Are you a website owner seeking to track data and generate leads? Then having a robust analytics solution is vital. Enter Google Analytics, a powerful tool offering valuable insights into your website’s performance. Do you have it set up? Excellent! My next question is, do you know which version of Google Analytics you’re using?Here’s the scoop: Google Analytics is changing! It’s transitioning from its current version, GA3 (Universal Analytics), to a newer and more advanced platform known as GA4 (Google Analytics 4). In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind this transition, what it means to you, and why upgrading to GA4 is crucial to your website’s success.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps website owners track user behaviour on their website. It’s a powerful instrument that enables you to analyse various aspects of your website’s performance.
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics on your website yet, you are missing a trick. Google Analytics can be a game-changer for your business. It offers valuable insights into user behaviour, traffic sources, conversions, and other key metrics, allowing you to understand how users interact with your site and helping you make data-driven decisions to optimise your online presence.
Here’s what you can do with Google Analytics:
#1 Track Your Visitors:
Google Analytics lets you know how many people visit your website, where they come from, and which pages they visit. It’s like having a traffic monitor for your website, helping you understand your audience.
#2 Know Your Audience:
With Google Analytics, you can learn about the people visiting your website. It tells you their age, interests, and what they like about your site. It’s like having a profile of your visitors, allowing you to tailor your content to their preferences.
#3 Measure Conversions:
You want your website visitors to take action, right? Google Analytics helps you track important actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Ruler or Tape Measure: Used to measure length or distance accurately.
#4 Improve Your Content:
Wondering which pages on your website are popular and which ones need improvement? Google Analytics provides insights into the performance of your content. It’s like having a compass that guides you towards creating engaging and valuable content for your visitors.
#5 Evaluate Marketing Campaigns:
When you run marketing campaigns, it’s essential to know which ones are effective. Google Analytics helps you see which channels are driving the most traffic and which campaigns are attracting the most engaged visitors. It’s like having marketing support on tap.
#6 Boost E-commerce Success:
If you have an online store, Google Analytics is your friend. It gives you information about your sales, revenue, and which products are selling well. It’s like having a business partner who helps you make informed decisions to optimise your online store.
Google Analytics is a comprehensive analytics tool that gives you in-depth insight into your users’ journey. By leveraging its features, you can make data-informed decisions that drive your website’s success.
Google Analytics lets you know how many people visit your website, where they come from, and which pages they visit.
Why is Google Analytics changing?
Did you know that Google Analytics is changing?!
The current version, Universal Analytics (GA2), will hang its boots and stop collecting data from 1 July 2023. It is upgrading to GA4 to bring a host of new benefits to address the changing needs of businesses.
Let’s explore why this upgrade is important for you:
- Better Understanding of How Customers Behave: GA4 gives you a clearer picture of HOW people interact with your website, helping you know their preferences and how they navigate through your website.
- Easier Insights: GA4 uses smart technology to automatically analyse your data and provide useful insights. Like having an assistant, GA4 makes it simpler to understand trends, discover new opportunities, and improve your marketing efforts.
- Tracking Across Different Platforms: Customers nowadays engage with businesses through various platforms. GA4 lets you easily track their actions across websites, mobile apps, and even offline channels. It gives you a better understanding of how customers connect with your brand across different platforms.
- Respecting User Privacy: GA4 values the privacy of your customers and follows privacy regulations. It ensures responsible and transparent data collection and usage, building trust with your customers.
- Future-Proofing Your Analytics: Upgrading to GA4 ensures your analytics can adapt to future changes and customer behaviour. It’s a toolkit that grows with your business, ready for whatever comes next.
- Improved Ecommerce Tracking: If you have an online store, GA4 enhances tracking of customer purchases and online sales. It helps you understand customer buying behaviour and product performance. It’s like a dedicated assistant for your online store, guiding you to understand what makes customers buy.
- Simplified Tracking: GA4 makes it easier to track and measure specific user actions that are important to your business. Whether it’s tracking form submissions, video views, or other user interactions, GA4 provides deeper insights into how customers engage with your website.
- Streamlined Integration with Google Marketing Platform: GA4 seamlessly integrates with other Google Marketing Platform tools, such as Google Ads. It’s a central hub that brings all your marketing efforts together, making it easier to measure their effectiveness.
Upgrading to GA4 is like installing a state-of-the-art smart kitchen in your house instead of relying on old recipe books: it’s an opportunity to elevate your data-driven decision-making and stay ahead in the digital world.
Upgrading to GA4 is like installing a state-of-the-art smart kitchen in your house.
What will happen to your website data after July 2023?If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it: It’s time to upgrade to GA4. Now we know that Universal Analytics (GA3) will stop collecting data on July 1 2023, but what will happen to your past data after this?
- Data Continues to be Accessible: Your valuable Google Analytics data will remain accessible even after July 2023. So, you can still tap into the wealth of information you’ve gathered about your website’s performance.
- Universal Analytics (GA3) Freezes: Starting from July 2023, Universal Analytics (GA3) won’t receive any major updates or new features. To keep up with the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s essential to consider the next step.
- Transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4): This is where the importance of upgrading to GA4 comes into play. For ongoing data analysis and tracking, you must upgrade to GA4. As GA3 freezes operations, GA4, the new and improved version of Analytics, will continue the data tracking process.
