GA4 Migration – Good Luck and Get Ready

For over a decade, Google Analytics has been a powerful tool for businesses. As a data-driven marketing platform, Google Analytics provides detailed insights and actionable information to convert clicks into sales and boost your ROI.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest generation of this powerful platform, and for longtime users, this change necessitates data migration.

How can you ensure your digital information is safely transferred? We’ve crafted a quick guide to help familiarize you with GA4 and take the necessary steps for secure and seamless data migration. GA4 will officially replace Google Universal Analytics (UA) on July 1, 2023, so stay ahead of the curve by migrating soon.

What’s New With GA4?

Before making the switch to GA4, you’re likely curious about what to expect. For many businesses, this new generation of Google Analytics provides more granular data, actionable reports, and relevant metrics while maintaining many of the features of the previous generation.

Below we explore the following ways GA4 contrasts with the previous version of Google Analytics (UA).

User Metrics

Connecting with customers and communities has always been at the heart of Google Analytics. Both UA and GA4 offer metrics related to:

  • Total Users – Unique visitors to your site or app users are calculated, providing a view of your total outreach. Previously, in Universal Analytics, this was the primary User Metric displayed in most reports.
  • New Users – Both UA and GA4 provide reports related to new users. In GA4, the New Users metric is calculated based on new user IDs interacting with your site or launching your app for the first time.
  • Active Users – GA4’s primary user metric provides tracking of Active Users. This may provide impactful data related to the number of unique users as well as their engagement time with your site or app.


The Pageview metrics have been simplified from the previous UA version. Instead of two metrics—Pageviews and Unique Pageviews—there is a single metric, Views, that provides data for:

  • Total number of pages viewed
  • Total number of app screens viewed
  • Repeated views of a single page or screen

Bounce Rate and Engagement Rate

Previously, Bounce Rate provided a percentage of non-engaged site interactions based on total visits. Users who visited your site but did not engage with any links or trigger events would be counted as a “Bounce.”

In GA4, Engagement metrics have been reformatted. Now engagement is considered by the following criteria:

  • Visits lasting 10 seconds or more
  • Visits with 2 or more page views or screen views
  • Visits with 1 or more conversion events

Any visit that does not meet one or more of these criteria is considered a “Bounce,” making your Bounce Rate the inverse of your Engagement Rate.

Because user trends and web design are changing, the new mechanism of recording bounces can provide a more accurate picture of user engagement, particularly for single-page applications and websites.


The metrics for measuring events have fundamentally changed in GA4. In UA, events were specified by Category, Action, and Label. In practice, that meant that a single “Sign Up” button would qualify as its own unique event, even if you offered multiple “Sign Up” buttons on multiple pages. The Total Events metric would then refer to the number of times each individual event was triggered.

To simplify these metrics and provide a more accurate picture of site engagement, GA4 has eliminated the Category, Action, and Label qualifiers. Now, the metric Event Count refers to:

  • Every “Hit” – From page views to link clicks, all of these actions are qualified as an event. These events are titled and collected based on type.
  • Non-unique events – Previously, clicking a CTA on one page would trigger an event specified to that location. Now, GA4 will track the same event across multiple pages or screens, providing a total metric. You can reuse the same event name to track progress in multiple locations.

This is a new model for data collection that can allow you to see the big picture of how users are interacting with your site. You can still differentiate events based on their name or type—without worrying about redundancies.

No Third-Party Cookies

Privacy and protection are top priorities in GA4, that’s why this analytic platform has done away with third-party cookies.

Browser cookies are information files that track user data in browsers. Cookies are equally essential for ad platforms as for customers, allowing for information to flow seamlessly between both parties.

First-party cookies are developed and accessible only by the website you’re currently visiting or the app you’re currently using. They’re a closed system crafted to improve the functionality of a specific site or app.

Third-party cookies track users across multiple websites, potentially limiting privacy, selling your data, or leaving you vulnerable to data breaches.

GA4 has eliminated third-party cookies altogether, providing a new level of protection for you and your business. Users can expect:

  • Wide-reaching compliance – State, national, and international regulations around data and privacy continue to evolve. GA4 looks to stay ahead of legislation by removing third-party cookies and limiting the time that cookies are saved.
  • Increased user privacy – First-party cookies and GA4’s randomly generated user IDs allow advertisers and businesses to anonymously collect user data without infringing on personal privacy. You can track site behavior while respecting your customer’s data.

Major Benefits of GA4

While UA will lose support in the coming months, it’s worthwhile to note that the changes coming are likely a major benefit for your business.

On top of the added features referenced above, you can look forward to the following advantages:

  • Machine-learning – GA4 looks to capitalize on the latest in AI tech and machine-learning capabilities by filling in data gaps through a process known as “blended data.” This process allows adaptable AI for flexible metrics and model projections based on user data.
  • Consumer-focused metrics – The updates in GA4 are geared toward customer-focused analytics, providing practical reporting of relevant data to boost conversions for your business.
  • Bringing web and app services together – Prior to GA4, analytics between a website and its app counterpart were separate. Now, you can see a full-spectrum view of your business across both websites and apps.

GA4 Data Migration Checklist & Best Practices

The process of migrating your data from UA to GA4 can seem a little overwhelming at first. Fortunately, the task of bringing your previous data into this new platform can be done smoothly without your business ever slowing down.

GA4 provides its own helpful migration guide to walk you through the entire process. Specific steps will vary depending on your site or app, but the migration process generally includes:

  • Reviewing your account structure
  • Creating a GA4 property and data stream
  • Collecting your website and/or app data
  • Turning on Google Signals
  • Migrating UA goals into GA4 event conversions
  • Migrating users
  • Linking Google Ads
  • Migrating or setting up new audiences
  • Validating conversions
  • Importing conversions into Google Ads
  • Setting up audience source

Remember, always back up your data before migrating. If you begin your migration process now, you’ll have plenty of time to verify a full transition and collect the maximum amount of year-over-year data by the time UA goes offline.

Stay on The Cutting-Edge with Liberty Interactive Marketing

UA will stop tracking data on July 1, 2023, so there’s still time to update your platform and mitigate your data without your business skipping a beat. Additionally, if you’re interested in refining your online presence, upgrading your digital marketing practices, and getting the most out of your business, Liberty Interactive Marketing is here to help.

At Liberty Interactive Marketing, we work side-by-side with our clients to utilize today’s digital tools to your business’s advantage. From search ads to location targeting, we are a team of industry experts eager to strategize the best marketing plan for you. Contact us today to explore our capabilities and start maximizing your potential.



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