Google Analytics 4

How to prepare for the GA4 transition

The launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the new model of Google's popular analytics platform, is coming fast. Since more than half of all websites on the internet use Google Analytics, that means millions of websites — likely including yours — are facing a major transition to GA4.

Bar chart with waves Red car and an illustration of a GA4 dashboard

Learn why you need to make the switch to GA4, what's changing, and how you can prepare for a smooth journey (with a little help from your friends at Click Rain).

Illustration of a city scape in the background, rolling hills, and a dead end sign

Why marketers need to be prepared

If you're still using Universal Analytics (UA), you're heading toward a dead end!

Car Dashboard

UA is shutting down and being replaced by GA4 on July 1, 2023.

You'll lose all your past data unless you have a historical data management strategy.

Your existing account, properties, and any custom configurations won't automatically carry over.

Compared to UA, GA4 is more challenging to learn, implement, and use to glean insights. It's a major transition, so let's look closer at what's changing and how you can prepare.

Forget everything you know about Google Analytics

GA4 introduces a new data model, new metrics, new UI, and a whole lot more. Here are a few key changes you should know about.

Data is collected, processed, and reported differently

The underlying data model is changing from session-based in UA to event-based in GA4. Data is collected differently, so some metrics you're used to won't mean exactly the same thing in GA4.

Universal Analytics:

User Session Session Pageview Pageview Pageview Pageview


User Event Parameter Parameter Parameter Event Parameter Parameter Parameter

UA collected and reported data based on how people used the internet more than a decade ago. GA4 is based on how people use the internet across devices today, so your metrics in GA4 should provide a more accurate view of your traffic and users.

Metrics and terms are changing

A few familiar metrics are going away or changing names, while some helpful new metrics are being added. And Google could keep making changes and adding features as the rollout continues.

New GA4 metrics and terms:

Engaged Sessions

Site visits of 10+ seconds, 2+ pageviews, or containing a conversion event

User Stickiness

Ratios of daily, weekly, and monthly active users showing user retention over time

Average Engagement Time

Average of total engagement time per user

Engagement Rate

Number of engaged sessions divided by total sessions

Even data for familiar metrics like Users and Sessions might change slightly between UA and GA4 since the data is collected differently. Use both UA and GA4 for a while to understand how your website data differs and set realistic benchmarks.

Customization is key

The out-of-the-box configuration, events, and reports in GA4 will only get you so far, but just about everything can be customized. Custom events and reports bring more depth and insight to your data.

Customize reports

  • Arrange reports how you like or group your most-used reports into a custom collection

Default reports you'll use frequently:

  • Traffic acquisition report
  • Demographics reports
  • Technology reports
Tip: You can tailor default reports to focus on what's important to you.

Custom reports to start with:

  • Landing page report
  • File download report
  • Site search report

Customize events

  • Configure custom events like Click to Call and Form Submissions
  • Set up conversions or mark existing events as conversions
Illustration of two guys working on a car

More new features to check out

  • Audiences

    Easily segment your users based on dimensions, metrics, and events and connect those audiences with Google Ads.

  • Insights

    AI-powered insights are built in throughout GA4, and you can set up custom insights and alerts based on metrics that matter to you.

  • Explorations

    Create flexible, intuitive reports to explore and compare your data.

Make a smooth transition to Google Analtyics 4

GA4 is complex, but we can make it simple for you. Click Rain is your expert GA4 transition partner, here to ensure an easy ride ahead.

  • Expert GA4 setup and implementation
  • Direct access to a team of GA4 pros
  • Ongoing education and resources

Your GA4 transition roadmap with Click Rain

Phase 1: Getting started

  • Gain access to Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager accounts
  • Document existing UA event and goal configurations
  • Define plan for GA4 tracking and reporting

Phase 2: Implementing GA4

  • Set up GA4 account and property
  • Configure custom events and conversions
  • Create custom reports and collections

Phase 3: Empowering your team

  • Walk through GA4 account setup
  • Share training resources
  • Recommend a plan for historical data management
Car entering a freeway
Speedometer Illustration

Click Rain has transitioned 81 websites to GA4 so far. Ready for yours?

0 0 8 1 2