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It’s time to transition to GA4. Here’s what’s new!

This year, Google Analytics as we know and love it is going away. What’s technically called Universal Analytics will stop tracking new data on July 1, 2023 and in its place is the new Google Analytics 4—commonly referred to as GA4.

One of the biggest benefits of tracking things like website visitors and form submissions in Google Analytics is the ability to measure performance over time. For this reason, it’s important to make the transition to GA4 with enough time to:

  1. Make sure all of the things you want to track are set up and working properly, and
  2. Have at least a few weeks (if not a month or two) of data to track performance trends.

It is important to note that Universal Analytics and GA4 track how people interact with your website differently. For more information on how metrics will compare across the two platforms, check out Google’s article Comparing metrics: Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics.

You’ll still be able to access past data in your Universal Analytics account after the July 1st deadline, there just won’t be any new information there. That’s what GA4 is for!

So, what’s new?

More Privacy Controls

Consumers are a lot more privacy conscious now than they were when the first iteration of Google Analytics launched in 2005. GA4 takes this into consideration with a lot of settings that businesses can change depending on how much information business owners, managers and marketers want to collect from website users. There are also some privacy-focused features that GA4 enables automatically, like IP automatization and personal data deletion. For companies doing business in Europe under GDPR, these updates are a big deal.

Reporting Flexibility

There are fewer native reports built into GA4. However, the custom data visualization capabilities of GA4 are pretty cool. As we get closer to Universal Analytics’ sunset date, we’re also seeing more and more features we’re used to there added to GA4.

Detailed Conversion Tracking

In Universal Analytics, we primarily track form submissions and phone calls. And we’ll still track those in GA4. But if there are other actions people take on your website that are valuable to your business, you can probably track them in GA4 too. This is because, as Google says, “Google Analytics 4 data is event-based, with the principle that any interaction can be captured as an event.”

Cross Device and Platform Capabilities

The customer journey is, in general, more nuanced today than it was when Universal Analytics was announced more than a decade ago. GA4 is built to capture the various ways a customer interacts with your business across multiple devices and platforms. This is really valuable for brands with both a website and an app that people log in to.

Parkway Digital Digital Marketing Manager Taylor Flynn Jones
Taylor Flynn Jones / Digital Marketing Manager
Taylor, Parkway Digital’s digital marketing manager, blends research and analytics experience with strong writing skills to create content for search engines and users alike. She is passionate about optimizing both our work and our processes, which help her as she oversees our content team and digital advertising campaigns.