October 19, 2022
Spooky Alert: GA4 Is Not a Ghost!
How to deal with the scariest topic facing marketers this fall
What’s Going On?
When Google announced it would cease collecting data on its popular Universal Analytics platform and shift exclusively to the new Google Analytics 4, many marketers applauded the move as a significant improvement in brands’ ability to track data from websites and apps in one place.
But with the GA4 switchover date now just nine months away, marketers are finding themselves in one of two categories: scared or prepared. Like it or not, GA4 will be the only analytics property collecting website data as of July 2023, and current Google Analytics data collected will only be available for six months after the transition date.
Why Does It Matter?
While the transition is still a little less than nine months away, we believe it’s important to begin the transition process as early as possible. GA4 leverages a new data collection methodology, so there will be changes to how website data is reported and interpreted. Because of the change in methodology, comparing period-over-period data will be (mostly) limited to data collected within GA4 – so the earlier you start, the more historical data will be available for any “apples-to-apples” comparison.
What Should Brands Be Doing About It?
Questions you should be answering now include:
- Have you already started migration to GA4?
- Are you migrating events and conversions/goals from Universal Analytics to GA4? Are there additional tracking opportunities that should be added? Any existing tracking that should be removed?
- Are you backing up your Universal Analytics data to have it available after the removal of Universal Analytics properties? Do you have a dashboard to visualize this data?
- Is your team getting trained on the data methodology differences, the new UI and functionality, etc.?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, you may be falling behind other marketers, but you still have time to ensure you are best positioned for the transition next year. More importantly, you’ll be well positioned to make sure your valuable collected data doesn’t become a ghost once it happens.