Today brings a big change to the digital marketing landscape. Google has announced that their Google Analytics platform is set to change its measurement solution from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. While change can be scary, there’s no need to panic. We have an easy breakdown of the coming changes and how to prepare.
Universal Analytics v.s. Google Analytics 4
These two measurement solutions should be familiar to any seasoned digital marketer though it’s fair to say that Universal Analytics (also known as Google Analytics 3) is the more commonly used of the two. It’s built for online measurements that are anchored in the data pulled from cookies, desktop, web and independent user sessions.
On the other hand, Google Analytics 4 isn’t as reliant on cookies data, allows for more customization of reports and creating charts as well as having better integration with Google Ads. That being said it’s not entirely feature-complete, it’s missing a Referral Exclusion list and custom Channel Groupings.
When will the changes take place?
The good news is that Universal Analytics isn’t being immediately phased out. You can continue to use and collect new data in your existing Universal Analytics properties until July 1st 2023. After that date, you will be able to access your previously processed data in these properties for at least six months. Google is advising that you export all your historical reports in this time frame.
Google hasn’t set a Universal Google Analytics end date at the time of writing however it seems that there’s still plenty of time to prepare for the incoming Google Analytics 4.
Is the change to Google Analytics 4 a good thing?
It’s difficult to tell if this change will be beneficial in the long run for online digital marketers. Many are very comfortable with the current Universal Analytics measurement solutions and take issue with the differences found in Google Analytics 4. Regardless of anyone’s preference, Google Analytics 4 will become the new standard so it’s high time everyone gets familiar with it sooner rather than later.
If you ever need expert advice on Google Analytics or general digital marketing, get in touch with us to book a free consultation today.