What Is GA4? (And How To Prepare)

Four members of the RedTree team sitting around a table looking at laptops.

If you haven’t heard, Google announced that it is replacing Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) this July. You will have to implement Google Analytics into your site (and your clients’, if applicable). This implementation is a big change with a lot of moving parts; it can be scary, but we’re here to help!

Date of Expiration

After over a decade, Google’s Universal Analytics will stop collecting data on July 1st, 2023. You will still have access to your UA data for at least six months, so make sure to export your historical data during this time. That way, you can reference the data after UA goes away.

Implementing GA4 quickly will give you time to troubleshoot and figure out everything you need to add to your Google Analytics 4 account.

Why You Need to Switch

It’s crucial that you set up GA4 as soon as possible because Universal Analytics stops collecting data; it’s okay to have the two of them running simultaneously. GA4 is very different from UA: for example, goals in UA are events in GA4, views are now Data Streams, and much more. GA4 will take some getting used to because there is a lot of information to uncover, which is another reason to switch as soon as possible.

If you’ve heard of the GA4 Migration tool, it can’t migrate over your Universal Analytics data; you have to manually do so. If you don’t manually set up your events (called goals in UA) and properties, Google will do it for you, but it might not include all of your data.

How to Prepare

Create a GA4 Account

If you need to create a Google Analytics 4 account, our friends at Root & Branch have this great video to help you set up GA4 with Google Tag Manager.

Configure GA4

There is so much to do, but to make things less complicated start with these 10 focus areas on how to set up ga4 from Root & Branch, including:

  • Creating a New GA4 Property
  • Installing Your Site’s Google Analytics Tracking Code
  • Adjusting Session Timeout Settings
  • Filtering Internal and Developer Traffic
  • Listing Unwanted Referrals
  • Setting up Cross Domain Tracking
  • Reviewing Enhanced Measurement Events
  • Registering Select Enhanced Measurement Event Parameters as Custom Dimensions
  • Changing Data Retention Settings
  • Reviewing Attribution Settings

You Don’t Have to Do This Alone

Implementing GA4 can be daunting, especially since there’s a lot to know. It won’t be an easy switch, and it helps if you change over to GA4 sooner rather than later.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Contact us for GA4 implementation support.

Don't Branch Out Alone

We know that your time is limited but taking your website to the next level is essential. Don’t branch out alone. Tap into our team of experts to keep your site ahead of the curve.

Let Us Help


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