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How to migrate from UA to GA4?36 min read

October 27, 2022
GA to GA4

How to Setup Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – A Complete Guide

Implementing Google Analytics 4 on your Website

Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics launched by Google in Oct 2020. Unlike the old Universal Analytics properties, you can use the new GA4 for a website, an app, or both together.
 
Using Google’s advanced machine learning models, GA4 delivers exceptional performance in tracking the latest market trends and customer behavior across devices and platforms. The privacy-centric design ensures you can enjoy better ROI, especially for your long-term marketing plans.
 
In this post, we will discuss how to create a new GA4 account, how to upgrade to new GA4 account, and how to add GA4 tag to your website. Continue reading for step-by-step explanation with screenshots.

How to Create a New Google Analytics Account and GA4 Property?

If you don’t have an existing Google Analytics account, you need to create one. When you start creating a new account, Google by default makes Google Analytics 4 as a new property. However, it also allows you to create Universal Analytics, which is explained below in easy-to-understand steps.
 
Step 1: Log in to Google account and go to https://analytics.google.com/analytics/
 
Step 2: Click on “Start Measuring” Button.

Step3: Provide the name of your account as mentioned here (Usually a company name).
 
Click “Next” after providing the company name.

Step 4: Provide a “Property Name” here and select “Reporting Time Zone” and “Currency”.

Step 5: To make a Universal Analytics Property along with GA4 analytics property click on the “Show Advanced Options” as shown in the image below.

Step 6: Switch the toggle from Off to On, and it will turn bright blue.

Now provide a website URL here and select the option to create either GA4 and Universal Analytics Property or only a Universal Analytics Property.
 
Click “Next” after selecting the appropriate option.
 
Step 7: Provide the details “About Your Business” by selecting the option relevant to your business, such as Industry Category, business size, and how do you intend to use Google Analytics with your business.
 

Click “Create” after selecting all the relevant options to create GA4 and Universal Analytics Property under new Google Analytics account.
 
Step 8: Check the relevant boxes to accept the Data Processing Terms as required by GDPR and the Measurement Controller–Controller Data Protection Terms of the data.

Now Click “I Accept”.
 
Step 9: Accepting the terms will land you on the “Web Stream Details” screen, where you can find the Measurement ID in the top right corner.

Congrats!!! You have successfully made GA4 and Google Universal Analytics property.

How to Upgrade to GA4 Property From Existing Universal Analytics Property

If you already have a Universal Analytics Property and want to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), here is what you need to do.
 
Step 1: Click “Admin” as shown below.

Step 2: This will land you on the admin console of the Universal Analytics Property where you can click on “GA4 Setup Assistant” under “Property” column.

Step 3: This will land you on “Google Analytics 4 Property Setup Assistant” screen. Here you need to click on “Get Started


Note: Make sure you have selected the right account under account column.

Step 4: Clicking on the “Get Started” will show this pop up on your screen. Here you need to click on “Create Property”.

Step 5: This will take you to the following screen where one can see the connected property message with property ID.

Now click on the “See your GA4 property” and you will land on the “Setup Assistant” screen. click the arrow (>) under “Tag Installation” to go to the “Data Streams” screen.

Step 6: Once you are on “Data Stream” screen, click the arrow (>) under “Data Stream,” which will lead you to “Web Stream Details.”

Step 7: On the “Web Stream Details” page, you can find Measurement ID for GA4 property in top right corner.

Congratulations!!! You have now successfully upgraded to GA4 property.

How to move FROM Enhanced Ecommerce tracking TO Google Analytics 4 ecommerce tracking with Google Tag Manager

In this guide I will explain to you how to configure an E-commerce for tracking with Google Analytics 4, and  – specifically – I will focus on how to move from the traditional Enhanced E-Commerce tracking to the new e-commerce tracking provided by Google Analytics 4 (it is no longer called “Enhanced E-commerce”, just simply “E-commerce”).

There are – at least – three good reasons to perform the switch:

1. the “traditional” e-commerce tracking, which involves setting Enhanced E-commerce on Universal Analytics (the version of Google Analytics prior to GA4), is going to be progressively replaced by the new tracking based on Google Analytics 4. In other words, sooner or later, the “traditional” e-commerce tracking will probably be discontinued.
 
 
2. the GA4-based e-commerce tracking, which unlike the previous one can be set with a Template that allows you to move from the traditional session-based tracking model to the new event-based model. This means your tracking can be much more accurate than before, because in the new GA4 there are many more events than in the “traditional” Google Analytics (Universal Analytics).
 
