Google Analytics 4 to Replace Universal Analytics

It’s time to prepare for the rollout of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next generation of Google Analytics, which promises to revolutionise the way webmasters and digital marketers collect and interpret user data.
With a host of new features and capabilities that were not available in previous iterations, GA4 features a privacy-focused approach, largely driven by the updates to privacy protection laws such as CCPA and GDPR.
With website visitors now required to give consent for the use of data-tracking cookies, there are gaps emerging in useful data that is used to drive important business decisions. Fortunately, GA4 is powered by effective AI, which can make realistic estimations about data trends and provide useful metrics to business owners.

  • GA4’s improved features include:
  • Collecting both website and app data to better understand the customer journey
  • Using events instead of session-based data
  • Privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioural and conversion modelling
  • Predictive capabilities offer guidance without complex models
  • Direct integrations to media platforms.

One of the most important features of GA4 is the ability to collect data from multiple devices. This means that you can now track how users interact with your website across different devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This is a huge advantage over previous versions of Google Analytics, which could only track activity on a single device.

Another important feature of GA4 is the ability to track user engagement. This includes things like how long users spend on your website, what pages they visit and how often they return. This information can be used to fine-tune your marketing efforts and make sure that you are reaching your target audience.

GA4 also offers a host of other features, including the ability to create custom reports, track conversions and even set up goals. If you are serious about making the most of your website, then Google Analytics 4 is going to help you reach this objective.
Universal Analytics is the current iteration of GA and Google has announced that it will be sunsetted and replaced by GA4 from July 1, 2023.

How to Upgrade

First, log into your analytics account to confirm whether you’re using Universal Analytics or GA4. If there are three columns titled Property, Account, and View in the admin area, you’re using a Universal Analytics property. However, if there are only two columns in the admin area titled Account and Property, you’re already using GA4.
Next, check the Property column. There should be a GA4 setup assistant. Click on it to begin the process of upgrading your account.
Once you’ve clicked on the GA4 setup assistant, follow the prompts to complete the upgrade. That’s it! You’re now set to use GA4 and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
After you have upgraded to GA4, you will still be able to access historical data from the Universal Analytics property. This is important because the data in GA4 will only start populating from the date of the upgrade.

The Rollout

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it’s rolled out in stages. Here’s what you need to know about the GA4 rollout schedule:

  • Google Analytics 4 is available now. You can create new properties in GA4, or migrate your existing Universal Analytics properties to GA4.
  • You can continue to use Universal Analytics properties until July 1, 2023.
  • After July 1, 2023, you will have up to six months to access the data present in your Universal Analytics property.
  • Google will deprecate access to Universal Analytics data at some point in time. Google is yet to announce that date.

How It Will Affect Your Business

So what does this all mean for you? If you’re using Universal Analytics, you don’t need to do anything right now. You can continue using it until July 1, 2023. After that, you’ll still have access to your data for up to six months. But at some point, Google will no longer allow you to access Universal Analytics data.
Don’t worry, you have some time before Universal Analytics is completely shut down. You will need to upgrade to Google Analytics 4, but it’s not that complicated. Plus, you can use both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics on your website. So there’s no need to panic. Just be aware of the impending changes and plan accordingly.

The Upshot

Google Analytics is the bedrock of user analytics for webmasters and marketers. It provides a wide range of extremely useful data that facilitates billions of dollars of online spending. If you have a website or app, you should be using Google Analytics to get the most out of your data.

Google Analytics 4 is the latest iteration of this user tracking system and is an upgrade to Universal Analytics. It fills in the existing information gaps and provides much more streamlined data to webmasters and allows them to make more informed decisions. If you haven’t upgraded to GA4, you should do it now.

If you need help switching your business to GA4, you can contact our team today !!