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Don’t Wait To Switch: The Next Generation of Google Analytics is Coming

by | Oct 17, 2022 | News

Plan to make the switch to Google Analytics 4—touted to be more accurate, easier to use, and more predictive—soon so you don’t have gaps in your data

Change is difficult. We know some of you are checking Google Analytics frequently and have made it part of your marketing and content strategy. And we know some of you only look at it when you have to, but know you at least need to have it set up on your website. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, we want to help you understand the impending change and how you can respond so you don’t lose any of your data. We also think this switch could be an excellent opportunity to understand the power of analyzing your website analytics to make intelligent decisions.

On July 1, 2023, the next generation of Google Analytics (GA4) will arrive. Don’t panic if you’re still using Universal Analytics, which is what most people know as their current Google Analytics dashboard.

According to Google, you will still have access to your historical data for at least six months beyond the July 1, 2023 switch, however the old Universal Analytics properties will no longer collect new data after July 1, 2023.

Although July 1, 2023 still feels a ways away, it is important to switch over to Google Analytics 4 sooner rather than later, as Google suggests that this will allow your website to compile historical data within Google Analytics 4 to build continuity and familiarity before the old Universal Analytics is gone for good.

What happens if I don’t switch to Google Analytics 4?

Your website will stop collecting new data on Universal Analytics after July 1, 2023. While you will have access to historical data for at least six months, your website won’t collect any new data if you don’t switch to GA4 by July 1, 2023. That means you won’t have the helpful information you need to evaluate your website’s success and understand how visitors are using your site. We recommend switching early so you can ensure you set it up properly.

What is the difference between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics?

The overall goal of GA4 is to shift to a more automated & streamlined approach to analytics. Initially, you may feel that the differences are quite drastic. For starters, when you log into your new GA4 property, the first thing that you will notice is a new interface. The next thing you will notice is that certain types of metrics appear to no longer be accessible. No need to worry. You can still track the metrics you’ve grown to know and love with Universal Analytics, however they may now be called something new or can be set up in a new way. You can view detailed explanations of the differences between the two types of properties here.

What are the benefits of Google Analytics 4 compared to Universal Analytics?

To be clear: you don’t really have a choice. It’s time to switch. But there are benefits of GA4 that are worth getting excited about. Google claims it was “designed for the future of measurement.” It will collect website and app data, include more privacy controls, provide better predictive capabilities and more. One benefit that we’ve heard of: you can find out who started filling out a form on your website instead of only knowing who completed and submitted a form.

How do I know which version of Google Analytics is connected to my website?

As a general rule of thumb, if you set up Google Analytics before October 14, 2020, then there’s a good chance you are still using Universal Analytics and it’s time to make the switch. But it is possible that you are already using Google Analytics 4 if you set it up on your website after October 14, 2020. Either way, log into your account and confirm just to be safe. Follow these instructions to check your property type.

Can I save my old Universal Analytics data?

Yes! You have multiple options for exporting the data from your Universal Analytics property, with file types ranging from CSV, TSV, XLSX, Google Sheets, to PDF. As we inch closer to the end date of Universal Analytics, keep an eye out for Google to release more information on this topic.

How do I switch over to Google Analytics 4?

Google has provided a GA4 Setup Assistant wizard with instructions to follow to get you started. Follow these instructions to set up a new GA4 property that will begin collecting data immediately in tandem with your existing Universal Analytics property. Having both properties collect data may help ease the transition as you familiarize yourself with GA4 before your Universal Analytics stops processing data on July 1, 2023.

Can Pixel Parlor help us switch to Google Analytics 4?

Of course! We are always happy to help answer any questions you may have and can do all the heavy lifting for you if you’d like. Please reach out to [email protected] to get the conversation started.