We have been waiting for that day - and finally, it has arrived.
Google has announced that Universal Analytics (aka UA, GA3) will stop processing by July 1, 2023 - only 15 months from now.
As this marks the end of an era, we will always remember what our great tool UA has been doing since its first launch.
Given this, GA4 will be replacing UA and it will be the default version of Google’s measurement solution. GA4 stands out with a lot of features in its pocket such as:
- Running across multiple platforms without relying solely on cookies
- Using an event-based data model
- Offering more actionable & valuable data
- Providing essential cross-platform insights
- AI & machine learning powered
And so on. In this post, we are going to cover the most common concerns/questions that we get from our clients - and provide you with a roadmap to take action.
Here are the key takeaways:
- UA will stop collecting data, but you will still be able to access your data for 6 months after the takeover.
- You won’t be able to carry your UA data over to GA4, meaning that you’ll have a brand new GA4 property with no data to start with.
- Many users couldn’t find their way on GA4 and stopped using it after a few trials. However, GA4 has been improving constantly since it was first launched.
- GA4 offers you more - and will probably continue to do more so. You just need to start using it - learning about all the details.
Your Roadmap to Start Using GA4
As a company delivering top-notch solutions for more than 800 stores in the Shopify ecosystem, we have come up with a set of action points mainly designed for Shopify merchants.
However, you can make it work for your needs by adjusting them for your business even if you are not a Shopify store owner. Here are 5 easy steps to help you start using Google Analytics 4 right now:
- Take a look at this detailed guide to create a new Google Analytics 4 property on top of your existing UA property.
- Keep your Universal Analytics setup for now. As Google still recommends parallel tracking you will use both UA & GA4 at the same time.
- Set up GA4 using Google Tag Manager. You can have a look at our in-depth tutorial for Shopify merchants and apply the same practices to your own website with ease.
- Validate your GA4 setup using Google Tag Assistant and GA4 real-time data mode.
- Use these checklists and suggestions to enhance your GA4 reporting.
You can find out more suggestions along with a GA4 roadmap crafted for Shopify merchants on our Shopify & GA4 page.
Latest Updates & Best Features of GA4
Since its introduction a year ago, GA4 has evolved into a robust game-changing data tracking solution. It helps you better understand & interpret every aspect of your websites & apps by improving your tracking experience.
In addition to its functionality, Google keeps delivering important updates to make things even better & simpler for you in GA4.
A New Homepage
You have a brand new homepage crafted for you in the left navigation. It helps you get personalized content as you keep using GA4.
The new features such as “Recently viewed” and “Because you viewed frequently” let you have a seamless experience by offering easy links and cards to guide you through.
While the new “Insights” provides you with the most exciting features of GA4, Analytics Intelligence plays an important role in taking your experience to the next level.
We have already had Google Ads, Google Optimize, Search Console, BigQuery, and Merchant Center, integrations. Now, GA4 allows you to utilize Display & Video 360 for your properties.
With this, you can export your audiences and conversions to Display & Video 360 and see your advertiser as a traffic source in your cross-channel reports.
You get your audiences and conversions exported to Display & Video 360, and you can see your advertiser as a traffic source in your Analytics cross-channel reports.
You can create segments and audiences and then export them to Optimize for targeting. This allows you to conduct A/B tests or personalization campaigns for highly targeted audiences.
Personalize Your UI
You can navigate to your reports more easily to have a clear overview of them with GA4.
Instead of a busy "Menu - Dashboard" with a bunch of reports and links that you never use, you can simply keep the ones you would like to check. You can even create a new collection.
More & more
- Attribution Model Change: GA4 comes with a variety of attribution models and you can use your preferred one on the standard reports now. All you need to do is change the default Attribution Model for all reports and get a better overview of your channels that receive the most credit for the purchases.
- Predictive Audiences: Google brings Machine Learning into audiences by adding the predictive audience feature into GA4.
Don’t stay behind and start setting up and enjoying the powerful features of GA4.
Even if you don’t feel like using GA4 right away, you should make sure to set it up so it starts collecting data.
Don’t forget that machine learning is one of the best features that come with GA4. It needs your data to learn about your business & audience in order to offer you the best.
Do you have other questions on this specific topic? Leave them as a note below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.