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Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics - and what you need to do

Our SEO partner, Tom, always gives us a heads up for big changes. Google has announced that on July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties with analytics on them will stop processing new hits.

If you still rely on Universal Analytics, we recommend that you prepare to use Google Analytics 4 going forward.

Tom recommended on that basis it would be good to have Google Analytics 4 in place on our websites by July 1st 2022 / ASAP, so we can still have 12-month comparison historical stats available to them if required.

What is a “property”?

This basically just means a website or apps where you track visitor traffic and behaviour. You can use one Google account with several “properties” – see this article for a full explanation.

Future access – what’s going to happen

After July 1, 2023, while Universal Analytics stops collecting future data, you will be able to access your previously processed data for at least six months. It’s a good idea to use this time to export your historical reports.

Do you need to worry:

We recommend you check what you’re using on your site – instructions here:

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

Google Analytics 4 is what Google refers to as “our next-generation measurement solution”, and this is replacing Universal Analytics which is what it used to be known as.

If you set up your site before October 14, 2020 and applied Google Analytics, you’re probably using a Universal Analytics property. If you did it after that date, you’re probably using a Google Analytics 4 property already, and don’t need to do anything.

Google Analytics 4 is quite different in how it’s built, taking into account how people use devices and their interest in privacy: Here are some of the improvements.

  • Event-based: Universal Analytics data is based on a session of someone visiting the website. GA4 is absed on “events” – events are actions users take, like clicking a button, playing a video. The idea is there are other important conversion and engagement-related metrics, not just page views..
  • Simpler: Google Analytics will have these events built-in, so the setup won’t be as advanced
  • Tracking across different devices: UA was built around desktop web traffic, while GA4 shows how people interact with their their website and apps on all devices.
  • Machine learning: Google Analytics 4 now uses machine learning technology to notice patterns, share insights and make predictions.
  • Privacy-friendly: UA data relies heavily on cookies, GA 4 won’t

(See more on this Google Support article)

What we’re doing about it at TLD

Tom will work on this checking, exporting and setup for each of his SEO clients so by July 2022 we have a full 12 months to track.

As we install Google Analytics for all our new bespoke designed WordPress websites we are setting up a plan to integrate Google Analytics 4 for these clients going forward, so when UA analytics stops processing data, on July 1st 2023 we don’t have to worry about it!

We will do this for Loyalty Club members and suggest this to maintenance time clients and contact past clients whom we know we did this for them to let them know of the change.

Tagged in:
  1. Google Analytics
  2. SEO
  3. Tom Andrews
  4. traffic

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