023.

About the New Platform

GA4 is not an update of the existing UA; instead, it is an entirely new product you can install alongside UA. This means you can have the two platforms working concurrently, at least for now. GA4 will become the default Google analytics platform in October 2020. UA’s historical data will remain available until it is retired on July 1, 2023.

The UA platform divides analytics into two parts: web properties, which are the traditional Google analytics, and analytics for mobile applications. With the GA4 platform, users can integrate website and mobile data in one GA property. GA4 also uses AI and ML built for the cookieless future.

New Functions of GA4

The new update provides businesses with insights that matter in today’s digital marketing space. Analytics can be overwhelming, and each business has unique metrics that matter to them. GA4 provides a customizable tool for the metrics a business cares about. Although your homepage may not have much flexibility, GA4 allows enough customization to make tracking much easier.

Upgrading from UA to GA4

Migrating from your UA platform can be a challenging but important step if you hope to stay up to speed with your web and mobile analytics after June 2023. The sooner you migrate, the more time you have to learn the ropes. One of the items you want to recreate before UA is retired is your GA property’s audiences.

Audiences allow you to segment users according to what is relevant to your business’s advertising purposes. Migrating your audiences helps ensure you have the data necessary for creating ad campaigns, even when data from UA becomes inaccessible.

When recreating audiences from your UA platform, first focus on the ones with Google Analytics as the audience type and recreate them in GA4. If they differ, you need to edit their definitions in the spreadsheets to align them with the GA4 requirements.

Identifying Events to Migrate

Besides recreating your audiences, you also need to consider the events you want to migrate from your UA to GA4. When choosing what events to migrate, it is important to understand the different approaches of the two platforms.

UA categorizes every event separately. For example, it will classify page and social media interaction hits as different metrics. Under GA4, every interaction is treated as an event without categorization or an action label. You should only migrate the events that matter to your business to ensure the metrics you measure give the best indication of your business’ performance.

GA4 and migration may require lots of time and planning. Contact BluShark Digital today to learn how we can help you prepare for these updates and reap the benefits of the new platform.