UA to GA4 - Migration and common questions

As you may know, Google has ceased to support Universal Analytics. From July 1st, 2023, Google has decided that Universal Analytics will stop processing new data, and to keep measuring your website you will need to switch to Google Analytics 4. We want to answer some common questions related to GA4 that we got over the weeks from clients and internal teams.


Please note that GA4 has a different data model and reporting interface compared to the previous version of Universal Analytics. Therefore, the names and locations of certain reports and metrics have changed. It's important to familiarize yourself with the updated interface and explore the available reports to find the data you need.

 

I can't see Google/CPC in GA4. Where can I find it?

If you can't see Paid Search, it means that Google Ads is not connected to GA4 yet. Please check If the connection is built in: Admin > Product Links > Google Ads Links. If you don't see the connection, feel free to reach out to us to help you with it. Please check if the connection is correct even If you see the Paid Search in GA4.

In addition, take into account that, in GA4, the terminology and structure have been updated, and some familiar concepts have changed. The term "Google/cpc" has been replaced with "Google Ads" or "Google Ads/cpc" as a traffic source.

To find the Google Ads/CPC data in GA4, you can follow these steps:

1. In the left-hand menu, click on "Acquisition" to expand the Acquisition section.
2. Click on "Traffic Acquisition" to view the traffic sources.
3. In the list of traffic sources, you should see "Google Ads/CPC" (or "Google Ads" depending on the version). Click on it to see the related data.
4. You can explore various reports and metrics under the "Google Ads/CPC" section to analyze the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.

 

GA3 and GA4 numbers do not match. Is tracking correct?

Since they are different products, GA3 and GA4 numbers will not match. While GA3 is session-based, GA4 is event-based, it is an expected behavior to see different results between the two of them. The trend will be the same but numbers may be different. Below you can see a deep explanation of the above:

GA3 follows a session-based data model, where a session is a collection of interactions a user has with your website or app within a given time frame. GA3 attributes all the pageviews, events, and conversions within a session to a single source/medium.

On the other hand, GA4 follows an event-based data model, where each user interaction is treated as an individual event. This allows for more granular tracking and analysis of user behavior. GA4 also introduces the concept of "Enhanced Measurement," which automatically tracks common events without requiring explicit tracking code implementation.

 

A client said their backend leads are different from GA4 conversions. Is that expected as well?

It is an expected behavior since GA4 can get affected by some tracking prevention measures like adblockers or by browsers like Safari or Brave. Basically, discrepancies between backend leads and GA4 conversions can occur due to tracking prevention measures, data sampling, tracking implementation issues, and differences in attribution models. These discrepancies are expected, and it's difficult to achieve a perfect match between the two data sources. If you think there is another problem, feel free to reach us out.

 

I can't see conversions in GA4 even though tracking is correct. Is there any reason for this?

In some cases, you may not be able to see conversions in the Google Analytics 4 (GA4) interface even if the tracking is implemented correctly. There are a few possible reasons for this:

1. Processing Limits: GA4 has certain processing limits within its interface. When you have a high volume of events or complex data, it may exceed these limits and result in incomplete or delayed data processing. As a result, conversions may not be immediately visible in the GA4 interface.
2. Data Latency: GA4 data processing and reporting have some latency. It can take some time, typically a few hours, for the collected data to be processed and appear in the reports. If you have recently implemented the tracking or made changes, it's possible that the conversions have not yet been fully processed and are not visible in GA4.
3. Interface Limitations: The GA4 interface may have certain limitations in displaying data, particularly if you have a large dataset or complex reporting requirements. In some cases, the interface may not be able to handle the processing and display of all the data accurately.

To address these limitations and ensure you can access the correct data, you can use our reporting tool, Dataslayer. We allow you to pull data directly from the Reporting API of GA4. By using our tool, you can retrieve the metrics and conversion data more reliably and accurately than relying solely on the GA4 interface.

The Reporting API provides more powerful and flexible access to GA4 data, allowing you to bypass the interface limitations. Dataslayer leverages this API to retrieve the data and display it in a more user-friendly way.

Keep in mind that the situation and capabilities of the GA4 interface may change over time. It's always a good idea to stay updated with the latest announcements and changes from Google regarding GA4 to ensure you're using the most effective tools and methods for data analysis and reporting.

 

I'm confused, which reporting technique should I use, GA4 interface, GA4 custom reports, or Dataslayer?

For now, we suggest Dataslayer since it is giving the right results. As I mentioned, this may change in the near future but for now, stick with Dataslayer. If you need any support, feel free to reach out.

 

What will happen to GA3 data? Will it stay in GA4?

The data in GA3 will remain accessible for a period of 6 months, meaning you can continue to use and analyze the GA3 data within the GA3 interface during that timeframe. It's important to note that GA3 data will not automatically transfer or merge into GA4. GA3 and GA4 are separate products with different data models, and data from GA3 will not be directly accessible or visible within the GA4 interface.

If you wish to retain and continue using your GA3 data beyond the available timeframe in the GA3 interface, you have the option to store it in BigQuery. BigQuery is a Google Cloud Platform data warehouse that allows you to store and analyze large volumes of data.

By storing your GA3 data in BigQuery, you can have long-term access to the data and perform more advanced analysis using custom queries and integrations with other data sources. This can be particularly useful if you want to combine GA3 data with other datasets or perform in-depth data analysis beyond the capabilities of the GA3 interface.

Dataslayer can also help you store your GA3 data into BigQuery, with our direct integration with BigQuery. Reach out for more information!

As always, please contact us via our live chat on our website or via email if you still have doubts or questions. We are happy to help!