Universal Analytics has been sunset. As of July 1st 2023, Google is officially moving everyone over to the new Google Analytics 4 platform. But what does that mean for your website tracking? And how will the move affect your data? In this article, our Surrey marketing agency will take a look at some of the changes you can expect with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – as well as how to smoothly make the transition. So if you’re wondering what’s coming next for analytics tracking, keep reading!


What Is GA4?

Google Analytics 4 (formally known as App + Web) is the newest and most secure way to keep track of your website traffic. It works with privacy policies and cookies without compromising data collection for those who want more insight into their audience across many platforms. This echoes the fact that Google has now begun taking a new approach to data controls, which will better allow you to manage how your Analytics are collected and used. Additionally, new options for Ads personalisation give users more control over ad targeting than ever before. 


Following user feedback, Google has made it easier for marketers to understand insights based on the different parts of the customer journey. For example, you can see which channels are driving new customers in one report and use that information with engagement or retention reports. This is a big step and enables users to know if their actions are leading them towards long-term success!


Furthermore, the insights of your customer’s interactions are now more complete with Google Ads. You can see which devices they first discovered you on, then later purchased products from within an app store because that is where their personalisation kicks in – pretty handy.


With the new Analytics approach, you can now have a more comprehensive understanding of your marketing efforts. This is because it will measure conversions from YouTube video views alongside Google and non-Google paid channels such as Facebook ads or Instagram posts, all in one report. It can also automatically alert you when there are significant trends in your data, helping you to anticipate what actions your customers will take next. 


Saving Your Old Data


July 1st, 2023 might seem like a long time away, but if you rely on Universal Analytics, you need to start preparing in advance so that you’re not left like a deer in the headlights when the UA option is eliminated. Here are a few things you need to be aware of: 


  • You can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics.
  • You can export your historical reports after July 23rd in which you have 6 months to download and view these.


Google will bring out more information on how to export your Universal Analytics data. You will be kept updated with information on the change through the Google help centre and future emails. Your Google Ads Sales Rep should be on hand to help you with any queries too!


Making The Switch


If your Universal Analytics property and Google Ads accounts are linked, the Universal Analytics data will stop transferring to Google Ads. This could affect your Google Ads campaigns in a number of ways including when you’re bidding on imported Universal Analytics goals or e-commerce transactions. It is therefore important to migrate your Universal Analytics property’s Google Ads links to your Google Analytics 4 property. As well as importing Google Analytics 4 conversions (for bidding) and/or add Google Analytics 4 audiences to a campaign or ad group (for remarketing).

To use the new Google Analytics, set up a Google Analytics 4 property for your website and/or app. You’ll need the Editor role on the Google Analytics account.

  • If you’re brand new, you’ll need to create an account and set up a Google Analytics 4 property.
  • If you already have a Universal Analytics property, add a Google Analytics 4 property to your existing setup. When you click GA4 Setup Assistant, you create a Google Analytics 4 property that collects data alongside your existing Universal Analytics property. 
  • If you use a website builder platform that requires you to provide a “UA-” ID (i.e., won’t accept a “G-” ID), you can still use Google Analytics 4. You’ll need to paste the global site tag (gtag.js) snippet manually into your website builder’s/CMS’s custom HTML field. Select your website builder from this table for platform-specific instructions.


The earlier you transfer to Google Analytics 4 the more ability you have to build up a long-term solution for your analytic needs. You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention. You will also be able to reap the benefits of enhanced, seamless integrations with Google’s advertising platforms in order to optimise campaign performance and drive greater marketing ROI.


Get In Contact – Surrey Marketing Agency


As Google Analytics 4 moves closer to becoming the only analytics platform available, it’s important to start preparing for the switch. This article has outlined some of the changes you can expect with the new platform – as well as how to make the transition smoothly. 

For further information please contact GAchange@wearethunderbolt.