Google Analytics Is Changing To GA4, Here’s What You Need To Do

By Matt Ennor | Tuesday, July 19, 2022

We've got everything you need to know about Google Analytics 4 in 2022.

Key Takeaways

In 2022, Google made the announcement that Universal Analytics will be discontinued on July 1, 2023.

Even though the switch is not happening until 2023, we recommend moving to Google Analytics 4 ASAP.

After July 1, 2023, historic Universal Analytics data will only be available until at least January 1, 2024.

A Brief Overview

Google Analytics has been a must-have for websites ever since it first launched in 2005. It is a free tool that provides valuable data on your website’s users. This includes how many people have visited the site, how they found it, and how they behaved during their visit. It can even tell you how many online sales or leads your website has generated.

Over the years, Google Analytics has made significant adjustments to keep up with the ever-changing world of the internet. After all, the way people use the internet today has become vastly different compared to the dark ages of 2005. The latest of these adjustments is called Google Analytics 4, or GA4 for short. It is essentially a revamp of the current version, known as Universal Analytics (not Google Analytics 3, confusingly). UA has been around since 2012, so a major update has been anticipated for some time.

What Is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is the platform’s most significant change to date. This version is designed to be more flexible, more accurate, and more future proof, all while prioritising user privacy. With online customer journeys becoming more and more complex, GA4 is also able to track users across multiple devices, websites, and apps. Like all previous versions, Google Analytics 4 is still completely free to use.

Why Do I Need Google Analytics 4?

Since 2012, Universal Analytics has become the most popular analytics platform in the world, used by roughly 55% of websites on the internet. That probably includes yours!

In 2022 however, Google made the big announcement that Universal Analytics will be discontinued on July 1, 2023. From this date onwards, new data will stop being processed for all websites that are not using Google Analytics 4. So, if you want to keep tracking data on your website, moving to GA4 is now unavoidable.

What Do I Need To Do Now?

Even though Universal Analytics is not being phased out until 2023, we recommend setting up Google Analytics 4 ASAP.

The reason for this is that new GA4 properties do not contain any historical data. No data gets moved over or imported from your existing UA property, so day one is day one. Therefore, the sooner you move to GA4, the sooner you will be able to compare previous data and yearly trends after the switch in 2023.

What About My Existing Universal Analytics Property?

Don’t worry, creating a Google Analytics 4 property does not get rid of your existing Universal Analytics property. It’s actually perfectly fine to have both properties tracking data at the same time. You can still keep using Universal Analytics as you normally do right up until the cut off date.

However, it’s also worth noting that your historic Universal Analytics data won’t be available forever. After July 1, UA data will only be accessible until at least the end of 2023 (though Google says this may be extended). After this future date, you won’t be able to access any of your old data anymore, so we recommend exporting it into spreadsheets or PDF documents.

Can I Track Online Purchases, Leads & Conversions In Google Analytics 4?

Yes you can, but be aware that it might take a little more work. Depending on your website’s e-commerce platform, you may be able to start tracking purchases automatically, or at least with minimal effort. However, because Google Analytics 4 is relatively new, it is still unsupported by many e-commerce platforms at this stage.

When it comes to tracking online leads, such as contact form submissions and phone calls, unfortunately this is now much more complicated to set up. We find that the simplest solution is to use another Google platform called Google Tag Manager to recognise these events, then send them on to Google Analytics 4. For tracking other conversions such as file downloads, specific page views or outbound links, these can be set up relatively easily within GA4.

How Do I Set Up Google Analytics 4 For My Business?

With Google Analytics 4, you’ll be getting the most accurate data as we move into the next chapter of website tracking. You’ll also be able to measure your online return on investment, allowing you to make more informed marketing decisions.

If you need any assistance with setting up Google Analytics 4, installing it into your website, or tracking sales & conversions, get in touch with the experts at Dubzz Digital Marketing. We’ve set up GA4 tracking for more than 100 clients so far, each tailored to their specific measurement needs and website configuration. You can contact us any time by emailing [email protected] or calling 07 346 2760.

Author: Matt Ennor

Matt has been working at Dubzz Digital Marketing since 2017, and is currently our Senior Online Marketing Consultant. He holds a Bachelor of Media and Creative Technologies from Waikato University, and Google Ads Certifications in Search, Display, Shopping, and Video.

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