What’s happening with Google Analytics?
Notification: “Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning 1 July 2023. Prepare now by setting up and switching over to a Google Analytics 4 property.”
If you use Universal Analytics you’re probably more than familiar with that notification. But what exactly does it mean?
Simply put, up until July 1st 2023 data collection in Universal Analytics will remain the same and your accounts will keep gathering new data and you can use it as you normally would.
So why are we being advised to make a change?
After July 1st 2023 data collection in your UA profile will stop and 3 months later all of the data, including any “all time” historical data in your UA profile will no longer be available so to make sure you can continue to have 12 months YonY data to compare Google is advising that you start collecting data using the new GA4 analytics code.
What’s the difference between GA4 (Google Analytics 4) and UA (Universal Analytics)?
Universal Analytics (UA) is the current version of the Google Analytics code being used to collect valuable website activity data. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the new version of this code designed to work seamlessly across devices and applications. GA4 has been around since October 2020 and many of us have been collecting data on both UA and GA4 since that time and any new installs since then may just be using GA4 already to collect data.
GA4 is no longer using session-based data as the main focus in its reporting but rather events-based activity as an extension of the way analytics reporting was used for mobile applications as part of the UA toolbox. This way of gathering data has seamless cross-platform capabilities bringing together the reporting of web and app in a way not available in UA and while it is a big departure from what we are “used” to it does move forward with the way that Digital Marketing is heading.
Not sure which one you’re using? The easiest way to tell is to open analytics the design and layout is very different, which can easily be seen by looking at the sidebar menu.
If you’ve established you’re using only UA, it’s now very important to get a GA4 profile running alongside it to make sure you are not losing the ability to look back on data after this date.
There are tonnes of helpful resources to help you prepare and set up your GA4 profile, many from Google itself.
Working with you
At web2market, we have been running side-by-side UA and GA4 profiles for our clients for some time now, we have learnt through our many years in Digital Marketing to be early adopters when it comes to Google changes, it seems like only yesterday the big change to UA happened! We continue to adapt our client’s profiles as changes happen and new tools become available on the reporting interface and are continually tweaking to make sure our measure meant of KPIs matches our clients reporting needs, that measurement is relevant and verified and that insights are actionable.