More than a year ago, Google announced that Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next generation of Google Analytics, will replace Universal Analytics effective July 1, 2023. Once that date arrives Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data and if you haven’t already migrated to GA4, you will lose access to all of your historical data.
Being that Google gave quite a bit of advanced notice, many site owners have already set up GA4, but there may be a few holdouts. If you’re one of them, time is running out!
Why is the current version of Google Analytics being discontinued?
There are a few reasons why Google is discontinuing the current version of Google Analytics (UA).
- Privacy concerns: Google is facing increasing pressure from regulators around the world to protect user privacy. UA relies on cookies to track users, which is becoming less reliable as users adopt more privacy-focused browsers and settings.
- The rise of mobile: UA was designed for a web-centric world, but mobile is now the dominant platform for online activity. GA4 is designed to collect data from both web and mobile devices, which gives it a more complete picture of user behavior.
- The need for more predictive analytics: UA is a great tool for measuring past performance, but it’s not as good at predicting future behavior. GA4 uses machine learning to generate predictive insights that can help businesses make better decisions about their marketing campaigns.
What are the benefits of using GA4?
GA4 comes with a number of benefits over UA, including:
- Cross-platform tracking: GA4 can track users across multiple devices and platforms, which gives you a more complete picture of their behavior.
- Enhanced predictive analytics: GA4 uses machine learning to generate predictive insights that can help you make better decisions about your marketing campaigns.
- Improved privacy controls: GA4 gives you more control over how your data is collected and used.
How do I migrate to GA4?
If you haven’t already migrated to GA4, have no fear! You still have time and migrating to GA4 is a relatively simple process. Here are the steps you need to take:
- Create a GA4 property. Go to the Google Analytics website and click on the “Create Property” button. Select “Google Analytics 4” as the property type.
- Connect your website to GA4. Once you’ve created a GA4 property, you need to connect your store to it by adding tracking code. If you’re on BigCommerce, you can find instructions for connecting your store to GA4 here. Shopify store owners can find instructions for integrating GA4 here. If you’re on a different platform, such as Turbify, and need assistance with setting up and integrating GA4 you can contact us for assistance.
- Start collecting data. Once your website is connected to GA4, it will start collecting data. This data will be used to generate reports and insights.
- Export your Universal Analytics data. If you have any historical data in Universal Analytics, you should export it before the July 1, 2023 deadline. You can do this by going to the “Data Export” section of Universal Analytics and selecting “Export Data.”
- Start using GA4. Once you’ve migrated to GA4 and exported your historical data, you can start using GA4 to track your website traffic and performance.
Where can I get help with migrating to GA4?
Google offers a variety of resources to help you migrate to GA4, including:
- Online documentation: Google Analytics has comprehensive online documentation that covers all aspects of GA4, including migration.
- Training courses: Google offers a variety of training courses on GA4, including courses on migration.
- Support from Your Store Wizards: Once your GA4 properly is created, we can assist with installing and testing the code on your eCommerce store. Just contact us for help!
The deadline for migrating to GA4 is coming up quickly. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend taking the time to migrate to GA4 before the deadline. GA4 is a powerful tool that can help you understand your website visitors and improve your marketing campaigns.
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.