Time to switch to Google Analytics 4

31st May 2022 by Metadas Media

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You may have seen this message appear at the top of your Google Analytics screen. And you may have wondered what this means for you and your website.

"Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning 1 July 2023. Prepare now by setting up and switching over to a Google Analytics 4 property."

July 2023 may seem like a long time away, but it will be here before you know it. If you haven't switched over to Google Analytics 4 (G4A), you risk losing all your data. But there are many benefits to getting ahead of the deadline.

Let's find out why you should start your switch over now and not wait until July 2023.

What is Google Analytics 4?

This is the new and improved version of Universal Analytics (UA). It provides you with website data showing user behaviour, conversions and traffic. Universal Analytics is still up and running now and is likely to be what you are currently using. Google plans to retire Universal Analytics soon, with Google Analytics 4 set to take over.

You can currently run both GA4 and UA simultaneously, but come July 2023, UA will no longer collect data for any new visits to your website. For Analytics 360 customers, the deadline has been extended until October 2023 instead. The data from UA will be displayed for six months or so after the deadline. Eventually, it will not be available for you to view or use at all.

Why should I switch over to GA4 straight away?

You need to get Google Analytics 4 running now because your existing website data from UA does not automatically move across. Leave it to next July and you may find your new GA4 account is missing some essential stats. Essentially, GA4's major functionalities will be different from the ones you have used on UA for the last ten years.

If you set up GA4 now, it can start to collect all the information you need whilst you are still running UA. This is critically important if you need to show your year-on-year statistics sometime in 2023. Act now or you will end up with a big chunk of missing data. 

What are the benefits of using GA4?

Google is still working on some elements on GA4 so we can't really compare the two different versions thoroughly. Yet!

There are some features which are definite improvements:

Privacy and data worries for customers

We are all aware of how much of our online behaviour is tracked and manipulated to show us the information search engines believe we want to see. It's no wonder the general public is starting to get a little prickly about how their data is being used.

Google Analytics 4 looks to address the issues with an individual's privacy and juggle data protection challenges, which are different from country to country, whilst deploying analytics tools. G4A will allow users to adjust data collected depending on a user's consent level.

Integrated cross-platform user tracking

We all seem to have several devices that we use for work, shopping or surfing. So, how does a business figure out where a sale actually came from if their product has been seen on different channels and multiple screens?

This is where Google Analytics 4 comes into its own. It's been designed to understand complex, multi-platform customer journeys to give businesses new insights into customer behaviour. 

Making sense of all your information

Users create so much information each time they hit a website. It's not always easy to analyse this data and translate it into something useful.

GA4 offers customised insights, which you can set up to automatically monitor performance when certain triggers are met. Once there is enough of this data, you can see any spikes or drops in users, emerging trends, changes in traffic sources and much more. This is going to be very useful to users. If you start collecting this information now, you'll be able to look at any trends later in the year. Leave it until July 2023 and you will have to start right at the beginning.

Can you help me set up Google Analytics 4?

Theoretically, it is simple to set up GA4 to run simultaneously with UA. However, we know many of our business customers either don't have the time, technical interest or knowledge to do this. To get the best out of this new analytical tool, it needs to be set up correctly.

Fear not! We are here to help you, as we are with all areas of your SEOSearch Engine Optimisation.

If you want to get ahead of the data collection game by installing GA4 now, give us a call. We're happy to chat through whatever help you need with your Google Analytics changeover. 

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Metadas Media
Founded in 1999, Metadas Media is a web development company which provides targeted web solutions in order to take the online exposure of your business to the next level.

With more than 50 years of combined experience within this highly competitive industry, we also appreciate the fact that any web development company needs to adapt its services to the times.