Everything You Should Know About the Google Analytics 4 Rollout
Google Analytics 4 also known as GA4 is now going to replace Google’s standard analytics platform, which was previously known as Universal Analytics.
This is a big change for sellers, marketers and advertisers who rely on Google Analytics data, and will be implemented as of the 1st of July 2023, when the standard Universal Analytics platform will stop processing data.
Google does state that you can still see your old analytics reports for at least six months after the date, but new data will only be going into Google Analytics 4 from now on.
This could affect your Google Ads campaigns if you’re still working with imported analytics goals or e-commerce transactions or using analytics to inform your audience. Due to this it’s a smart idea to move your Universal Analytics properties and Google Ad links to your new Google Analytics 4 as soon as you can.
What’s Different with Google Analytics 4?
The biggest change that Google Analytics 4 users will notice is the change to the interface and terminology used, which hasn’t been changed since 2012.
In addition, Universal Analytics used to be session based and used things like social interaction hits, page hits and event hits to see information. However, Google Analytics 4 is event based, so a hit is now recorded as an event. The pivot to more data driven information allows more insights into conversion paths.
Google Analytics 4 is also more geared towards machine learning, which can give you insight about your customer’s journeys across platforms and devices. Alongside this, other Google platforms will integrate with Google Analytics 4 to allow for better campaign performance.
Are There Any Things Missing from Google Analytics 4?
It’s important to keep in mind that there are new functions still rolling out for Google Analytics 4, but there are some things you won’t find with this iteration of Google Analytics 4. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be implemented with later updates down the line.
For example, Google Analytics 4 doesn’t currently support filters and shows active users, not total users as Universal Analytics once did. In addition, the new interface doesn’t include bounce rates, opting for engagement metrics based on data by session.
What Can Marketers Do?
If you’re a regular or casual user of Google Analytics, the best thing is to adopt the use of Google Analytics 4 earlier. Add it to your setup, move your data in and start exploring. The sooner you start practicing with the new platform, the better it will be when the old options go away.
Another thing you should do is set up events to track important actions such as clicks and conversions. Once you set up good attributions, you can expand the tracking options in Google Analytics 4.
If you do find it difficult to manage the change yourself, you can always contact marketing experts, and SEO experts to help explain how to navigate the changes and adapt to the new platform.