In a recent announcement, the Analytics team revealed a major Google Analytics change coming in July of 2023, when they plan to replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4. This switch on the analytics platform may mean changes to how your small business uses this popular tool.
What is Universal Analytics?
Universal Analytics is the current tool that Google Analytics supports that allows users to track various data from the website. The data tracked by this platform include website traffic, organic search data, bounce rate, session duration, and more. It is an easy way to track the effectiveness of your business’s digital marketing strategy.
At almost 10 years old, this tool is starting to be limited by the era it was designed for. As more and more users come from social media to websites on mobile devices, Universal Analytics’s customization ability is falling short, hence the push for a new and improved tool.
How is Google Analytics 4 Different?
The update from Google provided a minimal debrief on the changes that would affect how users currently use their platform, but how is Google Analytics 4 improving the platform?
Google says the advantages of this tool are its privacy features, insights from machine learning, and better integration with Google’s advertising tools. Overall, they hope this change will allow for a more future-proof product that gives a deeper understanding of customers resulting in higher ROI for users.
How Does This Affect Your Business?
The good news is that if you started working with Google Analytics after October 14, 2020, you might already be using Google Analytics 4. This means that nothing will change for your business at this point. For those whose account is older, you will need to make the switch prior to July 2023, and we recommend making the switch sooner rather than later.
The bad news is that this change will cause you to lose access to your historical data. Google has announced that you will have access to the last six months of data from Universal Analytics. However, these may not be accessible forever.
Before the switch, your team should also consider the time it will take to learn the platform and the setup time for your updated Analytics account.
Although the change to your current platform may seem overwhelming, this improvement can mean greater insights into your digital customers, so you can make effective decisions about your current strategy. And thankfully, you don’t have to navigate the digital space alone. Our experts on Alder & Co. are trained on all Google Analytics and advertising tools, so you can focus on big picture business decisions.
Need more help with your digital strategy? We offer free marketing advice for your small business.