The change from Universal Analytics 3 (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is not just a trendy move; it is required if your business plans to continue tracking website analytics. Utilize this GROWL blog to understand why the switch to GA4 is critical and how to navigate the changes.
WHY GA4 IS REPLACING UA
Google understands that we live in a very different tech-centric world than when Universal Analytics was created. Today, businesses must evaluate complex, multi-platform customer journeys and prioritize user privacy, all while offering unique, personalized experiences. Such journeys pose a significant challenge to UA. Previously, the percentage of website views on desktop was significantly higher than on mobile; cookies were an acceptable way of tracking the user's journey; and these factors fueled the success behind UA. The launch of GA4 unifies the tracking experience, creating a cross-platform analytics solution. This evolved measurement will capture the holistic customer journey across devices, IP addresses, and platforms.
This change is ultimately good for businesses that take their data seriously. Data-first companies can make the most informed decision with accurate customer data. However, the shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 poses some challenges for modern businesses.
MOVE FROM UA TO GA4
Universal Analytics will stop collecting new-event data on July 1, 2023. Although data may be stored in UA for up to six months, businesses must migrate to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible. During the UA to GA4 transitions, companies may assign both tracking methods to their site, collecting data simultaneously until UA is fully deactivated.
GA4 is developed with modern operations and business objectives in mind. Rather than tracking cookies, GA4 will be event-based, enabling businesses to capture a full view of the customer lifecycle. With your business's data collected in GA4, you can:
- Fill in customer journey gaps, such as understanding how customers navigate your sales funnel and identifying key drop-off points.
- Improve ROI with data-driven attribution. This tool will empower teams to understand how marketing activities directly contribute to conversions.
- Leverage predictive insights to calculate customer journey milestones, such as when a particular audience is likely to purchase, churn, etc.
- Enhance cybersecurity policies through Analytics 360. This tool enables businesses to grant specific permissions to partners, agencies, etc., per organization-wide cybersecurity policies.
The new features in GA4 will provide a superior data experience to businesses. It's time to ditch UA and make the switch to GA4.
Need support making the switch? Reach out to GROWL today.