Fortra is a premium provider of cybersecurity products and services. Their suite includes solutions for automation, cybersecurity, monitoring, product training, implementation, configuration, upgrades, and conversion services.
Google Analytics announced in early 2022 that the existing Universal Analytics product (aka GA3) will be sunset in favor of GA4 in July of 2023.
On the surface, it seemed you had plenty of time to set up your new GA4 instance. Because GA4’s underlying platform is so drastically different from GA3’s, it’s not recommended to be comparing data cross-platform. For those who wanted to obtain year-over-year reporting, you only had a few months to get GA4 setup. Fortra is a savvy, data-driven organization that puts a strong emphasis on having the latest marketing technology and analytics tools at its disposal and places a high emphasis on the accuracy of data.
Fortra had a relatively complex setup with a large network of internal web traffic, a robust content grouping strategy, hundreds of lead forms, and a desire to store their data in a data warehouse. All of that was intertwined with a Cookie Management Platform. While Forta has a savvy internal marketing team to manage their UA in house, they didn’t have the capacity to build GA4 correctly on time. That's where Marcel came in to help expedite the setup and train internal teams to meet Google's tight deadline.
The solution was multi-faceted and accounted for some unique customization tailored to Fortra's needs. A complex GA4 setup does not come without hurdles, but Marcel had a plan to access and address the full suite of Forta's needs as they migrated over from Universal Analytics.
Replicating the reporting structure of Universal Analytics in GA4
Making the reporting structure consistent with the previous instance would be key in helping Fortra's in-house marketing team use their GA4 instance successfully. The Marcel Team needed to work with Fortra to identify key metrics and dimensions for tracking. It was imperative to first align and capture the metrics that are the most valuable to their business.
By taking the time to set this up properly, the team at Fortra can be sure that they were tracking the same types of data and metrics they did previously. Moreover, they would be able to easily compare their legacy UA data after the launch of GA4.
Setting up a consistent event schema that can be replicated across future Forta GA4 instances
By working with Fortra to define the specific actions (events) and parameters to track in GA4, Marcel was able to create naming conventions to track these moments clearly. The event schema was then documented for the team to help ensure that everyone could continue to implement consistent tracking across any future GA4 instances. Marcel Digital set Fortra's in-house marketing team up for success by giving them the tools needed to track their business goals consistently into the future.
Group and accurately report on 100’s of lead forms
In addition to the defined events with a consistent schema, the Fortra team also needed to report on a host of web forms. To do this, Marcel's Data and Insights team would need to group like forms together and apply relevant tracking codes.
By defining events and parameters, tracking codes could be implemented to start collecting data. Through careful planning and consistency, each lead form submission could be mapped to the appropriate event name and event parameters. Once properly set up, Fortra had the tools to effectively track and report on all lead forms in GA4, enabling them to gain insights on performance of each form or on a group level.
There were a few hurdles along the way (mostly the result of an ever-evolving GA4 product), but in a few weeks' time Marcel Digital was able to get Fortra completely set up in their new GA4 instance. To recap, some of the components of UA are not as simple as replicating 1:1 in the new GA4 environment. This includes:
- Recreating complex UA content groupings
- Replicating a custom reporting structure from UA
- Setting up consistent event schema naming conventions
- Accounting for over 100 lead forms
By taking the time to understand Fortra's unique goals and challenges, Marcel Digital was able to tackle each one of these areas in a way that made sense for all parties. The careful execution also allowed Fortra to continue tracking the metrics from their UA environment while growing into the future. Their new GA4 instance gives their in-house marketing team a comprehensive understanding of website user behavior and engagement, which gives them the power to make data-driven decisions about their website.
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