A Big Problem Using the Google Analytics UA to GA4 Events Migration Tool
If you are currently using Google Analytics and have logged into the platform with the last 9 months then you are likely aware that as of July 1, 2023 Google Analytics UA or GA 3 as some call it will be “Sunsetted”. Essentially Google is going to stop tracking much of the critical data it collects currently in Google Analytics UA in a move to force everyone to start using the new Google Analytics 4 or GA 4 platform. So naturally you’ll want to ensure that you have GA 4 set up for your website.
As a part of that set up you will want to ensure you have events being tracked that you can measure and some of them will be used as conversions / goals just like you do in Google Analytics today.
You can either create those manually or you have the option of migrating the Google Analytics events from with UA over to GA 4 using a migration tool. But this is why we decided to create this blog. It doesn’t always work!
What Problems Will You Experience Migrating Google Analytics UA Events over to GA 4?
You are most likely going to run into issues when using the events migration tool inside of Google Analytics. When using the tool you’ll even get messages telling you that some event types can’t be migrated because they aren’t compatible. One of those are events / goals that utilize regular expressions (many of our do, so we were screwed on that one).
But what we found is that very few of the events we migrated over to GA 4 actually worked. The migration itself would be successful in that there were events which appeared inside of the GA 4 property, but they would never work. No data would track and they were essentially worthless.
So we had to go back and create all of those manually. Some of them we could create within the GA 4 platform alone and other we had to build out using a combination of both GA 4 and Tag Manager (such as Click to Call phone number clicks tracked as an event and conversion).
Something different about events inside of Google Analytics 4 is that you have to “Toggle” events to be marked as conversions. Which is nice because you can more cleanly have a bunch of events being tracked while quickly marking which of them actually count as a conversion for your organization.
We just wanted to give you a heads up if you are going down this journey and to let you know that you’re not crazy if you run into problems like this. Because you will!
If you need help setting up or migrating Google Analytics over to GA 4 then contact us and we can easily help you out with that.
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