Businesses need a modern measurement stack to navigate today’s complex marketing landscape. Consumers increasingly expect personalised, relevant advertising across a multi-channel purchase journey, while respecting individual privacy choices.
In this environment, it is hardly surprising that Universal Analytics, a platform released by Google almost 10 years ago, is feeling dated.
Goodbye, Universal Analytics
On 16th March 2022, Google announced Universal Analytics will be sunset next year, with standard properties no longer processing new hits from 1st July 2023. Universal Analytics 360 properties will have an additional 3 months, with new hits no longer being processed from 1st October 2023.
As Google Analytics 4, Google’s newest Analytics platform, now starts to take centre stage, we suggest digital marketers begin planning the migration to Google Analytics 4 as early as possible. This will allow for a smoother transition once Universal Analytics is sunset with sufficient historical data to make Google Analytics 4 your primary source of truth.
Getting Started With Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 (formerly known as “App + Web”) is the next generation of Google Analytics. It has been completely overhauled for the modern and future tracking requirements of marketers and analysts, focussing on three key pillars.
- Cross Platform – Designed to track across both web and apps for a holistic view across platforms.
- Predictive insights – Machine learning powers enhanced modelling, creation of smart audiences, and automatically surfaced insights.
- Privacy – Google Analytics 4 is privacy centric, with less reliance on cookies, and no longer stores IP addresses.
- Data Driven Attribution – Measure impact across channels, with the ability to set data-driven attribution models as the default across reports within Google Analytics 4.
Planning Your Analytics Migration
As with any adoption to changes in technologies and way of workings, it’s essential to have a view of all the potential impacts to existing practices. We have outlined key areas we recommend marketers take into consideration and focus:
- Reporting & Measurement - How performance is measured and reported in Google Analytics 4 Vs. Universal Analytics will change. Additionally, all reports and integrations will be required to utilise Google Analytics 4, from Universal Analytics. It’s important to factor in how these changes will impact reports and make any changes necessary to continue monitoring effectively.
- Development Resource - A new code base means new opportunities to track site performance more accurately. It will also likely result in the need for new code to be added to the site, either via the dataLayer or on-site tags, depending on the implementation method chosen. Ensuring that Developers have resource during the migration is key to ensuring the optimisation of services within Google Analytics 4.
- Training - A change to reporting, new code base, new reports and ways of measuring all present a daunting challenge to businesses at first impression. Training during the migration process can ensure a smoother transition. Google have a wealth of resources available to support you with getting to grips with Google Analytics 4. We have also worked closely with Google on the development of features and functionality within Google Analytics 4 and have training packages in place to support you and your teams with the onboarding of this new way of reporting.
How can we help you?
Google Analytics 4 represents a major shift in digital tracking and reporting, a journey we have taken with many businesses since it’s beta release in 2020. If you would like further support and guidance on how to migrate to Google Analytics 4 with a best-in-class analytics setup, please reach out to email@example.com for more details on how we can assist you in navigating this transition.
You can find the official announcement from Google here.