Brace yourself for Google Analytics’ switch to GA4

Brace yourself for Google Analytics’ switch to GA4

Did you hear the news? Google Analytics announced that it will sunset Universal Analytics in 2023. That means we’ll all have to shift over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

For any business or organization who understands the power of Google Analytics, this announcement is shaping up to be a real headache.

So why is Google making this major move, and how can you ensure your digital strategy won’t suffer as a result? Read on to find out.

Everything you need to know about the upcoming switch to GA4:

 

A magnifying glass and a pen piled on top of metrics and analytics reports

 

The reason behind the change

As apps and websites increasingly focus on online privacy, Analytics has to adapt. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 doesn’t rely exclusively on cookies to gather data. It also won’t store IP addresses (which can compromise personal privacy).

Universal Analytics was introduced in 2012 – and the online world has come a long way since then. Ultimately, GA4 brings Analytics into the 2020s.

Person pointing to analytics chart displayed on tablet screen

Focus on the benefits

While change is stressful, a lot of good could come from the switch to GA4. According to Google, these are the benefits we’ll all have to look forward to:

  • An event-based measurement model that isn’t fragmented by platform (websites, apps and more)
  • Data-driven attribution to improve ROI
  • Expanded integrations with other Google products
  • Predictive insights


The predictive insights are especially intriguing for marketers.
Merkle Inc. reports that, “GA4 is able to expand its offering with enhanced modelling from Google’s AI, better identifying users most likely to convert. Additionally, greater automation features enable data trends to be highlighted and responded to faster, enabling more informed and responsive business decisions to be taken.”

Analytics charts and graphs overlaid on photo of business meeting

How should marketers adapt to GA4?

If you compare Universal Analytics to GA4, you’ll notice features (like bounce rate) aren’t available with GA4. In order to allow for year-over-year comparisons, you’re going to have to plan ahead.

So how can you move forward? Here at Communicatto, we’re all about performing regular audits. The shift to GA4 presents a great opportunity to audit your analytics reporting process (and tracking too). What are the key data points that you collect from Universal Analytics? Are they available through GA4? You might have to add another type of analytics software to the mix in order to complete your reports.

You might even want to rethink your entire approach to reporting. What data is truly relevant and helpful, and what’s just a holdover from analytics reports of days gone by?

Now’s also the time to get familiar with GA4 lingo and play around with its new features. While you might be in a panic to export legacy data from Universal Analytics and migrate over to GA4, you’ve still got time. Use it to get prepared!

If your team needs help transitioning to GA4 reporting, consider bringing on an expert. We’d love to help! Get in touch to learn more about our digital marketing services.

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