Making the change to GA4
Change can be scary, especially when it impacts our ability to run and measure our core digital marketing programs. Google’s upcoming shift from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the type of change that can cause real turmoil for companies relying on UA. Making the migration early and knowing where to look for necessary metrics can make the switch much smoother.
Of course, there are a few important factors that made Venture Richmond’s quick turnaround possible:
- Because they are a client, we had familiarity with their high-level business goals.
- Our prior work updating Google Tag Manager was also a key to making sure we were tracking the same types of data in GA4.
- We were given carte blanche to fix anything we saw that needed it along the way.
- They also had a robust website infrastructure thanks to our partners at Foster Made, which made getting to the data we needed easier. Having the right infrastructure can mean the difference between a turnaround time that only takes a few days (like this one) and one that can take a few weeks.
Free GA4 Migration Planner
Worried that a broken or incomplete infrastructure might make your switch to GA4 difficult? We can take a look and let you know where we see potential issues and how to make it work!
Use this GA4 Migration Planner to see what you might be missing.
Speed was a priority
Venture Richmond needed to have accurate year-over-year data before Google’s forced migration in July. The client was a big part of the success of this project by staying responsive throughout the process, getting us any needed information and connecting us with the right people on their team. They were also very clear about what they needed for each stakeholder so we could address any shifting priorities and update existing dashboards with new data.
“The migration process in transitioning our two websites to GA4 was exceptionally smooth. The learning curve is still very much in progress, but we have faith that our team at Workshop Digital will be with us every step of the way.”
Erika Gay, Marketing and Communications Manager at Venture Richmond
Getting everyone comfortable with the platform
After our initial walkthrough of GA4 and what makes it different from UA, we showed the client some of the core functions and gave an overview of the general reporting features in the platform. This included where to go to find any metrics that the client relies on in their day-to-day tracking. A lot of the nomenclature is different in GA4, so we helped Venture Richmond identify the new terms for the metrics they were familiar with in UA. This was another instance where having a relationship with the organization and an understanding of their shifting priorities helped us create the best possible marketing plan to utilize the capabilities of GA4.
Life with GA4
Now that Venture Richmond has had some time to play around with GA4, we are already fielding questions about the features that weren’t available to them in UA. It is a totally new product, so there is a learning curve to find the best way to track the same types of data that were available in UA.
Google is constantly improving the materials they provide to help new users, but so far we’ve found logging time in the platform is still the best way to find what you need. Since we’re in GA4 every day, and have a variety of clients using it in a number of different ways, we’ve been able to answer any lingering questions clients have about the new setup.
Lessons Learned and What's Next
Venture Richmond is already finding new ways to identify and measure success using the new Events model in GA4. They’re setting up additional events to track success along the path to full conversions. As Venture Richmond’s products and services are centered around offline events, the ability to associate offline engagement to online activity is already providing more insight than UA when it comes to how their complete marketing programs are performing. There are also more ways to track activity so that Venture Richmond and the Richmond Folk Festival can see the relationships between their email initiatives, sponsor engagements, and important donations.
GA4 is coming
If you haven’t made the move yet, our GA4 Migration Planner will help you better understand the four most important steps we’ve found helpful as we transfer clients to the new platform. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have about your specific data tracking goals and how we can make your transition to GA4 easier for you.