 
3. the use of GA4 allows you to start using Google’s machine learning models, which are able to predict the future actions of our users (eg. the purchases they will make through a Predictive Custom Audience), analyzing the data related to their behavior. The technology is still in beta but already usable, and I definitely recommend you try it.

In order to track E-commerce in GA4, we will use the Template. You can find it in the official Google Tag Manager Gallery at this link:
https://tagmanager.google.com/gallery/#/owners/matteo-zambon-gtm/templates/EEC-dataLayer-Builder-for-GA4
 
As I mentioned, GA4 is based on events. You can find the list of events managed by GA4 in the official guide:

The good news is that it is possible to reuse some of the actions present in the “traditional” Enhanced E-commerce settings (based on Google Universal Analytics) and to transform them into GA4 actions.
 
Let’s clarify this point. In this table you can find the GA Universal Analytics event list in Enhanced E-Commerce (EEC for friends) in the first column and the Google Analytics 4 event list in the second column:

The green events are handled automatically by my Template, so no further configuration is needed

The yellow events will need a specific configuration of the variable. In detail, the step number of the Google Universal Analytics checkout event must be configured. The number indicated in brackets in the image above is the default number that the Template attributes (of course you can change it if the action of GA4 corresponds to a different step number)

The red event is not currently managed by my Template. This is because wishlist action management is not present in the “traditional” Google Universal Analytics.

Step 1 – Import the “EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4 variable” Template

Import the Variable Template “EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4”  You can find it in Google’s Community Template Gallery.

Just follow these steps:

Templates > Variable Templates > Search Gallery
Search for EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4 and click on “Add to Workspace

The EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4 Template that you just imported will look like this:

Now we just have to use this Template to create two custom variables.

Step 2 – Create the two custom variables for GA4

Now you will need to create two custom variables:

1. the GA4 – Event Name variable, which will manage the name of the e-commerce event
 
2. the GA4 – Items variable, which will manage an object that contains all the parameters

Configure the variable GA4 – Event Name

GA4 – Event Name has the purpose of uniquely identifying the name of the standard event to be passed to GA4 for e-commerce tracking purposes.

Here is how to do it:

  • Go to Variables > User-Defined Variables
  • Click on New and choose EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4
  • On the Mode listbox select Event Name
  • Checkout Events > enter the numbers of the checkout steps that will correspond to begin_checkoutadd_shipping_info and add_payment_info
  • View Cart Event: if you want to track it, select it and enter the step number
  • Variable nameGA4 – Event Name
  • Save

Here are the step values that you will find in the image below:

  • 1 -  view_cart (this is not enabled by default)
  • 2 -  begin_checkout (the default step is 1)
  • 3 -  add_shipping_info (the default step is 2)
  • 4 -  add_payment_info (the default step is 3)

Configure the variable GA4 – Items

GA4 – Items has the purpose of managing the object items which will contain all the information needed for GA4.
 
In detail, the object will manage two possible scenarios:
 

first scenario: the dataLayer push for the “traditional” Enhanced Ecommerce di Google Universal Analytics
second scenario: the dataLayer push for the new Ecommerce di Google Analytics 4

Thanks to the management of both these scenarios, with this variable you will always have the correct structure for Google Analytics 4 🙂
 
Here are the steps to follow for this configuration:

  • Go to Variables > User-Defined Variables
  • Click on New and choose> EEC dataLayer Builder for GA4
  • On the Mode listbox select Items
  • Default Currency value: EUR (you can insert a different default value currency)
  • Variable name GA4 – Items
  • Save

Step 3 – Create the dataLayer variables for purchase and refund

Unfortunately, the purchase and refund event must handle some parameters – seven to be precise – that are outside the object items.
 
In detail, the seven parameters to be handled are:

  • transaction_id
  • affiliation
  • value
  • tax
  • shipping
  • currency
  • coupon

These parameters are all contained in different positions inside the GTM dataLayer, depending on whether the dataLayer push was done for Google Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 4.
 
If you want to handle both the configurations (but this is a very unlikely case) then you would have to create 14 dataLayer variables in GTM.

The first scenario (Google Universal Analytics)

Let’s assume that you only have to manage the dataLayer of the Enhanced Ecommerce of Google Universal Analytics (this is the first of the two scenarios that I mentioned earlier).
 
Let’s start by creating one Variable for each of the seven parameters.
 
Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to Google Tag Manager > Variables > User Defined Variables > New > Variable Configuration
  • Variable type: Data Layer Variable.
  • Data Layer Variable Name: ecommerce.purchase.actionField.revenue
  • Data Layer version: Version 2.
  • Rename the Variable “dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.revenue” and save it.

