You might have already heard that Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics. On July 1, 2023, all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data. 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data on July 1, 2024. Here’s a quick reminder to act on this change soon to ensure your marketing data is protected.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand. Google launched the service in November 2005 after acquiring Urchin.
- About 28.1 million websites use Google Analytics worldwide.
- Google has the largest market share when it comes to Web Analytics.
- Google Analytics is used by approximately 55.49% of all websites.
The Future of Google Analytics
Launched in October 2020, Google Analytics 4 was designed to deliver predictive insights and offer better integration with Google Ads. Although it’s been around for some time, not every website using Google Analytics is running this updated version. When Google first announced the switch, it was welcomed with a lot of criticism from the marketing community. GA4 has an entirely different data model as compared to UA. Instead of being based on sessions and pageviews like in Universal Analytics, the GA4 measurement model is based exclusively on events. Since the data is collected and processed differently, some once-familiar metrics are gone.
Why the switch
The creation of GA4 is Google’s shift to a “privacy-first” approach to cross-channel data tracking. The goal is to focus on the user and their journey. With GA4, marketers will be able to track users across your website, software, and app. According to Google, GA4 will be an effective tool to measure user behaviour online with or without third party cookies (which are going away in late 2023).
What happens to your old data?
Your historical data will not automatically appear in GA4 when you turn it on. If you didn’t make the switch, you would lose the critical ability to compare performance year-over-year. The sooner you start implementing the new platform, the more data you will have to compare. If you are late in the game, reading this article, we encourage you to download key reports from your current Google Analytics as soon as possible so you don’t lose your historical data.
After July 1, 2023, you can access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. You will not be able to access your historical data after July 1, 2024.
- Make sure to download your old data to preserve historical trends.
- Learn how Google Analytics 4 can help you track your customer journey better.
- Let us know if you need any help applying this to your marketing infrastructure.
Got questions? Get in touch with our digital marketing agency in Vancouver. Stop by our office near Gastown – we always have chocolate.