It’s not a big surprise that Google has decided to push through Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as its main product and sunset the legacy product. However, for those marketers who are still very much attached to their customized dashboards and reports on Universal Analytics, we’ve got the scoop here on how you should prepare.
Essentially, Universal Analytics is built on a system that is now becoming obsolete because of privacy changes across the net. As a result, it’s increasingly more inaccurate because it relies heavily on cookies, making it harder to measure cross-channel performance.
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What does the obsolescence of Universal Analytics mean?
In short, it means you’ll need to switch over to Google Analytics 4, if you haven’t already done so. Universal Analytics will stop processing all data on July 1, 2023, and 360 Universal Analytics will end on October 1st, so you definitely still have time to make the change.
While Universal Analytics did have a lot of privacy features and controls, GA4 was built with privacy as a priority. Given the changing user expectations when it comes to online tracking, GA4 offers a much smoother experience for customers and the users of their sites. For example, GA4 will no longer store IP addresses, which is a major cornerstone of online privacy.
What do I need to do now to prepare?
Get set up in GA4 as soon as possible. You can still run Universal Analytics alongside it, but get the account created and logging data now so you have historical data to refer back to next year. You’ll still have at least 6 months after July to review your historical data from Universal Analytics, however, it will be important to have everything set up and tracking in GA4 well before the sunset date.
Google Analytics 4 is a bit of a different interface and UI, so it might be good to get an expert to help you get set up or upskill one of your own marketing analytics team members now.
GA4 brings a variety of features that can help you scale your business, including:
- Event-based measurement modeling
- Data-driven attribution
- Country-level privacy controls
- Predictive insights from machine learning
- Simplified optimization through integration
- Improved 360 enterprise-level controls
The 30-Second Rundown
As always, we want to summarize the most important bits for you to quickly get the gist and move on with your day.
- What? Google is going to stop processing data through Universal Analytics from July 1, 2023.
- Why? They want to move everyone over to Google Analytics 4 which was developed to be more accurate in light of data loss from online privacy changes.
- Does this affect me? If you still only use Universal Analytics, you’ll need to change to GA4 in the next year, otherwise you risk losing any tracking for your properties.
Make the most of your cross-channel campaigns
Online privacy and data protection laws are making cross-platform analysis even harder than before. One step is switching over to GA4 for more accurate attribution. The other is scaling up your sales with instant ad spend optimization from Optily.
Optily enables Shopify store owners and marketers to easily link their Analytics together with Facebook and Google Ads data and, very soon, their Shopify sales data.
The key to overcoming data loss in individual platforms and tracking the entire cross-platform customer journey is syncing data from multiple sources. Optily is able to connect your metrics, analyze them, and provide recommendations on how best to allocate your marketing dollars.
The best part: all this takes under a minute to calculate, review, and apply.
What can easily take hours and hours per week, now takes a single click. Once you get the hang of how things work, you can turn on the automation and optimize while you sleep.
Optily makes it easy to save time and money on ad spend management, so you can focus on growing your business!