The configuration should look like this:

Now you just have to repeat this operation 6 times, changing the value to red for the other variables with:

  • ecommerce.purchase.actionField.affiliation
  • ecommerce.purchase.actionField.coupon
  • ecommerce.purchase.actionField.id
  • ecommerce.purchase.actionField.shipping
  • ecommerce.purchase.actionField.tax
  • ecommerce.currencyCode

Rename all variables by adding a simple prefix: “dlv –

Please be careful about ecommerce.currencyCode

This parameter is optional in Google Universal Analytics, but it is required in Google Analytics 4. If you don’t pass the currency parameter in GA4, the transaction event has some problems.
 
My suggestion is to check “Set Default Value” and insert “EUR” (if your e-commerce has Euro currency by default).

  • ecommerce.refund.actionField.id

Once this is done, you should have a list like this:

The second scenario (Google Analytics 4)

In the second scenario relating to the management of GA4 events that I described above, you need to create only the variables relating to the management of GA4.
 
(In this case, the dataLayer push is already passing the object items.)
 
Consequently, the seven dataLayer variables to create are:

  • ecommerce.affiliation
  • ecommerce.coupon
  • ecommerce.currency
  • ecommerce.shipping
  • ecommerce.tax
  • ecommerce.transaction_id
  • ecommerce.value

(In the following steps I will not consider this second scenario, and I will refer exclusively to the first scenario).

Step 4 – Create GA4 Tag Triggers

Now you just have to identify the name of the events in Google Universal Analytics (you should already have the event list if you have already implemented the Google Analytics Enhanced E-Commerce).
 
It all depends on how Enhanced E-commerce has been implemented, for example through modules / plugins in your CMS (WooCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, Shopify, etc), or through a custom software solution crafted by a software engineer.

[NOTE] It is possible that some pushes in the dataLayer to manage actions such as: promo impressiondetailcheckout or purchase, were performed before the GTM event Container Loaded (ex Page View) and were performed without having declared the name of the event.
 
(By the way, if you do not declare the name of the event, you should get a slap on the wrist!)
 
The trick – or #barbatrucco, in Italian slang – to manage this situation (handling Message events in GTM debug) is to use GTM’s “All Pages” native trigger.
 
Also, if the transaction event (purchase) is done BEFORE the Container Loaded native event, then you will need to create a negative trigger and put it as exception to the Google Analytics 4 Tag which does not handle the transaction (purchase). This is because you would trigger the transaction (purchase) events two times. Don’t worry, you will see it well in step 5.

For the sake of simplicity, I will separate the actions purchase and refund from the other actions.
(I don’t think I have ever seen the action refund configured in Google Analytics).
 
In this example, I will use the WooCommerce implementation with the Duracell Tomi plugin.
 
Please note that in this example there are two actions that are not handled with a specific event:

  • detail (product detail)
  • checkout (step 1 of the checkout)

(Duracell Tomi, you should definitely get a slap on the wrist for this!)

Create the trigger GA – EEC Events

My intent here is to track all GA’s Enhanced E-Commerce actions excluding purchase and refund.

  • Click on Trigger > New > Trigger configuration
  • Trigger type: Custom event
  • Event Name: gtm4wp.addProductToCartEEC|gtm4wp.checkoutStepEEC|gtm4wp.productClickEEC|gtm4wp.productImpressionEEC|gtm4wp.promoClickEEC|gtm4wp.promoImpressionEEC|gtm4wp.removeFromCartEEC
  • Flag: Use regex matching
  • Fire this trigger fires on: All custom events
  • Trigger name: “GA – EEC Events”
  • Save

Create the Trigger GA – EEC Purchase

Here the intent is to track the purchase:

  • Click on Trigger > New > Trigger configuration
  • Trigger type: Custom event
  • Event Name: gtm4wp.orderCompletedEEC
  • Flag: Use regex matching
  • Fire this trigger fires on: All custom events
  • Trigger name: "GA – EEC Purchase"
  • Save

Well, it was easier than expected, wasn’t it?
Let’s move on to the Tags and we’re done 🙂

Step 5 – Create the Google Analytics 4 Tags

Create the Google Analytics 4 property and the data stream
 
You’ve probably already created your property in Google Analytics 4 and the Data Stream of your site.
 
Retrieve your Google Analytics 4 code G-XXXXXXXX from your data stream.

