This month, we’re sharing tips on maximising your business success by not getting left behind in Google’s transition to a new analytics platform, GA4. If your business has any kind of web presence, it’s a topic you can’t afford to ignore!
Yesterday’s Tool: Google Universal Analytics
Google Analytics is the most popular data-tracking and analysis software worldwide, with a 29% share of the market. It’s available for free to anyone with a Google account! Providing statistics and analytical tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes, it can help businesses gauge the success of marketing activities and campaigns, and extract website visitor insights, patterns, trends and demographics.
So if you’re thinking: “I have a business. I have a website. I’m not using analytics. Am I missing a trick?”, the answer’s definitely yes. But if you’re thinking: “I’m using Google Universal Analytics, I’ve got this covered”– then you’re also missing a trick!
Universal Analytics has been the default Google version since its implementation. However, with the introduction of mobile apps, machine learning, and new legislation such as GDPR, this increasingly outdated version was clearly not designed for today’s analytical needs and expectations. In October 2020, Google launched Google Analytics 4, handily known as GA4.
The Times, They Have A’changed!
A huge step change, GA4 is views-based rather than hits-based in its collection of data. This essentially means seamless tracking across the multiple interfaces customers regularly switch between across the course of a day- mobile, app, PC website. Including complete GPDR compliance, rather than a simple upgrade, GA4 has involved a fundamental rebuild to effectively a completely new product. Existing Universal Analytics customers cannot upgrade, you must start anew but don’t worry, we’re here to steer you to how!
And there’s not a moment to lose, because it’s not just about collecting better data, it’s about collecting any at all. From 1st July 2023, Universal Analytics stopped collecting new data. You will be able to access pre-July 2023 data until the platform ceases completely on 1st July 2024, but in terms of fast-moving modern data analytics, that’s like doing market research on the dinosaurs.
Worryingly, the latest data pre-switchover shows that while almost 9 million websites are using GA4, over 37 million websites still use Universal Analytics. And of course, if you have no analytics set up at all, then the souped-up GA4 is the perfect place to start!
Securing Your Future With GA4
As we identified, a huge benefit of GA4 is its focus on a user’s journey through both web and app data, enabling businesses for the first time to seamlessly analyse a typical customer, or potential customer, as they visit your site on their mobile, come back on desktop and then download, purchase, or register through your app.
GA4 also now engages powerful AI-driven predictive customer metrics, helping you to better understand your audience and make data-driven decisions, refinements and targeting more effectively. For example, improving marketing efficiency and driving more effective website traffic and performance by refining different audiences’ behaviours and needs.
Designed with privacy in mind, GDPR compliance is assured. So if you’re still sitting on redundant Universal Analytics, or haven’t engaged with web analytics yet, it really is time to act. Because GA4 is a completely new platform, the journey and learning curve is less diverse for existing and brand-new Google Analytics users. There are many, many websites that will take you through the steps, but beware of getting side-lined in ones which devolve into chat forums, and can confuse any issues.
We recommend heading for Google itself- search for ‘GA4 migration’ or ‘new GA4’ depending on your current setup, and follow Google’s own steps. As with any technology, sometimes not everything goes smoothly but don’t panic! Read each step thoroughly and use the help tools or the support documents within Google’s setup pages if needed.
At ICS Accounting, we understand you have plenty to do without extra projects, but if you have any web presence, this is time well invested in your business. For all your accounting needs, we are the experts! Our stress-free support takes care of the paperwork to payrolls, cut-offs to compliance, as simple as that, giving you 24/7 online visibility, plus access to our dedicated and understanding accounting team, whenever you need them.
For no-obligation advice, or to discuss your individual requirements with one of our friendly team of experts, simply call 01524 580720, or email email@example.com.