- New Data Collection Methods: With GA4, you’ll need to use a new way to collect data by setting up a new tracking code and data streams. This allows you to keep collecting important information about your website or app, making sure you don’t miss out on valuable data.
- Data Comparison: When you switch to GA4, there are some changes in how data is organised and measured compared to GA3. To make the transition seamless and understand any differences, you should compare and analyse data from both platforms. It will help you ensure a smooth transition.
Introducing GA4: Google Analytics changes 2023
GA4 is designed to provide businesses with a deeper understanding of how people interact with websites and apps. It goes beyond simple visitor counts and page views, offering valuable insights into user behaviour and actions. Here are the key features that make GA4 stand out:
- Better Understanding of User Behaviour: GA4 is more detailed in capturing footfall and how users behave on your website. It’s almost like having a camera track and monitor their behaviour and this intel can help you to lead them to taking the next step with you.
- Improved Tracking Across Devices: We all use multiple devices when accessing the internet but behaviour may vary accordingly. GA4 is like a detective who follows the user’s journey and connects the dots for a complete picture of their journey and how they engage with your business in whatever device.
- Simplified Data Collection and Analysis: GA4 makes it easy to collect and analyse data from your website. It has a user-friendly setup and interface, so you can understand your insights without getting lost in complicated setups.
- Events, Not Sessions: GA4 is more about events where you can see the exact actions someone takes like signing up to your newsletter or booking a call. This specific tracking allows you to measure the impact of your marketing efforts more accurately. See infographic below.
- Automated Insights and Recommendations: GA4 uses smart technology to give you automatic advice on how to improve your marketing. It’s like having a helpful assistant suggesting ways to make your campaigns better.
- Better Privacy Control: GA4 respects user privacy preferences – like respecting someone’s personal space. It’s about asking for permission, rather than forgiveness. This helps to build trust with your audience.
By upgrading to GA4, you unlock a world of possibilities in understanding and optimising your website’s performance.
GA4 goes beyond simple visitor counts and page views, it offers valuable insights into user behaviour and actions.
Google Analytics Changes: Comparing GA3 and GA4There’s no doubt that GA4 is an upgrade to the current Google Analytics. Imagine you’re on a journey, navigating with a traditional paper map. It gets the job done, but it has limitations – that’s Universal Analytics (GA3). Now, there’s a new and improved digital navigation system called GA4 that will take your website’s analytics to the next level. For a clearer look on how GA4 improves the current version of Google Analytics, check out the table below:
|GA3 sessions||GA4 events|
|A period of time which a user interacts with your website. It starts measuring when the user arrives on your website and ends after a period of inactivity or when the user leaves.||A session starts but more detailed information is captured about specific actions such as clicking a button, watching a video, downloading a file or submitting a form.|
|You visit a shop and as soon as you enter through the door you are being tracked. If you leave the shop and come back later it would be a new visit or session.||You visit a shop and each action you take is tracked as an event. You pick up an item and put it into your basket. You take an item out of your basket. You pay at the till. You enquire and order an item.|
|MORE GENERAL||MORE SPECIFIC|
Transitioning from GA3 to GA4 – the big switch!Now that you understand the ins and outs of Google Analytics and its upgrade to GA4, let’s talk about the next steps to embark on this exciting journey. How do you get aboard the GA upgrade? Well here are four simple steps:
#1 Determine which version you have installedFirstly, it’s crucial to determine which version of Google Analytics you currently have installed on your website. This step ensures that you’re aware of your starting point and can plan your transition effectively.
#2 Back up your Universal Analytics (GA3) DataOnce you have identified your current version, it’s essential to back up your Universal Analytics (GA3) data. This means making a copy of your existing information so you don’t lose anything important, giving you peace of mind throughout the transition process.
#3 Upgrade to GA4It’s time to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This involves setting up a new way to collect data, tracking codes, and data streams. Make the switch through these easy steps. Google provides comprehensive resources and FAQs to help you navigate the process smoothly.
#4 Get supportSometimes, we all need a little help. Google Analytics’ dashboard and tools can be a little complicated because they are built for techies, not lay people. But with programmes like my Website Lead Accelerator, my private membership programmed, you get to have an all-in-one SEO tool that incorporates GA, Google Search Console, and Google Business profile in one central place. This translates the data more easily and displays it in a way that is easier to understand. If you would like to know more about this tool for your website, please get in touch.
“You can’t grow what you can’t measure.”
Like any change, it can be tricky to transition from GA3 to GA4, because it is unfamiliar ground. But being forced to upgrade Google Analytics to GA4 is a good thing in the long-run as it is truly a game-changer for website owners.
With GA4, you gain a deeper understanding of user behaviour, get automatic insights like having your own marketing assistant, and seamlessly track interactions across different platforms. Plus, GA4 respects user privacy and keeps you future-proofed with scalable analytics capabilities. Upgrading to GA4 will feel like upgrading from a mechanical camera to a digital one – it unlocks so many more opportunities to drive business success.
Now that you’ve seen how valuable GA data can be, it’s time to set it up and upgrade. You have until 1 July 2023. Don’t lose your existing data and don’t stop collecting data. After all, you can’t grow what you can’t measure!
You have until July 1 to transition to GA4!