Are you ready for Google Analytics 4?
The beloved Google Analytics we've come to know and love (or tolerate) will soon be gone. Wait, whaaaat?!?!
Google announced earlier this year, "On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits."
Google Analytics is the most popular web traffic analytics platform (85% market share as of September 2022) and has gone through many iterations. In fact, UA has been around since late 2012 and has served us well.
What's next for traffic analysis? In October 2020, Google announced the newest version of Google Analytics, GA4 (Google Analytics 4). As you can imagine, releasing a brand new version of such a widely used tool might come with a few bumps in the road, but since its release, GA4 has matured nicely and continues to improve. Regardless, GA4 will soon be the defacto web traffic analytics platform for most of us.
One of the most significant leaps in performance from a user's perspective comes in the ability to follow traffic across devices and platforms. In UA, traffic from your website and your app are tracked separately. These data sets need to be combined and/or compared to get the whole picture of your audience's behavior. Now with GA4, we can follow a user from your app to your website and back to your app, all in the GA4 property, providing a more holistic view of your audience's behavior.
The possibly much bigger news is what is under the hood driving this performance. UA relied heavily on cookies. However, Google announced long ago that cookies would fall out of support but has since extended the sunset timeline for cookies multiple times. However, GA4 releases Analytics from the cookie's eventual crumble. Google has integrated machine learning into GA4 data-driven features such as Predictive Audiences and new Attribution methods.
If your business uses Universal Analytics to follow your web and/or app traffic, the time to explore GA4 is now. You can add the GA4 property alongside your Universal property so your team can explore the new features and get comfortable with GA4 before it's absolutely necessary. Doing so will give you and your team time to adjust and get comfortable with the latest tools.
If you have questions about web traffic analytics or how to measure your digital marketing to ensure you're maximizing your budget, please contact The Moran Group.