The End of Universal Analytics – Everything You Need to Know About Migrating to GA4
When it comes to tracking website and marketing performance, it’s only natural that companies depend on Google Analytics. Throughout the years, Google have constantly upgraded and changed the way analytics are shown – making the process more efficient with its many improvements and additions. However, Google’s most recent update confirmed that the platform would be removing Universal Analytics and introducing Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as its replacement.
As companies that run Google or Facebook ads have become accustomed to Universal Analytics, it is understandable that a change in process may become confusing for users. Hence, the digital marketing experts at First Page have outlined everything you need to know about the end of Universal Analytics and migrating to GA4.
Read on to learn more about how we can help you grow your business, the benefits of tracking results by using GA4, and why you should make the switch immediately.
What’s Changing and What do I Need to Know?
There are two main points you need to understand about the shift from Universal Analytics to GA4.
- Starting from July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will be replaced entirely by GA4
- Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data, and all new data will flow into GA4 properties only
This change means that users will now have to understand how to navigate GA4 and the new processes that come with it. To help you do this, we’ll break things down even further.
What is a Property?
Before we even begin talking about GA4, the removal of Universal Analytics, or even Facebook and Google ads, you may wonder what we mean by ‘property.’
Simply put, the website or app you track with Google Analytics is referred to as a property. Hence, if you’re currently using Universal Analytics to track your website’s progress, then you are handling a Universal Analytics property. Conversely, when switching to GA4, you will now deal with a Google Analytics 4 property for the same website.
What Exactly is Google Analytics 4?
Like Google Analytics and Universal Analytics, GA4 allows users to measure traffic and engagement across your company’s website and apps. However, the change to GA4 will include a new kind of property with varying reports to what is generally shown when using Universal Analytics. Hence, GA4 has been designed with the future of measurement in mind and collects the relevant data to better understand the customer’s journey.
As the latest version in the Google Analytics saga, GA4 will offer more features than Universal Analytics and has been designed to align with our current needs for reporting and privacy.
The Difference Between GA4 and Universal Analytics
Source: We Tech Solution
While there are many similarities between Universal Analytics and GA4, there are also many differences that make GA4 a more advanced, full-proof, and efficient source for monitoring the progress of your property.
Some of these differences include:
- GA4 is event based – this is a stark contrast to Universal Analytics which was session based. Universal Analytics was built on the premise that page views were the most important metric to measure website success. However, this is no longer the case, and GA4 allows for the ability to track button clicks, video plays, and much more.
- Tracking across various devices – where Universal Analytics was built for tracking desktop web traffic, GA4 provides enhanced business and customer journey visibility across a range of websites and apps. Hence, this considers usage through mobile phones and other smart devices.
- Machine learning processes – GA4 utilises machine learning technology. This allows the platform to make relevant predictions and share appropriate insights.
- GA4 protects your privacy – Where Universal Analytics relies on cookies, GA4 does not – hence, protecting your privacy.
By combining all these new features, it is clear that GA4 is the ideal choice when it comes to Google Analytics and measuring the success of your company’s online presence.
How Can I Tell if I’m Using Universal Analytics or GA4?
Not sure whether you’re already using GA4 or still navigating through Universal Analytics? There are a few simple ways to find out.
- After October 14, 2020, GA4 became the default platform for Google Analytics. Therefore, if you created any property after that time, you will be using GA4.
- If you were using Google Analytics before October 2022, then you are using Universal Analytics and must migrate to GA4 processes.
- You can always check. Google Analytics allows users to check their property type. By taking a look at your account, you can easily find your property ID. If you’re using Universal Analytics, your ID will start with UA, followed by numbers. Alternatively, GA4 properties only have numbers in their ID.
Migrating to GA4 – What do I Need to do?
Migrating to GA4 may seem like a daunting process; however, our team has developed a full-proof plan for making the switch and ensuring all your information remains secure.
Make the change to GA4 as soon as possible
While there is still time until the GA4 takeover is complete, it is better to make the change as soon as you can. This is so your GA4 account can gather the information needed to drive insights and produce the relevant data.
While Google’s GA4 Setup Assistant outlines your options for existing tagging, our team at First Page can walk you through the steps one by one to ensure you fully grasp the idea of GA4 and the need for making the switch. Similarly, if you run Google ads or use other advanced features, then Google has also published an article that can break down the process for you.
Adjust Facebook and Google ads conversion tracking
When you’ve successfully set up your GA4 property, you can view all analytics and data in your Google ads account. Hence, if you have already established conversion tracking, you will need to import Google Analytics conversions into Google ads and remove Universal Analytic goals to avoid creating duplicates.
Looking for more information on the link between GA4 and your Google ads account? Talk to the experts at First Page today. We provide high-quality advice on both Google and Facebook ads and will help make your migration process easy and stress-free.
Export past reports
After July 1, 2023, you will still have access to Universal Analytics data for six months. Hence, this time should be used to export all past reports and historical data vital to you and your business. Additionally, by making the switch today rather than waiting for July 2023, you’ll have less historical data to export in the long term – meaning everything you need will already be attached to GA4, and the platform can start processing data to help achieve your business and Google ad goals. If you’re unsure how to export data, contact our Google specialists at First Page today.
Let Our Experts Help
Are you having trouble understanding the difference between Universal Analytics and GA4? Perhaps you’re unsure of where to get started when it comes to migrating and switching Google Analytics platforms. Whether you’re dealing with one of these problems or something completely different, the team of Google ad specialists at First Page are here to help.
With our diverse services and continued experience in the digital marketing industry, we understand how to easily make the necessary changes when it comes to growing your business and analysing your business goals.
The team at First Page are dedicated to helping your business reach its full potential. Therefore, we connect you with our digital marketing experts to analyse your business goals, find the best services for your needs and foster a relationship that continues to help your growth journey.
When it comes to migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4, re-structuring your website with highly optimised content, or anything in between – we’re the team for the job.
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For a detailed overview of Google ads, our experience with GA4, or to understand how Google ads can help your business grow, contact our team of experts at First Page today. We’ll provide you with strategies that focus on performance and enhance your Google ads management. Additionally, we can assist you with migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4.
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Digital Marketing Strategy
At First Page, we are experts in various digital marketing services and can help bring your marketing strategy to life. We’ve helped plenty of businesses within various industries scale their numbers and track their data.
So, whether you’re looking for general guidance when migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 or searching for something more specific, we’ve got you covered.
Choose from one of our many digital marketing and SEO services, including:
- Programmatic advertising
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Your digital marketing strategy makes the most significant difference to your business. Understanding how to get your business to grow, analysing the data shown through Google Analytics, and constantly developing new campaigns will get you the traffic your brand deserves. When forming and implementing your next digital marketing strategy, seek assistance from the team of professionals at First Page today. With our years of experience in digital marketing, we can help your business reach new heights.
With Universal Analytics coming to an end, Google Analytics 4 is swiftly taking over. Hence, to keep up to date with your data and extract the necessary information about your website, you must make the switch to GA4 immediately. At First Page, we can help you do just that. Talk to our team today about how we can help you migrate to the GA4 and continue your Google ads journey. Alternatively, we specialise in various other digital marketing services and can assist you with growing your business. Contact us today.