Google announced some big changes to the way Google Analytics users will have access to data in the coming days. This includes planned obsolescence of what’s known as “Universal Analytics” that many Google Analytics users are currently on – and for those, there is no immediate change other than potential technical upgrades needed later on in the future. So, what else can we expect from Google 4?
What is Google’s Universal Analytics?
Universal Analytics is a web analytics platform that was created by Google. It is designed to collect and analyze data from websites and digital platforms. Universal Analytics replaces the traditional Google Analytics platform.
It offers the tracking of ids and assigns unique IDs to all users that visit a website. It also allows for detailed data analysis on any software or website. Analytics helps in understanding, how people interact with your content or website. This information helps you to understand user habits and behaviour to improve conversion rates. All the information related to traffic and conversions are placed into reports i.e., today’s traffic, yesterday’s traffic, types of visitors, where they come from, what are their personal interests/demographics, etc. Universal Analytics offers more than one way that it can be used by integrating other tools.
Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4
One of the biggest changes in Google Analytics 4 is the way data is collected. Universal Analytics used cookies to track user behaviour, but Google Analytics 4 uses something called the “global site tag” instead. The global site tag is a piece of code that you add to your website or app. This code tells Google Analytics 4 how to collect data about your users.
Another big change is the way reports are generated. In Universal Analytics, you could only see aggregated data in your reports. But in Google Analytics 4, you can now see both aggregated and individual data points. This change gives you more insights into how people are using your website or app.
Google Analytics 4 also includes a new feature called “data-driven attribution.” Data-driven attribution is where a tool will assess and analyse customer behaviour to identify patterns among those users who convert, compared to those who don’t. Google offers data-driven attribution within both Google Ads and Google Analytics. These tools will compare the customer paths of those who do and don’t convert to find patterns within their interactions.
Using data-driven attribution is a great option for marketers as it allows you to spot new trends in how users are engaging with your content and campaigns. Instead of having to analyse data yourself, data-driven attribution allows you to clearly see what’s working best and what isn’t.
Why did Google make this change?
The change from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 is a result of Google’s focus on providing privacy-centric solutions for its users. GA4 boasts several new features that allow for more granular data collection and analysis, while also providing greater transparency and control for users when it comes to their personal data. This move is in line with Google’s recent efforts to bolster its privacy policies and give users more control over their data.
When does Google’s change take effect?
On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. However, some users may have had their accounts migrated to Google Analytics 4 recently. If you’re unsure whether your account has been migrated, or if a new analytics property has already been created and configured, you can check with your Google Analytics representative.
What do these changes mean for my website?
If you’re using Universal Analytics on your website, nothing will change immediately. However, Google has announced that support for Universal Analytics will be discontinued by July 2023. At that point, you’ll need to transition to using GA4 in order to continue using Google Analytics on your website.
The end of Universal Analytics will not have a direct impact on your web analytics data. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will need to switch to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) before your Universal Analytics account expires. GA4 uses a different data model than Universal Analytics, so your data may look slightly different in GA4. Additionally, some features that are available in Universal Analytics may not be available in GA4. So, you may need to adjust your web analytics strategy accordingly.
The good news is that the process of transitioning from Universal Analytics to GA4 is relatively straightforward. Google has provided a tool that allows you to automatically migrate your existing UA tracking code to GA4. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have access to all of the new features and benefits that GA4 has to offer.
So if you’re using Universal Analytics on your website, be sure to start the transition process sooner rather than later.
What should I do with my current Google Analytics data?
There are several things that companies using Google Analytics should do in order to prepare for the end of support. They should export their data from Universal Analytics, create a new property in Google Analytics, and migrate their data to the new property.
Companies should also take this opportunity to review their website data and make sure that they are tracking all of the metrics that they need. They may also want to consider implementing some of the newer features of Google Analytics, such as Enhanced Ecommerce or Data Studio.
The end of Universal Analytics may mean that your company’s website will need to be updated, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of planning and some help from experts, you can make sure that your website is compliant with the new regulations. In the end, the changes might even end up improving your website’s performance.