Following a beta launch in 2020, Google announced that they will be replacing Universal Analytics (UA) on the 1st of July 2023 with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Bespoke websites’ code will need changed, WordPress websites will need new plugins and eCommerce websites will require new integrations…we’re here to help.
About UA and GA4
The jargon free explanation is simple: they are snippets of code, or scripts, that are embedded in each page of your website to monitor, track and record user activity and behaviour on your website. Powered by Google, this information is viewable on your analytics.google.com dashboard and is essential for understanding your web traffic and online growth.
Universal Analytics (UA) has been the standard for several years, but with a cumulative shift across the tech industry to be more responsible with users’ privacy this type of tracking it reaching end of life and is no longer as effective and ethical as its soon-to-be successor. More-so, UA was built only with static web pages in mind; it is not efficient at tracking essential mobile-user data.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) uses events, instead of session-based data, to track user interactions and behaviour. It is considered as a mobile-first analytical tool that empowers digital agencies (like us!) and you with insight into mobile user experiences like scrolling, swiping and tapping. Unlike UA, it does not rely on cookie data and IP addresses – a solution with privacy responsibility at its core.
What is Happening?
Here’s what Google say:
“On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You’ll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 properties.”
When Should I Upgrade?
Now! Your Universal Analytics data will not carry over into Google Analytics 4, so it is important to start collection as much first-party data as possible, as soon as possible, to improve the accuracy and quality of your website’s analytics.
How Can I Upgrade?
While on analytics.google.com you will be guided through the process of setting up your GA4 property, at the end you will be provided with a snippet of code (a script). How this is added to your website depends on the type of website:
Bespoke HTML – edit the code of all pages to include the script. We can provide FTP access if you would like to attempt this, but we do not recommend it unless you have experience.
WordPress Websites – The ‘Google Site Kit’ plugin is the best solution.
Can You Help?
Yes. We will charge a small fee for the time to setup your GA4 tag and add it to your website. Please contact us to get started.