Google Analytics has long been one of the most trusted and reliable sources for tracking website traffic and user behaviour. Earlier this year, Google announced that Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) will stop processing new hits on July 1st, 2023, allowing us to make the switch to Google Analytics 4. This new update is expected to bring a number of exciting changes including a new approach to privacy and data collection and increased customisation, data-driven attribution and even more advanced AI-based predictions.

Wondering how this will affect your business and how to prepare? Let’s take a look at the key implications.

One major change that Google Analytics 4 will bring is the switch from the current UA (Universal Analytics) data to a more advanced platform. Google plans on discontinuing support for the old version, will stop collecting UA data from July 1st 2023 and also delete any UA data collected 6 months after that.

As such, you need to start preparing your organisation by implementing Google Analytics 4 (GA4) alongside Universal Analytics (UA) to build up historical data in anticipation of the loss of UA next year.

It’s crucial to act now. After May 29th it will be impossible to do year on year comparisons within all Google Analytics reports.

By planning ahead and taking steps now to get ready for Google Analytics 4, you can avoid any disruptions in your data collection down the road.

Premium Version with Higher Hit Limits

The premium (paid) version of GA4 called “The New GA” is now accessible via GA resellers. A new pricing model will also make the service more accessible for small to mid-size organisations.

Display & Video 360 Integration (DV360)

The Digital Visitor 360 integration became available in The New GA in February 2022. This enables the development of effective (ML-driven) or lookalike audiences.

Google Optimize Integration

You can now get even more from Google Optimize with GA4. The main distinction is that user metrics can be used in experiments instead of looking through the session scope of UA. For all the CRO professionals out there, this is a positive step towards more user-centric experience optimisation.

Data-Driven Attribution Modelling

If you’ve used GA360 in the past, you’ll know its powerful ability for data-driven attribution modelling reports. In GA4 it won’t be for just non-premium properties, you can use it in any of the key reports in the platform.

This is a significant shift in Last Click reporting, so marketing teams should begin having talks with any parties they are providing site performance data to.

Channel Groupings

Another much-needed feature that’s made a comeback is Channel Groupings. This will enable users to classify traffic from multiple sources into a clean, condensed set of channel groupings (e.g. Paid Search vs Organic Search vs Email).

Google Search Console Linking

With Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) being a key element of any online strategy, it was no surprise to see Search Console being added to GA4. SEO professionals will be able to see organic search terms and statistics even faster and streamlined in one platform.

How To Prepare For Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is going to affect every organisation that relies on analytics and data from their website. With its improved functionality and increased customisation options, Google Analytics 4 has the potential to revolutionise how we think about online analytics.

Furthermore, with the cutover date of June 1st 2023 fast approaching, the race is on to set up GA4 before May 31st to ensure you have a year’s worth of historic data. You most likely want to back up your historical data security in case of future reference as well. With all the new updates and processes, it will take time to transition correctly and take advantage of the latest tools.

Studio Culture is a Brisbane digital marketing agency with years of experience helping businesses just like yours get the most out of Google Analytics. Contact us today to learn more about Google Analytics 4 and find out how our team can help you make the switch with ease.

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