When should I Switch to Google Analytics 4?
The short answer is NOW! Read on for the long answer. In March 2022, Google announced that the standard tracking property for Google Analytics – UA or Universal Analytics or GA 3 – will not process any data after July 1st 2023. Their statement said that UA properties will not process new hits from 1st July 2023, and UA 360 properties will not process any hits from 1st October 2023. GA 4 is already the default analytics for new properties and accounts, but existing users have to switch to the new experience. If you, like some other business owners, feel you have another year to move from UA or GA 3 to GA 4, you should know that the time for the switch is NOW!
Why should existing websites think of Google Analytics 4 Setup before July 2023?
Google Analytics 4 brings several new and advanced features for businesses, such as customer lifecycle and churn probability. That itself is a great reason to transition to GA 4 as soon as possible but there’s a bigger reason to move now. As of now, GA 4 doesn’t move your data over, leaving you with no historical data in the new version. The good news is if you move over to GA 4 now, you can run both your new and old analytics accounts together. You can collect data in GA 4 before the old version is gone.
There is no update on the fate of the data on GA3, so it is best to move now and start collecting data in the newer version. Remember that user-level data retention, including conversions, is fixed at up to 14 months in Google Analytics 4 properties.You have various options for the length of retention for other event data – 2 / 14 / 26 / 38 / 50 months. Age, gender, and interest data always has a 2-month retention period, regardless of your settings. You can increase the retention period or change it to ‘Do not automatically expire’ for already collected data.
At the end of the retention period, the data is automatically deleted on a monthly basis. Simply put, if you make the move to GA4 before 1st July 2022, you’ll be able to access year-on-year comparisons by the time Google puts Universal Analytics to bed.
Google Analytics 4 Benefits
If you are still sitting on the fence about switching over to GA 4, the following lines will change your mind. Here are 7 unbeatable benefits of Google Analytics 4 that transform your analytics strategy.
- Smart tracking
Current tracking methods rely on cookies. The new GA 4 Analytics is a flexible approach that is not reliant on cookies, rather on AI and ML, to measure marketing results and meet customer needs.
- Advanced analysis
GA4 allows elaborate funnel customization, identify user paths, study heat maps, and more.
- Predictive metrics
GA 4 offers three predictive metrics:
- Purchase probability – the likelihood of an active user making a purchase
- Churn probability – the likelihood of an active user becoming inactive
- Revenue prediction – the expected revenue from active users
These metrics can be used to create highly targeted campaigns!
- Improved ROAS
With these highly insightful analytics, you can plan more cost-efficient campaigns and target your relevant audience more specifically.
- BigQuery integration
GA4 and BigQuery integration allows analysis of mountains of raw data, insights from the platform’s ML capabilities, and streaming data directly to BigQuery.
- Engagement metrics
Instead of the bounce rate, GA4 shows positive data on user engagement. With the help of enhanced measurement events, like scroll, website search, and downloads, you can understand exactly how users are interacting with the website. That means now you know whether your blog post is more engaging or the CTA to subscribe to your newsletter. Currently, UA requires custom coding to do this.
- Cross-platform tracking and customer journey
GA 4 now merges data from apps and websites giving you insights into engagement across your platforms. The Life Cycle in GA 4 can give you reports on customer acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention. These can help you create the complete customer journey map. These insights tell you where you should direct more resources or change your strategy to hit your revenue goals. Since it takes time to accumulate enough data for analysis, the sooner you start on GA 4, the sooner you can reap these benefits.
How to check whether you are on UA / GA 3 or GA 4?
If your Google Analytics property was created before October 14th 2020, you are most likely using the older version or the Universal Analytics. If your Google Analytics property was created after that date, you may be using Google Analytics 4. Your property ID can help you understand whether you have a UA property or a GA 4 property. UA property IDs start with “UA” and end with a number such as, UA-123456-1. GA 4 property IDs do not have any letters, only numbers 123456.
Need help moving over to GA4?
At Ogrelogic, our endeavor is to make your life easier while we help you scale and grow. To help you move to Google Analytics 4, we’ve designed a system service for easier switch over while ensuring the safety of your data. We can do this in two different ways –
- Google Analytics 4 setup (GA 4 setup)
- Setting up the new account to start collecting data properly along with your existing Universal Analytics (UA or GA3) property
- Includes Basic Google Analytics 4 setup
- GA4 events setup
- GA4 goals setup
- GA 4 analysis and reports
- Google Tag Manager (GTM) setup
Remember that the sooner you start collecting data in Google Analytics 4, the easier the transition will be. Switching over to GA4 now gives you a head start of almost a year to to ensure you can still track user activity on your website, including valuable metrics, such as sessions, revenue, bounce rate and time spent on site, before the old version is phased out.
Get your google Analytics 4 set up today
If you need help understanding this or need Google Analytics 4 Consulting Services, talk to our experts today. We are already doing this for our existing customers and have developed a specialized process to ensure your data safety. Call us on 512-559-7491 or email [email protected] and ask for Google Analytics 4 Strategy & Services.
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