When you discuss tracking website success and usage, Google Analytics is the name that always comes up. Digital teams have relied on this package for years because of its fairly simple installation process, the freemium version, and the broad scope of use and acceptance of the platform’s results. But Google was not about to stop improving this highly respected and desired package.
Meet Google Analytics 4
In 2019 a new version was introduced that provides more data by measuring users and events. The result is definitely a significant step forward in measuring every interaction with the website, providing more detailed reporting and valuable information for each client. Since its launch, Google has offered both packages, the new Google Analytics 4 and the classic version, which now carries the moniker of Universal Analytics.
Time To Say Good-Bye
While Google Analytics 4 delivers more information and added detail due to the new date model, some users have resisted using it and continued to stay with the platform they have used for years. It is the system they know, and it was considered good enough. However, like all good things, Universal Analytics is coming to the end of its life. On July 1, 2023, it will be fully retired and incapable of processing data. And users who have been operating the pay version, Universal Analytics 360, will see that service end in 2024.
The Perks Of Transitioning To Google Analytics 4
The big advantage of Google Analytics 4 is the new data model. But there are also many other features that provide more accurate information and results based on modern usage patterns. Some of these new features include:
- Upgraded privacy controls
- Capability to track events without code
- New navigation and added data visualization
- Increased data import options
- Advanced integration with Google Ads
- Actionable insights to better use the predictive analytic information
- Web usage tracking via apps like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook
These are just some of the increased capabilities offered by Google Analytics 4. But you will not be able to enjoy them or the other features until you embrace the transition and start to use GA4.
The Smoothest Path Forward
For those who typically wait until the last moment to make upgrades, there are sure to be many bumps in the road as you make that forced march with a new software or platform rollout. In an effort to avoid that added stress, we recommend you run both reporting resources for the next month or two to soften the blow of this forced transition.
Because the new reporting uses different data models, the results will be significantly different, which can make reporting to upper management very stressful. But by having both sets of results, you can begin to educate management on the new information provided and the benefits of using Google Analytics 4. Slowly ween them off the old-style information while encouraging them to embrace the more robust and detailed information delivered by the new standard in website tracking and success assessment.