Everything You Need to Know to Recreate Universal Analytics Audiences in GA4

Google has released a new audience migration tool for GA4 – the GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics. A Google Sheets add-on that allows you to recreate Universal Analytics audiences in your Google Analytics 4 property. 

January 9, 2023 - Google has released a new audience migration tool for GA4 – the GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics. A Google Sheets add-on that allows you to recreate Universal Analytics audiences in your Google Analytics 4 property. 

    Easily recreate existing dimensions or metrics that align with both properties, or customize by editing matching audience conditions included within this helpful spreadsheet tool. Find out which Audiences are available to be recreated alongside information about any unavailable options– ensuring you have all the facts needed before creating anew!

    Customization is key.  This spreadsheet provides the ability to personalize each audience, containing information about their availability for recreation and why they may not be available. Easily editable conditions make it simple to tailor your audiences in accordance with specific needs.



    How the tool works

    This tool uses the Google Analytics Management API to import Universal Analytics audience definitions into a spreadsheet. Universal Analytics audience definitions are formatted by the Management API and displayed in the recreation sheet using the legacy Core Reporting API segments syntax.

    Every Universal Analytics audience-definition expression is parsed by the tool and validated against the list of metrics and dimensions supported in GA4.

    To export the audience definition to a GA4 property, the tool uses the audience-management functionality of the Google Analytics Admin API.

    During the audience-export stage, each dimension and metric inside a Universal Analytics audience definition expression is replaced with a corresponding Google Analytics 4 field, with dimension/metric values translated, if necessary.


    Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 audience-fields conversion map:

    Universal Analytics field Google Analytics 4 field Display name in Google Analytics 4
    ad_group sessionGoogleAdsAdGroupName Session Google Ads ad group name
    age userAgeBracket Age
    branding_interest brandingInterest Interests
    browser browser Browser
    browser_version Not in aggregate tables Browser version
    campaign sessionCampaignName Session campaign
    city city City
    content sessionManualAdContent Session manual ad content
    continent Not in aggregate tables Continent
    data_source platform Platform
    device_category deviceCategory Device Category
    gender userGender Gender
    has_user_id signedInWithUserID Signed in with user ID
    hostname hostname Hostname
    hour hour Hour
    internal_search_keyword searchTerm Search term
    is_mobile deviceCategory Device category exactly matches mobile and tablet
    language language Language
    medium sessionMedium Session medium
    mobile_brand_name mobileDeviceMarketingName Device brand
    mobile_marketing_name mobileDeviceMarketingName Device
    order_coupon_code orderCoupon Order coupon
    page_depth   Event count[“page_view”]
    page_title pageTitle Page title
    pconversion_score_dim purchaseProbability7d Purchase probability
    platform operatingSystem Operating system
    platform_version operatingSystemWithVersion Operating system with version
    region region Region
    request_url pagePathPlusQueryString Page path + query string
    request_url_1 landingPage Landing page + query string
    revenue Not in aggregate tables LTV
    screen_resolution screenResolution Screen resolution
    session_quality_bias_normalized_dim purchaseProbability7d Purchase probability
    source sessionSource Session source
    source_medium sessionSourceMedium Session source/medium
    sub_continent_region subcontinent Subcontinent
    traffic_channel sessionDefaultChannelGroup Session default channel group
    transaction_id transactionID Transaction ID
    visit_date date(YYYYMMDD) Date
    visitor_bucket userBucket User bucket
    visit_number Not in aggregate tables Session number
    visits   Event count{“session_start”] in user scope


    How to Use It

    To use the tool, you need the following access:

    • Viewer role for the Universal Analytics property
    • Editor role for the Google Analytics 4 property

    After you’ve installed and activated the Google Sheets add-on (below), follow these steps:

    1. Import audience definitions from your Universal Analytics property to a Google Sheet.
    2. Decide how you want to export audiences from your Google Sheet to your GA4 property (e.g., using the existing definition or modifying the definition first in the tool, then exporting).
    3. Export your audiences from the Google Sheet to your GoogleA4 property.

    Before You Start

    There are a couple of things you need to do before you can start using the Migrator:

    First, you’ll need to install the add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace or by accessing the ad-on store listing from the Google Sheets Menu. Select Extensions > Add-ons > Get add-ons, and search for GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics.



    Open the add-on listing, and click Install to install the add-on and follow the prompt to complete the installation process.

    After you’ve finished installing the add-on, open Google Sheets. Use the same Google Account that has at least the Viewer role for your Universal Analytics property and at least the Editor role for your Google Analytics 4 property.

    Then Create a new Google Sheet, and activate the add-on sidebar by selecting Extensions > GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics™ > Migrate audience definitions to GA4 from the menu.


    Step 1: Import audience definitions from your Universal Analytics property

    When you activate the add-on, you see the following dialog that guides you through the process.


    1. To begin, use the Google Analytics Account menu to select the Universal Analytics account that includes the property from which you want to import audiences. You’ll see a list of accounts for which you have at least the Viewer role.
    2. Use the Universal Analytics Property menu to select the property whose audiences you want to import. You’ll see a list of properties for which you have at least the Editor role.
    3. Click Import audiences from Universal Analytics.

    The import process should complete in a few seconds. You’ll see a confirmation message once the process is complete.


    Step 2: Decide how to export each audience

    Once the import process is complete, you’ll see a Google Sheet that includes audience names, definitions, and information about whether you can export the definitions to Google Analytics 4. If you can export the audience definition, the first column will say “Ready to migrate”.



    For each audience that you can export, you can edit its definition in the Google Sheet. For example, if the condition in Column E (Include Segment) is sessions::condition::ga:country=@Canada, then you can change that to sessions::condition::ga:country=@France (or any other country).

    Once you’ve reviewed your audiences, you’re ready to export them to a GA4 property.

    For audiences that are Not compatible with GA4, if there are comparable dimensions and/or metrics in GA4, then you can edit the include and/or exclude statements in the Google Sheet or recreate the audiences in your Google Analytics 4 property.


    Step 3: Export audiences to a Google Analytics 4 property

    1. Use the Google Analytics 4 property menu to select the property you want to export the audience definitions to.
    2. Click Migrate to start the process.

    Once the process is complete, you’ll see a confirmation message.


    Where to see your recreated audiences in Google Analytics 4

    2. In the left navigation, click ADMIN.
    3.  In the Property column, click Audiences to open the audiences table.


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