Google Analytics Universal will be shut down on July 1, 2023. How does it affect your business?
The most common question we get asked right now in relation to this is "Will this affect me and my company?". The simple answer is: Yes, if you use Google Analytics Universal today, this change will affect your business.
Google Analytics Universal was introduced 17 years ago by Google to track and analyze website traffic. Over the years search engines, and marketers' needs and challenges have changed and therefore, a more powerful and secure platform was necessary.
What is GA4?
Google Analytics 4 is adapted to the new generation of search engines as well as privacy protection and provides more relevant data about why users are on your site and/or app. It allows you to combine the data from multiple data streams into one property and more accurately attribute actions to users across devices.
GA4 is a new property designed for the future of measurement:
- Collects both website and app data to better understand the customer journey
- Uses events instead of session-based data
- Includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioural and conversion modelling
- Predictive capabilities offer guidance without complex models
- Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions
On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You'll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 properties.
Important: Your historic data in Google Analytics Universal is not going to directly migrate to GA4 because the way each has been collected is inherently different.
How to get started?
Although many marketers are not familiar with GA4 yet, we encourage all website owners to implement GA4 on their sites and apps as soon as possible. Early implementation will help you take advantage of the enhanced experience and data sooner rather than later. There are different ways to get started if you are an editor or administrator:
- If you’re new to Analytics and ready to collect data for your website and/or app
- If you use a CMS-hosted (Content Management System) website, e.g. Wix, WordPress, Shopify, HubSpot, etc.
- If you are website owners who are using Universal Analytics and want to try out a GA4 property
Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads; Connection or separation?
Once your Google Analytics 4 property setup is complete, it is also important to know that you can start viewing reports and using Analytics data in your Google Ads account. To take full advantage of all that Google Analytics 4 has to offer, we have compiled a couple of them:
- Transferring conversion data from Google Analytics to Google Ads
- Transferring audience data from Google Analytics to Google Ads, resulting in more targeted and effective advertising
- Measuring advertising performance in the number of app installs or in-app conversions
- Transferring the goals of Google Analytics to Google Ad
In summary, we have these tips to give:
1. Expect not to have your historical data from GA Universal to GA4 available
2. Take the time to implement GA4 as soon as possible so that you have historical data when you eventually switch
3. The interface is very different so do not rush into the new version
Congratulations! You’re almost on your way to getting the actionable, privacy-safe customer insights you need with Google Analytics 4!
If you need help setting up Google Analytics 4 for your apps or website, iGoMoon is here for you. Get in touch with us.