If you’ve logged into Google Analytics lately, you might have noticed that hard-to-miss notification right at the top letting you know that: ‘On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. If you still rely on Universal Analytics, we recommend that you prepare to use Google Analytics 4 going forward’.
But, WHY and HOW?
Before we get into this, let’s discuss the ‘WHAT’:
Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are two different versions of Google’s popular web analytics tool.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google that allows website owners to track and analyse website traffic and user behaviour. It provides businesses with insights into their audience’s behaviour, including how they found the website, how long they stayed on the site, and which pages they visited. With this information, businesses can make data-driven decisions to optimise their online presence and improve their marketing strategies. Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is the newest version of Google’s popular web analytics tool that comes with a host of benefits for businesses and organisations.
If you’re wondering WHY you should ‘upgrade’ from Universal Analytics and use GA4, here are some of the most compelling reasons:
- Increased accuracy: GA4 uses machine learning to provide more accurate insights and data, including improved tracking of user behaviour on websites and apps.
- Cross-device tracking: GA4 allows businesses to track user behaviour across multiple devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet, giving a more complete picture of their audience.
- Advanced reporting: GA4 includes more robust reporting capabilities, including customizable dashboards, real-time reporting, and more granular data.
- Better integration with Google marketing products: GA4 integrates with other Google marketing products, including Google Ads and Google Tag Manager, making it easier to manage campaigns and analyse data.
- More user-centric data: GA4 focuses on capturing user-centric data, such as their interests and behaviours, rather than just session-based data, providing a more in-depth understanding of the audience.
- Increased privacy: GA4 provides greater privacy protection for users, including options to limit data sharing and enhanced data protection measures.
- Improved conversion tracking: GA4 includes improved conversion tracking, allowing businesses to better understand the ROI of their marketing efforts and optimise their campaigns.
All in all, using GA4 can provide businesses with deeper insights into their audience, improve their marketing and advertising efforts, and enhance their overall understanding of their customers. With its advanced features and benefits, GA4 is a must-have tool for businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition and drive growth in the digital space.
So, exactly HOW do you switch over to using GA4?
If you are currently using Universal Analytics and want to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), here are the steps you can follow to get started:
- Create a new GA4 property: First, create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. This can be done by clicking on the “Admin” button and then selecting “Create Property” under the “Property” column.
- Set up data streams: Once you’ve created a new GA4 property, you’ll need to set up data streams for your website and/or mobile app. This involves installing a tracking code on your site and/or app and configuring it to send data to your GA4 property.
- Configure data settings: Next, you’ll need to configure the data settings for your GA4 property, including the data retention period, data sharing options, and more.
- Configure events and conversions: GA4 uses an event-based tracking model, which means you’ll need to set up events and conversions to track specific actions that users take on your website or app. This involves creating custom event parameters and defining conversion goals.
- Customise reports and dashboards: Once you’ve set up your GA4 property and data streams, you can customise your reports and dashboards to track the specific metrics and KPIs that are most relevant to your business.
NEED TO KNOW: GA4 is a completely separate platform from Universal Analytics, so you won’t be able to transfer your historical data from Universal Analytics to GA4. However, you can run both platforms in parallel to ensure a seamless transition and to continue tracking your data while you make the switch.
Do you need help configuring GA4? We can help you! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org fill in the contact form to get in touch, so that we can have your GA4 setup and sorted in no time!