Simple Steps To Update to GA4 From Universal Analytics

Here is a technical guide for switching from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4):

Step 1: Create a GA4 Property First, you’ll need to create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. This will be a new tracking code that you’ll need to add to your website.

Step 2: Install GA4 Tracking Code Next, you’ll need to install the GA4 tracking code on your website. You can do this by adding the code snippet to the header section of your website’s HTML code. You can find the code snippet in your GA4 property under the “Admin” section.

Step 3: Link UA and GA4 Properties In order to transfer data from your existing UA property to the new GA4 property, you’ll need to link the two properties. You can do this in the “Admin” section of your GA4 property. Under the “Data Streams” tab, click “Add Stream” and select “Web.” Then, follow the prompts to link your UA property to your GA4 property.

Step 4: Set Up Data Import After linking the properties, you’ll need to set up data import to transfer data from your UA property to your GA4 property. This can be done in the “Admin” section of your GA4 property under the “Data Import” tab. Follow the prompts to set up data import from your UA property.

Step 5: Create Custom Events and Parameters In GA4, events and parameters are used to track user interactions on your website. You’ll need to create custom events and parameters in your GA4 property to track the same interactions that you were tracking in your UA property. You can do this in the “Events” section of your GA4 property.

Step 6: Update Your Website’s Tags Finally, you’ll need to update your website’s tags to ensure that they’re sending data to your new GA4 property. This includes updating any Google Tag Manager (GTM) tags or other tracking scripts that you’re using on your website.

By following these six steps, you can switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 and continue gathering accurate data and insights on your website.

Right Hand Ads Removed from Google

Google recently confirmed all right hand ads will be removed from the desktop search results. This new layout has been being tested on some search queries for a while and obviously Google was happy with the results.

Why did Google make this change?

Google is balancing search experience and the business needs of increasing advertising revenues. Over the last year, Google has seen an increase in paid clicks but this has been balanced with an average cost per click decrease of 13%.

There also have been a dramatic increase in advertising revenue from mobile search:

“Our very strong revenue growth in Q4 reflects the vibrancy of our business, driven by mobile search as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising, all areas in which we’ve been investing for many years,” said Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat in a statement.

Read more about Google’s 2015 Q4 Earnings here

What does this mean for the advertiser?

Eliminating 70% of the available first page advertising positions will likely drive up CPC prices.

Google API Locking Down Search Access

Google has began enforcing their API policy to prevent automated access to their search results. Google’s adWords API has been used by a variety of search engine tools to help marketers research search phrases and other activities.

As seen in the post below Google has prevented WordStream from publishing their data showing CPC rates for a variety of industries. Other major SEO tool providers have been impacted by the new enforcement. RavenSEOtools is shutting down their rank tracking features to maintain their AdWords API.

Early last year Google revoked wide spread access to the AdWords API in apparently the first step of restricting access.

It’s hard to say what this enforcement means. It could be simply maintaining the API required a lot of resource and cost. Or it may be the sign of more changes to come from Google.  Preventing scraping of the search results will make it more difficult for the SEO industry to evaluate the impact of future algorithmic changes.

Google maintains the recent crack down on tool providers is nothing new as their Terms of Service have not been changed.

Read more about the latest at Search Engine Land

Insight Into Google’s Business Day

This infographic from Wordstream does a great job of showing a single day at the search engine giant.

5.6 Billion ad impressions a day is impressive but is actually down for the quarter.

However more people are clicking on ads than previously. These big number show how competitive the search markets really are and unfortunately if you do business in one of the top 10 verticals your advertising costs are going to be much higher.

Important Google Stats on How they Make their Money

© WordStream, an Ad Words partner.

Disavow Links

Google recently added a new tool for webmasters called the Disavow link tool.  This update confirms that certain links can negatively impact your website.

This tool allows webmasters to deny the value or lack thereof to their web pages.  Disavowing links has caused quite a controversy in the SEO community causing many to speculate whether this tool is simply Google gathering a crowd sourced list of websites in link building networks.

While it is too soon to know the true impact of disavow links, we have began testing the impact removing links will have on a number of test sites.  Expect an update in the next few week.s

First Steps After Your Website Is Launched

You have taken the plunge and just finished your new website.  The text and pictures are finally perfect so publish…and now what?

Getting a website designed can be a daunting task and you no doubt feel a sense of relief now that your site is live.  In reality you have just taken the first step in a long journey of building your online business.  This post identifies the most important steps you need to take to make your site successful.

Get Local

Local business listings are extremely important to ensure your business is found.  Be sure to sign up or claim your Google business listing.

We also recommend submitting your business information to Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp to increase your visibility.

Get Social

Social media is all the rave these days.  You might not tweet or update your wall, but you should at a minimum protect your brand by registering accounts at the major social media sites.  Twitter and Facebook also are easy ways to build a customer list allowing you to easily remarket to your customers in the future.

Get Traffic

If you build it, they will come.  Right?  A few weeks after your site is launched you will begin to realize this statement really doesn’t apply to web pages.  Google’s AdWords is the solution for getting immediate traffic to your website.

Another great option is AdWords Express which allows you to show your local business as a sponsored listing within Google’s maps.

AdWords and Express are great solutions for immediate traffic but are expensive as your pay for each visitor.  Good management and optimization of these campaigns are essential to ensure that your money isn’t wasted.

Get Organic

Paying for traffic is a reliable method of generating business but it helps to expand into the “natural” search results.  Search engines look at hundreds of factors to determine which pages are the best to show at the top.

Get Exposure

First you can increase the visibility of your local business listing by creating citations.  Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number at other local directory websites.  Make sure that your frequently identifying local business directories and submitting your information.  Increasing how often your business is mentioned will increase your site exposure.

Seem like a lot of work?  Contact us today for a quote for our comprehensive marketing plans.