Getting your business ready for Google Analytics 4
Having analytics on your website is critical to the success of your business, enabling you to better understand where your customers are coming from, who they are, and what they’re doing while they’re on your site. These invaluable insights are used to not only improve the performance of your website but where you are focusing your marketing dollars as well.
Installed on over 29 million websites, Google Analytics is the most widely used web analysis tool on the planet. The current version of Analytics is known as Universal Analytics (UA), which, as of July 1, 2023, is going away in favour of Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Why is Google replacing Universal Analytics?
UA has been around for more than a decade and according to Google was built for a generation of online measurement that is now becoming obsolete. People no longer use just one device to view your website. GA4 is designed to follow the customer journey more accurately by consolidating web and mobile app traffic usage data into one property, in one interface.
Google also cited the growing concerns around privacy and changing privacy regulations around the world as a reason for replacing UA with GA4.
Designed to work in a cookie-free world, GA4 uses AI-powered machine learning to make predictions and fill in the blanks of missing data so that businesses can get a more complete picture. It also has privacy controls to collect data while ensuring that you are complying with privacy regulations.
In other words, GA4 is built for the future of online marketing.
What you need to do now
UA will continue to process hits until July 1, 2023, but it is strongly recommended that you do not wait until the deadline to set up a GA4 property for your website. Historical data is key when it comes to analytics. Thankfully the two can happily coexist.
Setting up GA4 sooner rather than later will also help businesses get used to this new way of analyzing the data. GA4 is super customizable, which is great, but it also means that the reports you are used to seeing are gone.
A reports snapshot is provided by default in the new interface, but the onus is on businesses and their marketing teams to decide what data is important to them and configure the reports to tell Google what they want to see.
Keep in mind this is a brief overview of Google’s new GA4. There are a ton of features in the interface we haven’t talked about, which will be discussed in future blogs. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates!