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If you’re not buried in the world of marketing, search ads and data, then the phrase above might have caused your eyes to glaze over.
We get it: Google Analytics 4 isn’t about to dethrone the Met Gala in news headlines. But if you a) have a business, and b) are marketing that business using Google, GA4 isn’t just a quick speed bump – it’s about to shift the entire marketing landscape, and you can’t afford to get left behind.
Make no mistake: GA4 is going to be a game changer. Here’s why it matters.
What is GA4? – The Fast Facts
Google Analytics 4 is a ‘next-gen measurement solution’. Put simply, it’s designed to improve the accuracy of your marketing data, giving you more useful insights that deliver better results for your future campaigns.
A few other fast facts about the upcoming GA4 migration:
- From the start of July this year, GA4 will replace the previous system (Universal Analytics).
- You can access your old data for at least six months afterwards, but at some point, Google Analytics 4 migration will be compulsory for everyone.
- After that? Your old data will be gone, so it’s important to make the switch soon.
What Makes GA4 Better?
This is easily one of the biggest shifts Google has ever made with its marketing platform, and their new system fills a lot of ‘gaps’ that existed in the past in terms of data gathering.
GA4 comes with a fresh dashboard and new and improved insights, giving you more data and more ways to customise to suit your business goals. The benefits of GA4 also extend to the toolkit of improved features, including:
- Combining website and app data, giving it a clearer picture of customers across devices.
- Easier integration with various platforms.
- Expanded privacy controls to keep up with changing data laws, including the option of measuring without using cookies.
Page Views vs Events
The old Universal Analytics method was to measure pageviews. While this was useful enough in a broad sense, with GA4 migration, you’ll be getting much improved data measurement based on events. This means you get a bigger picture that includes page views, demographics, engagement and more, even when customers swap between platforms and devices.
The previous system of measuring pageviews wasn’t always accurate, since visitors could stay for a few seconds before bouncing, and you’d have to go hunting for a totally separate bit of data to cobble together the big picture. GA4 will show the user journey in full, along with proper engagement, giving you the data for stronger marketing decisions.
Should I Switch to Google Analytics 4?
Here’s some good news if you’re still on the fence: from the 1st of July this year, GA4 will become your new analytics property. If you haven’t set it up by that date, the Setup Assistant will create one for you.
Universal Analytics won’t be snuffed out overnight, but Google hasn’t given an exact date for when the old system is being retired. Instead, everyone will be auto-swapped at the start of July; you then have time to recover your old data before UA goes away for good.
UA lets you export your data in all the usual formats: PDF, Google Sheets, CSV and more.
How to Switch to Google Analytics 4
One thing to note before you get to swapping:
- If you set up analytics before October 14, 2020, you’re most likely using the old system, Universal Analytics.
- If you set up analytics after October 14, 2020, you’re most likely using a Google Analytics 4 property already.
Still wondering how to make your GA4 migration happen? If you have a marketing team or agency, they should be able to handle this without any issues. However, there’s also a handy setup wizard for all Google Analytics 4 help issues – you can check out the instructions here.
If you market using Google Ads, then GA4 is right around the corner, and pretty soon it’ll become the only option.
Switching before July will give you the best chance of getting cosy with the system, the new dashboard and all the awesome new features. We’d highly recommend jumping on that sooner rather than leaving it to the deadline.
Still have questions?
Google Analytics 4 implementation is already down to a fine art for our Marketing squads.
If you’re having issues with the switch, need help with the setup, or just have questions about how to implement GA4, we’re ready and willing to help.
Get in touch with our Marketing team anytime, and we can chat through your GA4 migration options.