Migrating from Classic GA to Universal Analytics

You’re ready to move to Google Univer­sal Analyt­ics, but how do you get from Classic Google Analyt­ics to Univer­sal Analyt­ics?” Search Discovery has orga­nized the resources you need to pull off a best prac­tices imple­men­ta­tion.

Pre-Flight System Checks

As with any project of this scale of this scale, start with a clear mission state­ment of what you want to accom­plish. Take special care to avoid any infer­ences or claims that could cause the scope-creep or misman­aged expec­ta­tions. For example:

  • The goal of the Univer­sal Analyt­ics Imple­men­ta­tion Project is to replace our current Classic Google Analyt­ics plat­form with the Google Analyt­ics Univer­sal Analyt­ics plat­form.

Once your mission is estab­lished, start assem­bling a cross-func­tional team to ensure all stake­hold­ers are repre­sented. Your team members should include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital Analysts to iden­tify the current behav­iors being tracked and to vali­date the upgrade.
  • Devel­op­ers or Tag Managers to handle the actual tag changes.
  • Digital Marketers or Product Managers to help vali­date changes and build future roadmaps.

Captain’s Log

In most busi­nesses, system docu­men­ta­tion is an almost humor­ous dichotomy.  It is a supremely impor­tant func­tion, yet it is often over­looked.  Docu­ment­ing your current and future Google Analyt­ics imple­men­ta­tion will prove invalu­able during your upgrade. Your docu­men­ta­tion will be your method of vali­da­tion and will help to answer ques­tions that may arise.  Start your system docu­men­ta­tion by perform­ing a site audit of your current page tags. Create a spread­sheet as the repos­i­tory for:

  • your track­ing codes – to docu­ment your current track­ing code IDs and custom config­u­ra­tions.
  • your page tags – to docu­ment custom tags being used on your site.  Include the page name for the tags where appro­pri­ate.

We Have Lift-Off!

With your back­ground work and docu­men­ta­tion done, it is time to take flight.  Use the follow­ing steps as a guide for your mission:

  • set up your Univer­sal Analyt­ics account
  • run both Google Analyt­ics versions on your site
  • change your page tags to Univer­sal Analyt­ics
  • vali­date your pages
  • remove Classic Google Analyt­ics track­ing code from your site
  • take advan­tage of new capa­bil­i­ties

A Final Note

The order, timing, and specific imple­men­ta­tion methods for a project like this will vary between compa­nies – so the sugges­tions above are meant to give you an idea of how to order your steps.  If you need addi­tional assis­tance find an expert to help you develop a best prac­tices imple­men­ta­tion strat­egy for your company.