The countdown is on. Starting on July 1, 2023, Google’s Universal Analytics properties will stop collecting new data about your website and those who visit it. If you’re not sure what this means for you and your website, we’ve got you covered.
Having launched to the public in 2013, Universal Analytics has served us well over the past decade, but its limitations have also started to show. As we move toward an online world in which users are interacting with brands across devices and digital platforms, while seeking more control over their privacy, it’s becoming clear that Universal Analytics can no longer keep up.
And so, we welcome the arrival of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), an analytics platform meant to balance the changing needs of website owners with the privacy of website visitors.
How do I make the Switch?
Google started opting people into GA4 in March and is slowly moving more accounts to the new system maintaining your existing Universal Analytics settings. While many settings may transfer automatically, we recommend checking that your audiences, conversion points and more are all present in GA4 if you’ve already been auto-transferred.
If you haven’t made the move yet, we’ve got instructions on how to get started. You can download them here.
Change is good, actually!
Once the switch happens on July 1, 2023, no new data will be collected in Universal Analytics. And, while Google has promised to keep the system active for at least six months so that you can access older reports, it is unclear at this time when and how they will go about fully deactivating that service (though they will be letting users know more as they solidify their plans).
Averse to change? Maybe it will help to know what Google Analytics 4 can offer that Universal Analytics couldn’t. This new version can collect website and app data together to provide a more complete record of your visitors’ journey through your digital ecosystem. Data will now be event-based instead of session-based, providing more continuity of measurement when the clock clicks past midnight or a user encounters multiple campaign parameters during their visit. It also offers direct integrations to media platforms like Google Ads to help drive actions on your website or app.
While those may seem like updates to existing features, the push towards privacy is what really sets GA4 apart. It prioritizes the ability to work with people using privacy controls by providing cookieless measurement and behavioural and conversion modelling with predictive capabilities that will offer guidance and insight without the need for complex models.
We’ve got your back.
If you’re still not confident that you’ll have the time (or skill set) to make the switch yourself, we can help. Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn how we can help you use your website analytics to make more informed decisions about your content, your customers and their conversions.