Google is gearing up to sunset Universal Analytics and switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the company announced Wednesday last week. Starting July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing new data and GA4 will become the standard tool for monitoring website activity.
GA4, dubbed “the next generation of Google Analytics,” has various advantages over its predecessor: 1.) more seamless Google Ads integrations, 2.) enhanced user privacy and 3.) more valuable data and user insights. These added capabilities render Universal Analytics and the model on which it is built obsolete.
Google stated in the announcement,
Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies.
Moving on from this outdated methodology, GA4 does away with cookies and uses an event-based data model, allowing it to operate across platforms (websites and apps) and provide cross-platform insights. Forgoing cookies also means more user privacy, which has become increasingly vital for the modern consumer.
GA4 is designed to help marketers ramp up their app installs and sales, generate leads and engage with users more easily than ever. Ultimately, the new and improved property paves the way for more targeted, higher-impact campaigns.
Before July 1, 2023, marketers can continue collecting and using new data in their Universal Analytics properties. After that, they can still access previously processed data for at least six months. Google says it will later specify a date when existing Universal Analytics properties stop being available.
If you haven’t prepared for the adoption yet, you have to start now. Setting up your GA4 properties as early as now means you can start tracking metrics that are critical to your campaign. And the earlier you familiarize yourself with GA4’s interface and capabilities, the more equipped you are to make the switch and keep your campaigns running.
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