Universal Analytics is Ending: Make the Switch to GA4 Now
GA4 is coming in July 2023, and businesses are taking steps to prepare for the transition. While using a completely new data model might seem intimidating, the good news is that we can help you prepare for this next stage of analytics.
In order to make the most of GA4, it's wise to enlist an agency with analytics and account management expertise. With so many changes coming, it's more important than ever to get it right and make sure your brand is set up for long-term success.
So what can a marketing agency like Code3 do for you when it comes to analytics? Read to find out why you should make the switch to GA4 right away, and how we can help.
Why You Should Switch to GA4 Now
GA4 is out now, and all previous versions are ending in July 2023. This is a hard deadline, and while it may seem far off, it's better to switch sooner rather than later. Most importantly, if you want YoY data for next year, then you must make the switch to GA4 now.
You will also want to avoid rushing to get set up and learn a new system as the deadline approaches. GA4 is a completely new data model and reporting platform. It will take getting used to and it will take time for you and your organization to learn it.
Plus, both Universal Analytics (the current version) and GA4 can run at the same time. That means you can take the opportunity to learn GA4 now without fully switching until you're ready – or until waiting for the deadline.
If year-over-year comparisons are important to your brand, data needs to be implemented now. Otherwise, you will be comparing two different data models across two different interfaces. For example, if you need July 2022 data, beginning in July 2023, you will only be able to use GA4. GA4 has a lookback window of 14 months, so future you will want data that goes back as far as possible. You'll have more powerful reporting and analytical capabilities if you switch now.
Connection to Google Ads
Many businesses have connected Google Analytics to their Google Ads accounts. Google Analytics conversion data is then passed to Google Ads and is used for optimization purposes. If a client does not upgrade to GA4, conversion data will stop showing up in Summer 2023, meaning Google campaigns will have nothing to optimize around. This can impact search, display and YouTube campaigns.
Switching to GA4 now will allow for testing of the new platform while there’s still time to correct them and still use the old/current version as a fall back option if errors continue to be encountered.
We recommend switching to GA4 as the web-analytics data source well before the Summer 2023 deadline.
How Code3 Can Help
With our analytics expertise, Code3 can guide your setup process so that you can maximize your marketing and data collection efforts
Each existing Universal Analytics Property includes a link for “GA4 Setup Assistant." This makes it quick to begin the new Data Stream. However, without a GA4 setup expert, it's easy to do something wrong and collect inaccurate data.
And that’s the end of the easy part.
Once the Data Stream is set up, there are several configuration options that will be unique to each Client and individual tracking needs. These options include high-level and complex configurations in collection, property settings, linking, conversions, user management, and more.
There are more specific configuration options available as well:
- Configure your domains: If multiple domains or subdomains are being tracked, they should be added here.
- Define internal traffic: Add IP addresses to ensure your own site activity isn’t tracked.
- List unwanted referrals: Exclude domains or subdomains that should not reset a Session.
- Adjust session timeout: Lengthen or shorten how long a session lasts, depending on your specific needs.
- Collect Universal Analytics events: Include event settings that were customized for Universal Analytics.
Google Ads Setup
Once your Google Analytics 4 property setup is complete, you can start viewing reports and using Analytics data in your Google Ads account. To take full advantage of all that GA4 has to offer, we can manage your Google Ads connection and do at least one of the following:
- Import conversions (for bidding), making sure to remove any Universal Analytics goals from conversion settings in Google Ads to avoid duplicate conversions.
- Add Analytics audiences to a campaign or ad group (for remarketing). We can also offer advanced setup for user-ID, Data Import, Measurement Protocol, BigQuery exports, and more.
Code3 Is Informed, Trained, and Ready For GA4
Remember, GA4 is going to be the only version of Google Analytics in July 2023. If you want to continue using Google Analytics for your sites, you must transition. Regardless of current capabilities, it’s important to begin transitioning to GA4 as soon as possible. Code3 is prepared to continue being informed, trained, and ready to assist in any GA4 transitions. Check out our complete guide on GA4 and contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
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