Time is Running Out! Make the Switch to Google Analytics 4
- 9. May 2023
Maybe you’ve seen the ominous message atop your Google Analytics account: “On July 1, 2023, this property will stop processing data.” Don’t fear! It’s true that GA is changing, but it’s for the best.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's web analytics platform. It has several advantages over its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA), and we’re excited to make the switch. The first thing to know is that you'll need to create and configure a GA4 property before July 1, 2023, to ensure continuous measurement of your data.
Why move to GA4?
Enhanced data collection: GA4 collects more data points than UA, making it easier for businesses to track customer behavior across multiple devices and platforms. You’ll be able to get a more complete picture of your customers' journeys, and in turn, create better marketing strategies.
Improved privacy controls: GA4 offers more privacy controls than UA. It will now be easier for businesses to comply with data privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). GA4 includes features such as IP anonymization, data deletion, and user consent controls.
AI-powered insights: GA4 uses machine learning algorithms to provide businesses with more meaningful insights. For example, GA4's predictive metrics can help businesses identify which customers are likely to churn, so they can take steps to retain them.
- This is especially helpful as third-party tracking like cookies comes to an end.
Simplified event tracking: In GA4, event tracking is simplified and more flexible. Businesses can track events using predefined or custom event parameters, making it easier to measure actions that matter most to their business.
How to make the switch to GA4?
Create a GA4 property: To get started with GA4, businesses will need to create a new property in their Google Analytics account. This property will be separate from your existing UA property, so you can continue to use UA while you transition to GA4.
- If you don’t make the manual switch by Jul 1, 2023, there’s a chance that one will be created for you, but check your setting in Google Analytics to know for sure.
Set up data streams: Once the GA4 property is created, businesses need to set up data streams to collect data from their website and/or mobile app. GA4 offers more options for data collection than UA, including server-side tagging and Google Tag Manager.
Google has created a series of resources for managing the switch. Here’s a link to some of their video tutorials.
Migrate data: Businesses can migrate some data from their UA property to their GA4 property using the Data Import feature. However, not all data can be migrated, but you’ll still have access to your UA property for historical data.
Update tracking codes: You’ll need to update the tracking codes on your website and/or mobile app to ensure that data is being sent to your new GA4 property. This may require some technical expertise, so consult with your web development team or a Google Analytics expert. (Remember: Adapt is here for you!)
Set up conversion tracking: Make sure to also set up conversion tracking in your new GA4 property to measure the success of any marketing campaigns. This can be done using the predefined or custom event parameters in GA4.
With a bit of planning, the transition to GA4 can be a smooth process and offer more insights and better data privacy compliance. Once you’ve set up your new property and reviewed the steps above, take the time to learn the new GA4 interface and features to make sure you’re getting the most out of the platform.
If you have any questions about making the switch, reach out! We’re always happy to talk through digital solutions.