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.

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