Should I set up a new GA account?
There are several times when you may want to consider a new GA account:
- When you have a new site
- After significant changes
- If you’ve had to deal with some serious mistakes
However, at the same time, you will want to keep the history of what happened with the last site. Some may try to migrate new data streams into the existing account, others may set up a suite of accounts and views to show old and new versions of reports.
The most common flaws when migrating a GA account
In a new account, you will have an idea of a go-live date and can ignore activity prior to this point. However, when migrating it’s not so easy as the purpose of the migration is to have a clean history. Therefore, ensure the tags are ready to go live and do not require anything more than some basic tests.
“A new site will lead to a difference in behaviour”
Categorisation can be an issue in several circumstances. A new site will lead to a difference in behaviour adjusting average metrics like average page views. Therefore, when looking at a mixture of site data it is good to make a note of the date of the change. Event categorisation is another key consideration. If you have a slight change of categories you need to consider if your existing events are still relevant. For example, if you’re a bank and you used to categorise ISAs and junior ISAs together. The most effective course of action, in this case, would be to change the naming convention totally.
“GA is hard to change anything retrospectively”
So, the old category ISA is now jISA and an ISA. This makes it clear that ISA’s have now changed category. If this is left the aISA’s as ISA’s reports would show a drop-in activity – people won’t think to add jISA’s too. This would, therefore, be a good time to point out that one of the downfalls of GA is that it is hard to change anything retrospectively, if possible at all. The most effective way to learn about the consequences of a change is to get advice first.
For analysts trying to implement a more strategic process retrospectively creating segments or analysing behaviour, it may be that GA isn’t the right tool. WebFusion is a database solution that can capture the raw tracking data. At Fusion we can merge old and new accounts together, clean data, build new flags and categories.