How To Downgrade From Google Analytics 4

How To Articles

Switching back to the previous version of Google Analytics can be a complex undertaking, particularly if you have grown accustomed to its advanced features and capabilities. Nevertheless, there could be certain circumstances where it becomes necessary to downgrade from Google Analytics 4. In this article, I will walk you through the steps of downgrading and share my own thoughts and experiences.

Why Downgrade from Google Analytics 4?

Before we begin, it’s important to understand the reasons why you might want to downgrade from Google Analytics 4. While GA4 comes with several improvements and advancements, it’s not uncommon for certain users to face compatibility issues or find that specific features they relied on in the previous version are missing. Additionally, some users may prefer the interface and reporting capabilities of the older version, known as Universal Analytics.

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of downgrading from Google Analytics 4 back to Universal Analytics.

Step 1: Review Your Current Google Analytics Setup

The first step is to assess your existing Google Analytics setup. Take note of your tracking ID, configuration settings, and any customizations you’ve made. It’s crucial to have this information handy as it will be needed during the downgrade process.

Step 2: Set Up a New Universal Analytics Property

To downgrade from GA4, you’ll need to create a new Universal Analytics property. To do this:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Navigate to the Admin section.
  3. Select the appropriate Account and Property where you want to create the Universal Analytics property.
  4. Click on “Create Property” and choose “Web” as the property type.
  5. Follow the prompts to complete the setup, making sure to enter the necessary information and select any desired configuration options. Remember to use a different tracking ID for the Universal Analytics property.

Once the property is created, you’ll be provided with a new tracking ID specific to your Universal Analytics setup.

Step 3: Replace GA4 Tracking Code with Universal Analytics Tracking Code

The next step is to replace the existing GA4 tracking code on your website with the Universal Analytics tracking code. This involves locating the code snippet in your website’s code and replacing it with the code snippet for Universal Analytics.

If you’re using a tag management system like Google Tag Manager, you can simply update the existing GA4 tag with the Universal Analytics tag. Be sure to publish the changes after making the necessary updates.

Step 4: Configure Universal Analytics Settings

After replacing the tracking code, it’s important to configure the settings for your new Universal Analytics property. Consider reviewing and updating the following:

  • Goals and Ecommerce Tracking: Set up any goals or ecommerce tracking that was previously implemented in GA4.
  • Filters: Apply any necessary filters to your Universal Analytics view to ensure accurate data collection.
  • Custom Dimensions and Metrics: If you were using custom dimensions or metrics in GA4, recreate them in Universal Analytics.

Conclusion

Downgrading from Google Analytics 4 to Universal Analytics requires careful planning and execution. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully revert back to the older version and continue benefiting from the features and functionality it offers. Remember to backup your data and thoroughly test the new setup before making the switch. If you’re still unsure about downgrading or need assistance, it’s always recommended to consult with a professional or reach out to Google Analytics support.