Well, now let’s move on to the creation of the Tags:

Create the GA4 Configuration Tag

The Google Analytics 4 Configuration Tag will allow us to more easily manage GA4 events in the Event Tags.

  • Tag type: Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration
  • Measurement ID: G-XXXXXXXXX
  • Trigger: All Pages
  • Tag Name: GA4 – Configuration

Create the two GA4 Event Tags to manage E-commerce tracking

This is the last step before the final verification with debugging.
 
Beware of triggers. As explained before in red if not all e-commerce actions are handled by a specific event and are pushed before Container Loaded we will need to use the “All Pages” activator as well.
 
Also if the specific event of the transaction (in our case it will be gtm4wp.orderCompletedEEC) is pushed before the Container Loaded as in the image below:

then a universal negative trigger must be set up for the GA4 – EEC Tag.
 
This is the universal negative trigger for the purchase.

  • Click on Trigger > New > Trigger configuration
  • Trigger type: Custom event
  • Event Name: .*
  • Flag: Use regex matching
  • Fire this trigger: GA4 – Event Name then choose equals and purchase
  • Name: "GA4 Event Name – Purchase"
  • Save.

So you have three possible cases, obviously, you will have to choose the one that best suits your situation:

case A
Select as trigger ► GA – EEC – Events 
If there are pushes before Container Loaded that are not handled by a specific event ► also choose All Pages trigger
If your purchase event is pushed before Container Loaded ► create the negative trigger “GA4 Event Name – Purchase” and put it as an exception
case B
Select as trigger ► GA – EEC – Events 
If there are pushes before Container Loaded that are not handled by a specific event ► also choose All Pages trigger
case C
If all events are declared then just choose ► GA – EEC – Events as trigger

Case A

  • Tag type: Google Analytics: GA4 Event
  • Configuration Tag: choose from the list > GA4 – Configuration
  • Event Name: choose the variable {{GA4 – Event Name}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: items > Value: choose the variable {{GA – Items}}
  • Trigger: All Pages , then choose the Trigger GA – EEC – Events
  • Exeptions: GA4 Event Name – Purchase
  • Name: GA4 – EEC
  • Save

Case B

  • Tag type: Google Analytics: GA4 Event
  • Configuration Tag: choose from the list > GA4 – Configuration
  • Event Name: choose the variable {{GA4 – Event Name}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: items > Value: choose the variable {{GA – Items}}
  • Trigger: All Pages , then choose the Trigger GA – EEC – Events
  • Name: GA4 – EEC
  • Save

Case C

  • Tag type: Google Analytics: GA4 Event
  • Configuration Tag: choose from the list > GA4 – Configuration
  • Event Name: choose the variable {{GA4 – Event Name}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: items > Value: choose the variable {{GA – Items}}
  • Trigger: choose GA – EEC – Events
  • Name: GA4 – EEC
  • Save

My case (that of Woocommerce) is case A
 
Now I am going to create the Tag for the action purchase because, as I mentioned before, I need to pass the seven additional parameters.

  • Tag type: Google Analytics: GA4 Event
  • Configuration Tag: choose from the list > GA4 – Configuration
  • Event Name: choose the variable {{GA4 – Event Name}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: items > Value: choose the variable {{GA – Items}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: transaction_id > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.id}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: affiliation > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.affiliation}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: tax > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.tax}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: shipping > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.shipping}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: coupon > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.coupon}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: value > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.purchase.actionField.revenue}}
  • Event Parameters: click on Add Row > Parameter Name: currency > Value: choose the variable {{dlv – ecommerce.currencyCode}}
  • Trigger: GA – EEC – Purchase
  • Name: GA4 – EEC – Purchase
  • Save

Step 6 – Debug and verify operation

Activate the Google Tag Manager Debug Preview and check if the Tags are activated and if they actually manage the parameters in GA4 🙂

As you can see, product impressions are handled. Events number 3 and 4 have the tag GA4 – EEC fired:

If you click the Tag and check the Values, you can notice that both the name of the event view_item_list and the values of the items are handled correctly:

Now it’s time for the final test: let’s check if Google Analytics 4 actually receives the values.
To do this, just change the GTM code to the GA4 code on the Tag Assistant.

Now you will see all the Hit Sent in Google Analytics 4.
In detail, I have the values ​​3, 4, and 5 which correspond to the GA4 event:

Page View
View Item List

What about the purchase? That works too 🙂

Conclusion

Well, now you have no more excuses! You can track your e-commerce with Google Analytics 4 and start exploring all the new features of the new version of Google Analytics.

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