Wed, 1st Mar, 2023
UA is sunsetting! Save the date - 1st July 2023!
Google Analytics and the way in which website traffic data is captured and presented is changing; in a big way. On the 1st of July 2023 to be exact.
Here is why and how to prepare for GA4 now.
GA4 - What is it?
GA4 is the new analytics service from Google. It enables users to measure traffic and engagement across the user’s websites and applications.
On the 1st of July UA (Universal Analytics) will sunset i.e. it will no longer capture data, however Google has confirmed it will store data for six months afterwards.
Google Analytics 4 will replace UA. It will be the only Google tool available to track your website activity after this date.
Why the change and what has changed?
Universal Analytics was set up in 2012 to measure specific traffic to a website and present that data in report templates. Over the years, as technology evolved and apps came into play, consumer behaviour and data capturing changed; Universal Analytics could no longer provide the data required by the user.
Enter GA4. GA4 is the new tool from Google (although it has evolved from Google’s App+Web tool) which captures data across platforms, and presents the data in a user journey path through ‘Events’.
The big difference in GA4 is the focus on engagement and the user journey. Results are presented through ‘events’ for e.g. when someone loads a page, clicks a link, adds an item to a cart or completes a purchase.
Also, GA4 gives you more insights by way of its approach to data collection going beyond cookies or identifiers: providing data modelling to fill in gaps in the customer journey, where data may be incomplete or inaccessible.
One area that new GA4 users have reported to not liking at first is the different user interface to UA's. It looks different because it is different. The layout is different and it is under heavy development so some areas are changing. Remember though the great side to this is that the reports are not restrictive, and the data available allows you to set your own “cards” or reports with parameters to suit you. So it essentially allows you to create your own interface!
The main and huge advantage is the data in itself. It is plentiful, and powerful. From diving into your cart data, items purchased and breaking it down into campaign source, demographic source etc, you have the tools to examine your customer user journeys in great detail and thereof shape your campaigns and product and promotional management to work best for you.
Once you begin exploring GA4, you’ll discover that GA4 offers:
Please be reminded that Universal Analytics (UA) will cease processing data on July 1st, so please ensure you have GA4 set up as far in advance, as possible.
The reason we recommend this is set up as early as possible, is because the two trafficking platforms operate in very different ways and capture and present data differently. Setting up GA4 now will enable you to parallel track the data in the two platforms, whilst you get used to the new layout and measurements in GA4.
Starting this month (in March), Google will configure a GA4 account for current UA account holders with a few basic settings consistent with the existing Universal Analytics property; this includes certain conversion events, Google Ads links and existing website tags. Enhanced Measurement will be configured to match only some of your Universal Analytics settings; review these settings to ensure that they match your needs.
We’re here to help.
Should you require help with configuring your account to work with your system, please book an appointment with us now.