What’s the secret to a successful website? Although effective user interface (UI) and good web design are important, you should also use data metrics to optimize your site’s potential. Here at the Komando HQ, we trust Google Analytics to give us a bird’s-eye view of how our site is doing.
That’s why we marked our calendars for July 1. That’s when Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will officially replace Universal Analytics (UA), the older version. If you still use the older version, you could lose critical data if you don’t switch over as soon as possible.
How to tell which version you’re using
Now that Universal Analytics is going away, it’s time to see which version you’re using. Did you sign up before Oct. 14, 2020? You’re probably using UA. But if you signed up more recently, you may already be on GA4.
Not sure which version you’re using? Look at your property ID, which pops up when you click the chart icon in your toolbar.
- If you’re on UA, your property ID will start with UA and end with a number, like UA-204291539-1.
- You’ll know you’re using GA4 if your property ID is purely made out of numbers, like 282008448.
If you don’t update to GA4, Universal Analytics won’t be able to process new data in standard properties after July 1. Simply put, all the data you collected in UA won’t import to GA4 when your program automatically switches.
So if you wait until July to upgrade, you won’t have any historical data to guide your business plans. Use this guide to migrate your site data to Google Analytics 4.
Five key details to know before Google Analytics changes
Upgrading from Universal Analytics to GA4 may sound like a pain, but it comes with perks. You’re getting many new features and upgrades, like better privacy controls that allow you to collect and retain data in a more granular way.
Do you use Google Ads? Good news: GA4 comes with tighter ad integration. That means you can see the entire customer cycle, from how customers interact with your marketing to how they complete the goals you set for them, Google reports. For example, you can see how clicking on an ad leads customers to buy your products.
GA4 is a more comprehensive data reporter than UA. You can see how customers interact with your content through different stages of the buying process. You can even track web usage through third-party apps like YouTube and Facebook.
Best of all, you can now track events without a code. No more relying on Google Tag Manager to measure specific customer interactions. If you want to use an event to measure when someone clicks a link, you don’t need to code anything.
Since GA4 is a cross-platform tool, it’s not depending on device-based cookies like UA. That means you can use new built-in AI tools to monitor data effortlessly — even when users decline cookies. GA4 uses an event-based data model along with intelligent data tracking techniques.
Bottom line: Change isn’t easy, but it’s worth it in this case. You can upgrade your data analytics strategy with new features that give you a clearer birds-eye view than before. Not bad!
Tech tip: Here’s how often to back up your data
Yes, your data is for sale – Here’s what you can do to stop it