As most business by now are aware, the current version of Google Analytics - standard Universal Analytics (UA) properties will stop processing data on the 1st of July 2023 and will be replaced by the latest iteration of Google's popular analytics software, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This means that businesses who do not upgrade to GA4 by the cut-off date will not be able to track any further website data.
While UA and GA4 share similarities, there are several key differences that businesses need to be aware of when making the transition.
The biggest difference between UA and GA4 is the data model. While UA uses a session-driven data model, GA4 uses an event-driven data model. This means that rather than tracking sessions and pageviews, in GA4, all user interactions are treated as individual events that are grouped together into sessions, allowing for user behaviour to be tracked more accurately.
Moreover, while businesses could track up to 20 custom events in UA, in the new version of Google Analytics there is no limit to the number of custom events that can be tracked. GA4 introduces a new event parameter system that allows businesses to capture more detailed information about user behaviour.
GA4 offers more customization options than UA, allowing you to create custom events, user properties, and audiences. However, these features require some additional setup and configuration. The new platform also offers a new set of reports that are organized around user behavior, and are designed to help you understand how users engage with your website or app across multiple devices and platforms.
Upgrading to GA4 is not a straightforward process that can be done with a single click. It involves a significant amount of planning and requires specialized skills. While some businesses might only need a couple of hours to migrate their data to GA4, companies with larger and more complex websites such as eCommerce stores might require a considerable amount of time to complete the data shift.
To guarantee a seamless transition, it's recommended that you seek the assistance of a GA4 specialist or agency who can provide expert guidance. This will allow your business to remain competitive since key data will remain available, guiding your business decisions including advertising strategies. It is important to take the time to explore the new interface and familiarize yourself with the new reports and features.
Are you ready? If you need guidance on how to transition your business from UA to GA4 or if you have already made the transition but need help in with migrating data or configuration, we can help you out. Get in touch with us.
Will GA4 be compatible with Google Ads in order to track events/conversions?
Yes. However, they will not be automatically migrated to GA4 but need to be set up.
Will the data accumulated in UA be deleted as from 1st July 2023?
Even though UA will no longer track data as from the 1st of July 2023, the data stored in UA will remain accessible until at least the end of 2023.
Is the GA4 tracking code for GA4 different than than of the previous version?
Yes, you will need to use a new tracking ID for GA4.
Will UTM codes become obsolete?
No, UTM codes and Google Click IDs (GCLIDs) will keep being used in GA4.