Yup. You’ve blinked again. It’s time for Google to make another platform level change, possibly even for the better, that will significantly impact the way you do business on the web. No, I am not talking about the renaming of Google My Business to Google Business Profiles (I won’t speculate whose business it is now). This is much more than just a rebranding. I am talking about the roll out of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and the sunsetting of Google’s Universal Analytic product that we all hopefully know and love.
There are many reasons to ensure you create a Google Analytics 4, but there is a compelling reason to create yours as soon as possible. During one of your many recent log-ins to Google Analytics (you are logging in frequently, right?), you have noticed a new bar across the top:
“Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023. Prepare now by setting up and switching over to a Google Analytics 4 property.”
That’s right, a deadline. If we want year over year data, and to be able to see seasonality or do annual trending, we will lose that ability for every moment we delay past July 1, 2022! That alone is reason to set up the current web and app projects on GA4, but here are some reasons why you shouldn’t delay:
Data Is Not Retroactive: As alluded to above, data not added to the new GA4 account will not be present, and there is no way to migrate historical data! You will lose all your old data on July 1, 2023, in your old accounts.
New Functions, Look and Feel May Take Some Adjustments: Google Analytics 4 has some serious changes to its functionality, and finding some of our old favorite reports is different than in the past.
Events Have Changed Significantly: We use events to help ascertain outcomes, trigger goals or drive conversions, and they help us to see the performance of our various tools and widgets plugged in to our websites. Moving to GA4 will allow for a more expansive event system but will require adjustments from your vendors. Check after migration and ensure you are receiving all the data you need to track to be successful.
When setting up Google Analytics 4, start by assessing your current account structure, and see where your new Google Analytics 4 property will live. This will likely be your old GA account. This is a great time to review account permissions, and make sure your data is only viewable.
Once you have decided on your account to place the property, create a new property, name it appropriately and then follow along the setup assistant. You will likely need to coordinate with your website provider to update your tag.
Make sure you complete your setup, relink your ads accounts, enable enhanced measurement, activate google signals and start to look at your data over the upcoming weeks and see what events need updating and providers need contacting.
Not sure what version of Google Analytics you are on? Not sure how to check any of this? Reach out and take advantage of a free SEO audit. We review the backbone of your digital presence and marketing, and walk you through the findings, with no obligation to buy or even take a demo, and we will be more than happy to provide feedback on your current Google Analytics setup.