Say Goodbye to Universal Analytics (UA), and Hello to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

It’s happening and it’s official. Google recently announced they’ll begin sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA) in favour of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July 2023. That means we have a year to migrate and become familiar with GA4’s new interface.

Change can sound scary and overwhelming, but it’s for your own good! New functionalities will provide an advanced and improved way of analyzing data which can help businesses better their processes and achieve goals.

Here’s what you need to know:

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What is Network Marketing

What is Google Analytics 4 and what’s new?

Google describes GA4 as “the next generation of analytics” –   an all-improved approach to “privacy-first” tracking, x-channel measurement, and AI-based predictive data all at once. 

Take a deep breath, because there is a bit to get your head around, and how the changes will affect your job or business.

Derek Tucker, Measurement Lead at Google, spoke at the Invoca Summit last year and detailed the benefits for mutual customers, saying “Google Analytics 4 is an amazing tool when it comes to tying behaviours together across mobile, desktop, and app experiences for a more complete analysis across platforms”.

Highlights and new capabilities  of Google Analytics 4

Built-in machine learning, modelling, alerts, and new AI-powered “Insights” feature

Greater visualization of the cross-device journey

Designed to be “future proof” for a cookieless environment and changes in data privacy

Reporting focuses on the customer’s lifecycle and not just individual metrics across devices/pages/segments

A “Life Cycle Report” which focuses heavily on the user journey

Built-in Automated Event Tracking with greater “fine-tuning” of events and conversions

More interactive reporting with clicks and page-scrolling

How is Google Analytics 4 different from Universal Analytics?

The biggest difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 will be the measurement model used. Some of the essential differences to take note of:

Interface – GA4 still has all of the typical functionalities like user and engagement reports, insights panel, and information about your top campaigns, but it’s much more intuitive and user-friendly with clearer navigation, categorizing, and labelling what matters most to businesses. For a clearer understanding check out this walkthrough of the new look GA4:

Free and Direct Connection to BigQuery – BigQuery is an integration that enables very large and complex data sets to be queried very quickly. This feature was previously only available in Google Analytics 360 but will now be provided for free.

Enhanced Measurement – GA4 is capable of automatically tracking more than pageviews like outbound link clicks, scrolling, Youtube video, and other interactions.

Cross-device tracking – users often switch devices or profiles as they interact with your website, GA4 makes tracking easier since it can now measure a single user journey across devices based on different user identifiers.

Analysis Hub – Google Analytics 4 has introduced several additional reporting tools for analysis, such as ad-hoc funnels and pathing, which were previously only available for users of GA360. This kind of analysis can be a game-changer when it comes to understanding your users. 

Stepts to Network Marketing

Session-based vs. Event-based tracking –  Google Analytics is moving away from the measurement model that focuses on sessions and pageviews, instead, every interaction is categorized as an event. Because GA4 wants to give you more information about your audience site and how they’re interacting with your website or app it will automatically collect several events that include the following parameters:

  • Language
  • Page_location
  • Page_referrer
  • Page_title
  • Screen_resolution
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    How To Migrate From Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4

    Firstly, you can talk to us around updating your analytics from UA to GA4. We can help make the change easy and stress-free. Let us know if you want some assistance.

    Otherwise, here are a few practical steps you can take now to ensure a smooth migration from UA to GA4:

    1. Make an inventory of your existing Universal Analytics measurements and which you would like to continue tracking in GA4.
    2. Structure your analytics account and its properties to meet your business needs.
    3. Create properties and data streams in GA4. Since GA4 can now collect and analyse multiple web and mobile app data streams within a single property, this move will require careful thinking and strategy.
    4. Enable data collection – make use of the enhanced measurement feature and create a tag management plan using the Google Tag Manager’s event tag.
    5. Enhance remarketing and reporting by activating Google signals
    6. Use the Google Ads links migration tool to recreate Universal Analytics links or create new Google Ads links.
    7. Set a reminder to export your historical data in Universal Analytics in July 2023 to ensure you never lose access.

    When Should I Upgrade to Google Analytics 4?

    If you currently use Universal Analytics, you should start planning a migration to GA4 as soon as possible to build the necessary historical data before Universal Analytics stops processing new hits. This will smooth the transition to GA4, allowing for orderly migration. 

    Rather than enduring a mad rush or panic next year, start the transition sooner rather than later, executing the switch in stages, ensuring your analytics will be sailing into this exciting new system with ease. 

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    Written by: Cory Gordon

    Cory is your key contact for developing a strategy that helps B2B businesses grow.

    With 20 years of marketing experience in businesses of all sizes, industries and segments (we’re talking SME, large global organisations, B2C, B2B, retail, education, automotive, and fashion), he has the ability to add real value across all levels of an organisation.

    More than just a senior marketer, Cory is your general nice guy, he is a father and a husband, and a lover of all things Star Wars.


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