In today’s digital age, monitoring a business’s online presence is crucial for its success. This is where web analytics tools like Google Analytics come in handy. You get valuable insights into website user behaviour and interaction. However, as with any technology, Google Analytics is constantly evolving. Google announced major changes to its Analytics platform, specifically with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This is set to replace Universal Analytics. As a result, many businesses must upgrade to GA4 to ensure they don’t lose out on valuable data tracking capabilities.
If your business relies on website traffic monitoring to make informed business decisions, take note of these changes. There are less than three months remaining at writing until Universal Analytics stops collecting data (1st July 2023). It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and upgrade to GA4 as soon as possible. Many businesses rely on for gathering important information on their site visitors.
Analytics data to be deleted
Historical Universal Analytics data (which you’ve been keeping for all of those years) will eventually be deleted by Google after 6 months, as they take heed of GDPR rules. So if you cherish this historical data for comparison sake, you will need to backup the data manually. This approach has also been applied to Google Analytics 4, meaning data will only be stored for up to 12 months now. Therefore if you rely on historical data in Google Analytics, you’ll need to consider the limitations from now on.
Google Analytics 4 is quite different from its predecessors. It offers more features, improved data privacy, and a completely revamped user interface. Many of the old features and reports that we have come to rely on in previous versions of Google Analytics may not be available in GA4 at all. Therefore we need to be prepared to invest time and effort into learning the new platform features and adjust our tracking and report strategies accordingly.
Events instead of goals
GA4 now uses events (something many Universal Analytics and Tag Manager professionals will be familiar with). This means ‘goals’ won’t be available and can’t be migrated across. You’ll instead need to set these up as ‘events’, likely through Tag Manager or website code updates. However, by default GA4 sets up several new default events including:
Reports have a different look
Due to the change in tracking data, your Google Analytics 4 report pages look different. There are less options available, with some areas in different locations than Universal Analytics. You’ll find the following sections available to browse in GA4 reports which are fairly self-explanatory:
- Life cycle
- User Acquisition
- Traffic Acquisition
- Pages and screens
- Landing page
- E-commerce purchases
- In-app purchases
- Publisher ads
- Demographic details
- Tech details
Convinced that you need to upgrade to GA4?
Changing your website code is necessary to upgrade and benefit from all GA4 features. If you’re not a coder, then it’s best that you reach out to one of our web developers here at Design for Digital. We can smoothly migrate your analytics account and upgrade to GA4, testing all tracking features. Our experts are on hand to assist with your analytics migration. We also have a powerful website statistical reporting solution (with realtime online and PDF options) which our clients find much easier to use than the analytics dashboard. Call us on 07793 22 68 69 for help with your Google Analytics upgrade.