As the sun begins to set on Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA), businesses are (or should be) gearing up for the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
With just 100 days left until UA is officially retired, it’s crucial for organizations of all sizes to understand the benefits and challenges of migrating to GA4, as well as the essential steps to ensure a smooth transition.
A Q&A from Steve Ganem, Director of Product for Google Analytics, helps us gain invaluable insights into the key features, challenges, and advantages of adopting GA4.
“It’s a new product that is not mature enough to use.”
Despite announcing the migration a little over a year ago, GA4 has been in use by advertisers since 2020, while the idea of web and app analytics has been around since 2019.
With GA4, businesses can access valuable insights to help them make informed and strategic decisions for their operations.
“It’s overly complex and doesn’t provide the same reporting as Universal Analytics”
GA4 has a learning curve, but it’s essential to move beyond the traditional session-based mindset. To address the complexity of the current digital landscape, we developed GA4, incorporating features like a novel event structure and redesigned user journeys.
Although these concepts might not be immediately clear or easy to grasp, businesses that overcome the learning curve will discover that GA4 is designed to efficiently navigate this evolving digital world and anticipate future changes.
“It’s not designed for small businesses.”
GA4 was developed to cater to businesses of all sizes, not just small or large enterprises. The aim was to establish a platform that offers comprehensive reporting capabilities and extensive customization options smoothly.
This seamless experience is evident in features such as the personalized homepage, which presents the most pertinent reports to customers, and predictive audiences, which help identify users with a higher likelihood of making a purchase. GA4 effectively takes on much of the analytical workload, delivering crucial insights directly to businesses.
The short answer is no.
For a more detailed response, manual migration remains the suggested method for all businesses. This approach allows for creating a customized property and ensures that everything aligns with your preferred configuration.
This is particularly crucial for advertisers, as their conversion bidding might be linked to Universal Analytics, and it is essential to guarantee a proper transfer to GA4.
While Jumpstart serves as a helpful tool for businesses with limited resources, it only establishes a basic property, making manual migration the preferred option. Furthermore, Jumpstart is being introduced progressively, and the earlier businesses transition, the sooner they can accumulate historical data for year-over-year comparisons.
GA4 was developed for a new era of measurement, which entails new product features and a different measurement approach compared to Universal Analytics. While this doesn’t make it inherently harder, Google recognizes that change can be challenging, and the property’s distinct appearance and functionality compared to Universal Analytics may pose difficulties during migration.
The Setup Assistant. Each tool within the Setup Assistant has been purposefully designed to tackle specific challenges in the migration process, such as property creation, tagging, goal migration, conversion swapping, and more. During preliminary user testing, these aspects were identified by Google as potential challenges and areas where businesses might face difficulties while setting up a GA4 property for the first time.
Search Engine Land posted a guide late last year to give an in-depth look at the Setup Guide. Check it out here.
Additionally, this tutorial has been helpful for many businesses making the transition.
“One of the reasons we’re so excited about GA4 is all of the new features that not only allow for durability in this evolving privacy landscape, but also that bring to life a new way of measurement that has evolved with how the web and app experiences are evolving,” Ganem said.
That said, here are a few that are worth highlighting:
Bottom line: for advertisers, ROI is on the line.
Once Universal Analytics property stops processing data on July 1st, 2023, conversions and audiences will stop flowing new data from that property into Google Ads. This could significantly affect the performance of their ad campaigns. It’s critical that advertisers make the switch to GA4, so that they are in a much more stable and durable position.
Universal Analytics properties will stop reporting new data July 1st.
To be a bit more specific, they will stop processing data, meaning your standard UA property will no longer operate the way it does today. That said, businesses shouldn’t be surprised when they can still log into their accounts after July 1st – it will take time to completely sunset the product for all businesses.
Historical data will be available for six months to aid with period-over-period comparisons, giving businesses a chance to export their historical data even after the sunset.
Now is the time.
By making the move you will:
Dig deeper. Still confused? Check out more resources:
Why we care. Plain and simple, UA is going away. But according to ChatGPT, here is why GA4 could be better for advertisers.
from Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/countdown-to-ga4-100-days-to-make-the-switch-394725
via free Seo Tools