You may know Google Analytics as this or universal analytics but it’s all soon to change to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
What Is Google Analytics
Like social media insights, Google analytics is this, but for your website. It’s a platform that stores all your website data, providing you as the business owner with statistics and analytics for search engine optimisation and other marketing purposes.
Google analytics is all about tracking and collecting your visitors insights. It helps you to better understand who is visiting your website and what they may be doing as well as where they may have come from. This is a go too or should be your go too tool to really understand how your marketing is working and where things may need to change.
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Here are some examples to also help you a little more.
Example one: It could be that you are getting loads of users landing on a specific service page but from this you aren’t getting sales and all those visitors are clicking off. This could tell you then there is something wrong with the page. Is it that it doesn’t provide enough information or is it that there is no call to action? Simply understanding where users are going and leaving will help you to know where things may need to change.
Example two: You may be spending loads on Google ads but the question is, are those ads really bringing you in the traffic or sales? By looking at your analytics you will be able to see what channels are bringing in the most visitors so you can then know where to best spend your time plus money.
As you can see from the above example it’s a great and beneficial tool and one you should defo have implemented let alone be using.
What Is Google Analytics 4 And Why Has It Changed To GA4?
Google Analytics 4 is just the new updated version of Google Analytics. Of course it has been created with new and improved features for the future of measuring data.
They say the new Google Analytics 4 will help to better:
- Collect both website and app data to better understand the customer journey
- Uses events instead of session-based data
- Includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioral and conversion modeling
- Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions
This is because the current Google Analytics can’t track things like mobile app usage data, unless you create a separate Google Analytics for Firebase or Google Analytics APP view which is created in a separate analytics property meaning you can’t have all data in one. So currently there is no easy way to combine mobile app and website usage data but with the new and improved Google Analytics 4 this has all changed.
Should I Switch To Google Analytics 4?
Now you may be thinking, is it worth upgrading to GA4? And I also know change is annoying, just as you become a pro at one they change it to something else but for now there is good news. The good news is Google currently isn’t going to be getting rid of the Current Google Analytics but you can expect the new Google Analytics 4 to become the standard soon.
So even though Google Analytics 4 is just getting off the ground, I would recommend turning on GA4 so you can start to learn and collect data. As of July 2020 the standard Google Analytics will stop processing new data, so if this is what you rely on id get learning the new way sooner than later.
What Are The Benefits To GA4?
Google doesn’t bring out change because it’s worse, they bring it out because it’s better. So here are some of the many benefits to the new Google Analytics 4.
- It provides a platform for both websites and mobile apps.
- The reporting is much more accurate
- It gives and provides much more accurate cross device and platform insights
- Better for engagement tracking
- Makes conversion tracking much easier
- Allows you to create and track more complex elements
- Focuses a lot on customer journeys
- Has better privacy control options
Can I Still Access My Universal Analytics Data?
Fear no! Even though data to the normal universal Google Analytics will stop after the 1st July 2023, you will still be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months.
Now I know this may seem scary but with this I would also recommend you to export your historical reports during this time.
Will Google Analytics 4 Replace Universal Analytics?
In short, yes! Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties. However, after July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months but after this all will be in the new Google Analytics 4.
How Do You Switch To Google Analytics 4?
Making the switch to Google Analytics 4 is easy and the simplest way is by also using a tool called Google Tag Manager so as long as you’ve got this you’ll be able to easily follow the steps below!
How To Set Up Google Analytics 4 – If You Haven’t Got Already
So by this point you know Google Analytics 4 is the next generation! If you don’t already you defo need to look at setting it up. Here are the steps to help you do just that!
Setting Up Universal Google Analytics
If you don’t have an existing Google Analytics account, you need to create one. When you start creating a new account, Google by default makes Google Analytics 4 as a new property.
However, it also allows you to create Universal Analytics, which is explained below in this easy-to-understand video.
Setting Up Google Analytics 4
Now let’s look at upgrading your Google Analytics account to a GA4.
Step 1: One in your Google Analytics on the bottom left hand corner click admin.
Step 2: You will then be in the admin console. Here is where you can click into the middle column (property column) and onto “GA4 Setup Assistance”.
Step 3: You will then go into the GA4 property set up to which you need to click get started. This will then bring a pop up in which you need to click on create property.
Step 4: This will take you to the following screen where you can see the connected property message with property ID. From here you then want to click “go to GA4 property” where you will land on the “Setup Assistant” screen. Here you then want to click onto “tag installation”.
Step 5: This will then take you to “data stream” where you will be able to see your “web stream details” and your measurement Id.
Now you have successfully upgraded to Google Analytics 4. All you need to do is implement the tracking via the 2 options on which one best suits your needs.
If you would love to learn more about Google Analytics 4, then download my guide today.