Google recently announced it will be replacing Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). On July 1, 2023, all UA properties will stop processing new hits. Find out what that major change means for you and your business in this blog post.
Yes, you read that right. You should be transitioning to GA4 by July 2022, as in sometime this month.
Now don’t panic: you’ll still be able to use Universal Analytics until July 1, 2023. That’s when Universal Analytics will stop processing hits. But we don’t recommend waiting until then.
You should configure GA4 as soon as possible to prevent data loss. Starting the migration process early ensures your new GA4 account has one year of baseline data for reference. The extra time also allows you to work through any tracking issues or discrepancies between the two platforms so there are no disruptions in your reporting.
Additionally, setting up GA4 sooner than later gives you time to test the platform, learn new concepts and measurement models, and get familiar with the updated layout. There’s also more time to transition other processes such as adding events, rethinking reporting, and changing Google Ads conversions.
Start your transition to Google Analytics 4.
When marketers and business owners first learned about this planned change, the burning question on everyone’s mind was: why? The simple answer is that GA4 has been in development for many years; it was only a matter of time.
Universal Analytics used 15-year-old data modeling. But many of these dated measurement models are becoming obsolete. Instead, GA4 has introduced a new way of approaching analytics that responds to the rapidly changing modern world around us.
Privacy is a major reason that Google Analytics 4 is being launched. Today, people are increasingly concerned about sharing their personal information online. Cookies allow a website to “remember” a visitor for tracking/reporting purposes—and that’s something many people are now opting out of. GA4 is privacy centric and considerate of the possibility of a cookieless future while ensuring businesses can make informed marketing and business decisions.
Here’s how Google explained it:
The new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete.
The biggest reason Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics is because data is collected and saved differently now. Change is hard, but this is a major upgrade that’s worth the growing pains. It’s faster with more detailed information about user behaviour. Let’s explore more benefits of GA4.
While the GA4 platform is still relatively new, there are already plenty of things for data-driven marketers to get excited about. New functionality and features have a modernized UI, improving the user experience.
Some GA4 features that can help your business include:
GA4’s measurement model is more flexible and superior to the one used by UA. Tracking is more aligned with today’s online browsing behaviour. And that benefits everyone—including your business.
Reap the benefits of Google Analytics 4.
Transitioning from UA to GA4 will look a little different for every business. It includes updates to Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics accounts. Depending on the complexity of the tracking, it can take several hours to properly set up.
Configuring GA4 involves several steps, including:
tbk encourages you to take the leap and start exploring GA4 as soon as possible. Our digital strategists have been busy studying the platform in depth. We look forward to passing our learnings onto our clients.
Don’t wait to get started. Reach out to tbk to start your transition to GA4.