Google Analytics is a service by Google that provides a platform for businesses and website owners to track and report activity on their websites. The platform measures various data points about a website, such as how many people visit and what cities or countries those visitors are from. Analytics also provides in-depth information about customer journeys, from specific pages users visit when entering your website to all pages they visit during their time on your site.
Google Analytics helps businesses understand how their websites perform, how people use them, and what aspects of a website need improving to retain or convert more users. Many companies use Google Analytics, with most using the Universal Analytics version. On October 14, 2020, Google introduced a new version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Google Analytics 4 benefits businesses but requires a change in settings and analytical measures or mindset.
What Is Google Analytics 4?
GA4 is the new version of Google’s unified analytics platform. GA4 helps marketers and business owners collect data, understand customer journeys, and put their data in understandable, readable reports for all their websites and apps. As with previous versions of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4 benefits businesses by helping them understand their websites’ performance and how customers use their sites. However, this new version will affect how companies access their earlier data and how they translate the future data.
What Will Happen to Universal Analytics?
Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, and only process GA4 data. That means Universal Analytics will not track the activity of people visiting your website from July 2, 2023, and afterward. After that, only GA4 will process user activity on websites and apps.
After that date, you can still access previous data for a time. However, you will not be able to use Universal Analytics for future tracking and marketing analysis. In addition, Google will eventually prevent businesses from accessing Universal Analytics entirely. So if you have Universal Analytics but not GA4, you will have to upgrade to collect and maintain your customer data.
Why You Should Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 Now
One of Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 benefits is to collect customer data and track activity and engagement on the web properties. If you want to see how much traffic your website is getting or how people behave and use your site, an analytics platform is required. By using Google Analytics or GA4, creating campaigns or changes in strategy as a business owner or a marketing agency is more data-driven. Because Google will stop tracking on July 2, 2023, and eventually drop Universal Analytics entirely, having an archive of that data is vital to being able to see your website performance comparisons.
GA4 also has features that allow business owners to obtain more in-depth information about their customers.
- Google Analytics 4 provides advanced tracking of goals and conversions to see your campaigns’ success, like newsletters, important blog posts, interactive tools on your website, and more.
- Google Analytics 4 measures more in-depth engagement metrics that measure how users behave on your site, such as how much time they spend on the site, how many pages they visit, and which forms they fill out.
- Google Analytics 4 can use machine learning techniques to help businesses track every point of their customers’ journeys across your websites and apps, such as measuring which segment of users are most likely to buy from you within the next few days.
What Will Happen If You Do Not Upgrade to Google Analytics 4
As mentioned above, if you do not upgrade to Google Analytics 4 and only have Universal Analytics, you will lose access to all historical Google Analytics data. Losing access to this data impacts your ability to compare how your website performed vs. previous periods.
Another issue with not upgrading to GA4 is that there is a chance your competitors will make the switch. If so, your competitors can access more marketing information than you. As a result of your competitors using GA4, your marketing efforts may fall behind theirs. Therefore, you may lose traffic and leads to your competitors.
What You Can Do
If you want to gain Google Analytics 4 benefits for your business and are concerned about losing your previous customer data, reach out to VIEWS. Our team of digital marketing specialists can assist you in getting your website set up for Google Analytics 4 so that you can understand the following:
- How many people visit your website
- How your customers behave and use your website
- What you need to improve about your website to get convert leads
If you want to make the upgrade to Google Analytics 4, contact us today, and we will help you make the jump.