How to Prepare for this Google Analytics Update￼
After over 15 years, we are saying goodbye to Google Analytics Universal (UA) in July, 2023 as Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is taking over the analytics world. GA4 will soon become the standard for data analytics as they announced the sunsetting of Google Analytics Universal Analytics earlier this year. According to Google, updates will include significant changes in how you collect, store and visualize data within the platform. GA4 will capture data in a completely different way, meaning they will expand marketing attribution models, enhance integrations, connect behavioral data to transactional data and increase the ability to connect to other tools in Google Suite.
Here are some tips to prepare for the Google Analytics update.
1. Update your Data Reporting
All GA4 data capture is found on the firebase platform, which optimizes data collection for desktop and mobile applications. However, all captured data fields will not align directly with UA. All of the current reports will be reconstructed using GA4 data. Suppose you want to look at historical data (YoY, YTD, etc.). In that case, you will have until August 2022 to integrate data into GA4, or historical data will not be available when GA4 is fully implemented.
2. Create Google Analytics 4 Property for your Website
If you set up your Google Analytics over five years ago and are still using the same version (analytics.js code), you will need to create a GA4 account as an independent platform. If you are currently using the updated Gtags, you can merge the two platforms and request that your Universal Analytics be sent to GA4. After creating your GA4 data stream, take it for a test drive so you can get the whole experience while still having access to UA. This will help you increase familiarity with the new platform, so you will have some practical experience under your belt before making the complete transition. These Google Analytics updates were implemented to make everything easier and more accessible to experienced and non-experienced users!
3. Update Google Tag Manager
Lastly, you will need to set up your Google Tag Manager, this will make everything faster and simpler so you will have the correct data input in your GA4. If you do not currently use Google Tag Manager, it would be helpful to download and get started before GA4 is fully integrated. Google Tag Manager allows you to track and measure the ROI of your website and track your Flash, video, social media sites and applications.
Before doing anything, get more familiar with the GA4 platform and all the changes it will bring to your analytics reporting. It is always better to be overprepared than underprepared. At first, the integration of GA4 may feel complicated and confusing, but the good news is that once you are acquainted with the platform, it’s only up from here! You’ve come to the right place if you have any analytical software needs. Frozen Fire has a team of digital marketing experts that can answer any questions you may have about this new and exciting Google Analytics update!