Google Analytics is one of the most powerful digital tools for business. Universal Analytics has been helping analysts across the globe and markets to track marketing performance and make the most profitable decisions to boost sales reports.
The new property type, Google Analytics 4, is about to replace Google Analytics Universal, which will expire on the 1st of July in 2023. In the article, we will explain what changes to expect and how to set up GA4.
We will cover:
What is Google Analytics 4
This property is a scalable solution that revolves around events instead of sessions. It will allow specialists to collect standardized cross-platform cross-device data about the entire user journey.
What will happen to Google Analytics Universal
UA properties will no longer process data. You will have access to the reports built before the expiration date, at least for the next six months, but all new data will appear in GA4 properties only.
Additionally, Google Analytics 360 properties will expire permanently in October 2023. The permanent expiration of UA services will be announced in the upcoming months. It will mean no access to the reports and data both in the interface and through API.
What will be different
Events instead of sessions and deeper analysis of purchase behavior
The new approach to purchase behavior analytics sticks to the three identification levels: User_id, Google Signals, and Device_id. By tracking customer journeys across devices, GA4 gives higher quality insights in a single report.
Safer data usage
Confidentiality is the number one priority of the tech giant. Google plans to stop using cookies and rely on user, device, and browser identification.
Machine learning and NLP features are probably the key benefits available for businesses in GA4 for free. You will be able to:
- predict the probability of conversion and create audiences for Google Ads based on these predictions.
- detect abnormalities in reports with the help of automatic notifications.
- predict churn rate to start planning retention strategies. More indicators will be available in the future, such as ARPU.
- learn about data trends to boost your marketing performance. The system will suggest insights into the seasonality and demand fluctuations across your product or service range.
GA4 is all about smooth media integrations. A significant effort is made to enhance the opportunities to track YouTube campaigns. In-built view-through conversions tracking allows to:
- evaluate how each YouTube campaign manages to engage users;
- track the bounce rate and other intermediate events, not necessarily conversions.
Another feature is the deep integration with Google Ads. Advertisers are now empowered to create audiences and launch campaigns using more relevant insights regardless of the source device.
How to make a successful transition
Follow these steps to ensure you will not miss out during the transformation:
- Check your current property type.
- If you are still using UA property, create a GA4 property as soon as possible.
- Export all reports collected in your old UA property to preserve the historical data.
The earlier you create your new GA4 property, the more data you will possess when you need to start working in the new environment.
How to get started with GA4
- Plan your account structure. You will deal with Account, Property, and Data Streams.
- Create a Google Analytics 4 property. It will not influence your current UA account, and you will be free to use both properties in parallel.
- Create streams of data. These will have iOS App, Android App, and Web options.
- Switch on Google Signals. It will help you set up more personalized advertising.
- Link your GA4 account to your Google Ads account. Use Google Ads links migration tool to migrate your ad data to the new property faster.
- Match custom events from UA with the events in GA4. Use the Event migration guide to learn how to make a smooth migration.
- Transfer Conversions and Goals data from UA property to GA4. There is a separate migration guide for the vital sales data, too.
- Validate your CPA in Google Ads. The bid optimization strategies trained on the Google Analytics data will need a setup from scratch for the new property type.
- Transfer your audiences. Even though some dimensions do not exist in GA4, you can still create the audiences you used before and export them to Google Ads.
- Transfer e-commerce report settings. Avoid using the same parameters and events in UA and GA4 properties.
- Add users (automatically or manually).
Sometimes you will need more complex migrations. If you haven’t found your use case in the article, use this migration reference to look up more examples.
Since the elimination of Universal Analytics is inevitable, we recommend performing a migration of your apps to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible. Thus, you will ensure timely data collection and unlock the opportunities of the new analytical toolkit.
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