What you need to know about the upcoming migration to GA4

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What you need to know about the upcoming migration to GA4

5 April 2023

What you need to know about the upcoming migration to GA4

Have you heard that Google Analytics ‘Universal Analytics’ (UA) will sunset on 1 July 2023? All websites using UA must transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) before this date, in order to keep tracking website visitors.

Here’s all you need to know about this update, why you need to transition.

Google Analytics is a widely used web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. In 2016, Google introduced Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a new version of the tool that focuses on machine learning and more advanced features for tracking user behaviour and conversion rates.

As of October 2021, Google has announced that Universal Analytics (UA) tracking code will no longer be supported. In order to continue tracking and analysing website data, businesses using UA will have to switch to GA4 by 1 July 2023.

It's important to note that the deprecation of UA tracking code doesn't mean that all UA properties will be shut down, GA properties will still be available and report data, but the tracking code will no longer receive updates and support, making it hard to track new data collection methods and features.

Businesses that are still using UA will need to take action to transition to GA4 in order to continue tracking and analysing their website data. This transition can be complex, particularly for ecommerce sales tracking, and will require some planning. 

At the minimum, we’ll need to add a new tracking code to your website. Please reach out to our team to organise having this actioned (it will likely take up to an hour of billable time, we can also discuss and quote any additional GA4 support you need for the transition, if required). 

Book your GA4 migration audit now!

During the transition, you may experience a period of data loss as you migrate data from UA to GA4, and it might take some time to adjust the new system and ensure data continuity.

If you're currently using Universal Analytics (UA), you may be wondering why you have to make the switch to GA4. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you begin the transition: 

  1. UA will reach end of life on 1 July 2023, you must transition to GA4 before this date in order to keep on receiving website traffic data.

  2. Machine Learning: GA4 uses machine learning to automatically identify and track user behaviour, such as how users interact with your website and what actions they take. This can provide valuable insights that you may not be able to easily see with UA.

  3. Cross-Device Tracking: GA4 is designed to track users across multiple devices and platforms, making it easier to understand how users engage with your business across different channels.

  4. Increased Data Privacy: GA4 includes features that allow you to better control how user data is collected and used, which is becoming increasingly important as data privacy regulations continue to evolve.

  5. Better Integration: GA4 is designed to integrate seamlessly with other Google products, such as Google Ads and Firebase. This can make it easier to track the ROI of your advertising campaigns and understand how users engage with your app.

  6. Cost: GA4 is free, like UA. But there are additional costs if you need additional data storage or want to use certain advanced features.

Before making the switch, it's a good idea to do a thorough analysis of your current analytics needs. It's also a good idea to get familiar with the new interface and explore the new features before making the transition. In most cases you  are able to continue running UA and GA4 simultaneously to assist with the familiarisation period. 

Transitioning from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can be a complex process, and it's important to make sure that you have the right resources and expertise to ensure a smooth transition. Below are a few ways that we can assist you with the analysis and transition, reach out to our support team to discuss a plan for your business and receive a quote for any work required

  1. Analysis: We can help you conduct a thorough analysis of your current analytics needs. This will include looking at your current data collection and reporting requirements, as well as identifying any gaps or areas for improvement.
  2. Implementation: We can help you implement the new system. This will include setting up the GA4 property and tracking code, configuring the tracking and reporting options, and testing the system to ensure that it is working correctly.
  3. Data migration: Our NZ based partners can also assist with migrating your historical data from UA to GA4, to ensure that you have a complete view of your data and can continue to analyse your historical trends and patterns.
  4. Ongoing support: We will be available to answer any question and provide ongoing support to ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of GA4.
  5. For more dedicated SEO and digital marketing support we can put you in touch with our partners who specialise in this area. 

In summary, by working with us on this transition, you'll have access to our expertise and experience in implementing and using GA4. We can assist you with the analysis, implementation, training, and ongoing support to ensure that you are able to make the most of the new system and get the insights you need to improve your business.

Get in touch with our team to discuss next steps for your migration