Click to call

Over the past month or so, you may have noticed a bright red countdown pop-up when logging into your Google Universal Analytics (UA) account. This countdown, which signifies the launch of Skynet official sunset of UA, has sparked the frantic transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and has left many UA users feeling uncertain about the future of their accounts.

The news of GA4 has taken the digital world by storm since Google first announced it would be sunsetting UA way back in October 2020. As we creep closer to the official sunset of UA, Odd Dog is here to guide you through your GA4 setup to prevent missing any valuable data.

While we will miss UA, we look towards a future with GA4 and of course, hope to see U(A) again.

What is GA4?

GA4 is Google’s fourth iteration of Analytics, and with this fourth iteration comes a variety of changes that will impact how we configure, collect, and ultimately interact with data. It is future-oriented with a large focus on combining web and app data as mobile integration becomes more and more prevalent. In addition, it provides new privacy controls as we begin shifting to a cookieless online experience.

Why the Change?

There are two key reasons for the change:


The old version of Google Analytics (UA) tracks users with a small piece of code, called a “Cookie”, that is saved in your web browser when you visit a website with UA installed. This cookie tracks individual users as they browse a website and sends the data to UA, which can then record and report on visitor data.

When the European Union passed its new GDPR laws, designed to increase user privacy when using the internet, the method of using cookies has to be announced and accepted by each user. Anyone who doesn’t accept the use of cookies is essentially not counted in Google Analytics (UA) data. Analytics data just isn’t reliable if only the visitors who accept cookies are tracked.

GA4 uses an entirely new method of collecting that “cookieless”. This uses what cookie-related data it can collect, then fills in the gaps with Data Modeling and Machine Learning. We just call this “Secret Internet Magic”, but it works quite well. Google has a post about it if you’re interested in the details.

Cross-Device Tracking

Universal Analytics (UA) was only designed to track what happens on a website. If you wanted to track what happens on a mobile app or web application, you had to use another piece of software and then combine that data with UA.

GA4 solves this by supporting website, mobile apps, and full web-based applications. This means you can get a more complete view of your website visitors and app users.

GA4 vs. Universal Analytics – what are the differences?

GA4 vs. Universal Analytics

There are many differences between GA4 and UA in overall structure, visualization, and general metrics. We recommend familiarizing yourself with these changes by exploring resources from Google regarding metric changes and other broad changes. Before diving into our tips for getting your GA4 account configured, let’s address a few of these changes.

UA goals are now conversion events

In UA, goals were used to outline specific actions that a user took on your site that would be counted as a conversion, such as a form submission. In GA4, goals are now conversion events. These are simply events that you want to be recognized as a conversion in your property. While UA only counted one conversion per session, GA4 will count every instance of that conversion even if it occurs in the same session.

Bounce rate criteria

Another change is regarding the criteria of bounce rates. In UA, bounce rates were defined as the “Percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds”. In GA4 however, the bounce rate accounts for “not engaged sessions”. This includes sessions that last less than 10 seconds, trigger no events, and do not explore any other pages.

Tips for reconfiguring your Google Analytics 4 account

1. Verify that you have a GA4 property created

Google announced that if you had not opted out of their set-up assistant or set up your property by the end of February 2023, they would automatically create a GA4 property that matches your existing UA property.

At this point, if you previously had a Universal Analytics account, you should have a GA4 property as well. The easiest way to differentiate between the two properties is simply by their property numbers. Any UA account will be something along the lines of UA – 1234567, while the GA4 property will simply be a string of numbers.

2. Connect your Google Tag Manager account to the new property

If you were using UA to track information from your website, you were most likely using Google Tag Manager (GTM) as a means of tracking. That means it is essential for you to update your GTM account with your new measurement ID number, which can be found under “data streams” in GA4.

3. Connect existing product accounts

Another step to consider when configuring your new account is to take stock of other products you currently have connected to your UA account. Do you use Google Ads? What about Google Search Console? These will need to be added to your new GA4 property! This can be done in Admin in GA4, scrolling to the bottom, and following the linking instructions in the relevant product sections.

4. Add necessary “events”

One of the differences between GA4 and UA is the purpose behind events. GA4 has a list of events it will automatically begin tracking which can be found here. Once in your GA4 property, you can add additional events from their list of recommended events or even go as far as to create custom events.

5. Set up conversions

Each event in your GA4 property will have a button that can be toggled on in a column called Conversions. It will be important to look through your events and determine which you want to be counted as conversions. As events are tracking interactions through your website, conversions are a way to flag specific events as providing direct value to your business.

Want to unleash more of what GA4 can offer? Drop a line, we’d love to help you fetch the results you’re looking for.

Our team at Odd Dog is committed to taking data-driven approaches to our creative marketing strategy. We understand the importance of data for small businesses and are well-versed in creating custom reporting strategies for businesses. We are offering a free 15-minute Analytics Audit to determine if your website is already set up for GA4 as well as a Basic GA4 Setup Service to help get your account properly configured.

Optimizing GA4 doesn’t have to feel far-fetched, start the conversation with our experts today!

Prefer Email? Say Hello!
[email protected]
Talk With Us!
Book a Meeting!

Please use the calendar to the right to book an initial meeting with our sales team.

Fill Out the Form Below!

Have a specific service in mind or looking to share more about your project goals? Fill out the form on this page and one of our sales specialist will get back to you ASAP.