Google Analytics is a widely popular tool that helps businesses track and analyze website traffic, user behaviour, and conversions. Over the years, the platform has undergone significant changes to meet the evolving needs of businesses and marketers. And now, with the upcoming sunset of Universal Analytics, it’s time for businesses to migrate to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Starting from July 1st, 2023, Google will be sunsetting Universal Analytics, which means businesses will no longer be able to access the features, receive updates, or receive support from Google. With this in mind, it’s essential for businesses to migrate to GA4 before the deadline.
What’s new in Google Analytics 4?
One of the key benefits of GA4 is its enhanced cross-device tracking capabilities, which enable businesses to track user interactions across multiple devices and platforms. This helps to provide a more comprehensive view of the customer journey and enables businesses to deliver personalized experiences to their customers based on their behaviour across different devices.
GA4 also introduces a new event-driven data model, where businesses can track specific user actions or events rather than tracking pageviews and sessions. This enables businesses to track more meaningful interactions, such as clicks, form submissions, and video views, allowing them to gain a better understanding of how users are interacting with their website or app.
Another significant feature of GA4 is its advanced data modeling capabilities. By utilizing machine learning algorithms, GA4 can automatically analyze data and identify patterns, providing insights into customer behavior that might have been missed with traditional analytics tools. This helps businesses to better understand their customers’ needs and preferences and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.
Additionally, GA4 offers improved data privacy features that comply with the latest data protection regulations, including GDPR and CCPA. This helps businesses to maintain compliance with these regulations and build trust with their customers by safeguarding their personal information.
Process of migrating to GA4
Migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 may seem daunting, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Here are the steps businesses can take to make the transition smoother:
- Create a new GA4 property: Businesses need to create a new GA4 property and link it to their website. This will allow them to start tracking their website’s data in GA4.
- Set up data streams: After creating a new property, businesses need to set up data streams for their website, mobile apps, and other digital properties they want to track.
- Set up tracking: Once the data streams are set up, businesses need to configure tracking tags on their website or app to send data to GA4. This may require the help of a developer or webmaster.
- Verify data: After setting up tracking, businesses need to verify that their data is being collected correctly in GA4. This involves checking data in real-time reports, debugging any issues, and comparing data with Universal Analytics reports.
- Start analyzing: Once data is being collected correctly, businesses can start using GA4’s advanced analysis features to gain insights into customer behavior, such as user engagement, conversion funnels, and audience segmentation.
When should you migrate to GA4?
Ideally you should have set up your GA4 and started collecting data for your website or app along with your Universal Analytics in October 2020 when it was announced. But for some reason if you have not done so the best time is right now!!
If you had set up GA4 early, you’d have a lot of data already modelled in GA4 for you to analyze and use in your business knowledge, which is why it’s recommended to set it up as soon as possible.
Migrating to GA4 before the deadline is crucial for businesses to continue receiving support and utilizing the latest features and integrations offered by Google Analytics. By following the steps outlined above, businesses can make the transition smoother and start leveraging GA4’s advanced analytics capabilities.
What if I do’t want to migrate to GA4
While Google is pushing the GA4 update on everybody for quite some time now, many people are not quite happy with it as they are not able to generate reports as efficiently as they have been doing in the Universal Analytics.
If that is the case with you then you can consider one of these options:
- Adobe Analytics
In conclusion, if you have been using Google Universal Analytics, it is essential that you switch to Google Analytics 4 or some other alternative before July 1, 2023.