Preparation and Goal Setting in Google Analytics

Preparation and Goal Setting in Google Analytics

By Karen Carlson

GA4 is on the way. If you haven't already migrated to GA4, stop what you're doing and do it today. Otherwise, come July 1, you won't receive any new website analytics data in your Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) account. Take a look at this post to understand how and why to migrate your analytics. 

What should I do to prepare for the new GA4? 

If you’re an active LRS Web Solutions client, we’ve been working to set up GA4 accounts for you in tandem with GA3. Contact us with your specific needs.

If you’re not an LRS Antilles customer, we can still help you set up your GA4 account or set you up with both if you’re new to the analytics game. Otherwise, login to your UA account and follow the instructions about how to setup GA4 using either the Global Site Tag (g-tag) or Google Tag Manager. 

Rest assured that many marketing professionals are studying GA4 and planning for its full implementation. One such professional is Louise Bartlett, Senior Manager for marketing in the LRS EOM division.

She said, "Google Analytics is key to helping us understand how our websites are performing. We have been quietly migrating over all our current websites and reports to GA4 so we would be ahead of the deprecation deadline in July.”

Louise continued, saying, “While we are still running both systems in parallel, I have already seen significant benefits which make the migration task worthwhile. The tracking of “users” over multiple platforms and over many visits gives a new perspective on how they are traversing our website and the reporting capabilities have been significantly improved and the charts and visuals can be more easily understood by internal stakeholders. As we dig deeper into the new features, I am sure we will uncover even more value.”

What do I need to setup in GA4?

The new GA4 doesn't focus on pageviews and sessions like the old version (UA). Instead, it focuses on marketing metrics of goals (called events in GA4) and conversions. Monitoring these are key to understanding the value of your website. 

So think about what events and conversions are applicable to your site. Create valuable actions that encourage people to connect with your company, such as forms, subscriptions, coupons, downloads, etc. Then work with GA4 to make sure you’re tracking those actions or “events.” 


What goals/events should I have if I’m not an e-commerce site? 

If you’re not selling products on your website, analytics is still valuable. Whether you’re a healthcare organization, a bank, an association, a non-profit, or a service company, understanding a website goal can be challenging, but not impossible with a well-structured website. In GA4, these goals are called “events,” a term that is familiar to those who use Google Tag Manager. 

Website events can be anything you want them to be. It could be a view of a Pay Per Click landing page. It could be a download of a brochure or application, booking an appointment online, calling a phone number, or completing a form. Take a look at your website and see what you’d consider an event. 

Think about what goals and conversions are important to track on your business website. In GA4, add those goals as events and conversions. 


So how do you see this great data? UA has more than 100 reports available with just a click of a button. Lots of data, but it can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for or where to look.

GA4 offers only 17 pre-made reports. They give a basic overview and are pretty easy to access and understand.

But wait, just 17? The rest is up to you. Marketers must build individual reports for pretty much any detail you want to know. The customization is nice, but the reports are rather tricky, especially since GA4 isn’t finished yet. If you get stuck building reports, take a few online classes or check YouTube. LRS Web Solutions recommends Loves Data.

The best piece of advice I’ve read about Google Analytics was to approach it with a question. Don’t just look for information. Have a question that you want answered, and then you to build a report around that question.

The best piece of advice I’ve read about Google Analytics was to approach it with a question. Don’t just look for information. Have a question that you want answered, and then you to build a report around that question.

The countdown to GA4 is on! There are only a few months remaining before Universal Analytics joins Google+ in the Google Graveyard, so get ready. We’re here to help.