Google Plans to Remove Universal Analytics: What You Need to Know
Google recently announced that the previous generation of Google Analytics, known as Universal Analytics, will be removed in July 2023. After that, users will only be able to use Google Analytics 4. With the change, we wanted to explain why Google is making this adjustment, what it means for you, and how we’re helping our clients manage the transition.
Why Sunset Universal Analytics?
For Google, Universal Analytics has become obsolete. It was primarily built to track desktop visits to your website and relied heavily on observable data from cookies. These measurements aren’t as important as they once were. That’s especially true with increasing restrictions on cookies as we all become more concerned with data privacy.
Before the sun sets on Universal Analytics, websites must migrate to Google Analytics 4. We’d recommend doing this as soon as possible. It will ensure you’re getting the best results if you start collecting the data that Google Analytics 4 has now.
Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 is the answer for those looking for a viable replacement to Universal Analytics. That’s because Google Analytics 4 doesn’t rely on those metrics meaning it can operate across platforms. That’s a big deal as more people continue to visit the web from mobile phones and tablets.
Google Analytics 4 also incorporates an event-based data model instead of looking solely at independent sessions. That’s more important when trying to understand your customer’s journey, the sales funnel, and other key metrics.
If you’re analytics savvy, there are online resources on how to transition your Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. If you’d like some help, we’re offering a discounted GA4 Setup, Audit, & Tutorial with our SEO Team. We’ll do a comprehensive review of your existing Universal Analytics, and set you up for success with Google Analytics 4. Reach out to us to get started.
Benefits of Google Analytics 4 for Businesses
We all know that data is king when it comes to your marketing strategy. It should be the driving force behind your marketing efforts, website, and many other decisions made within your business. Google Analytics 4 gives companies the information they need to make better decisions.
For instance, the event-based data will give you a view of your customer lifecycle. Instead of just looking at fragmented visits, you can understand how users move along the purchase funnel throughout your site. You’ll be able to tell if there’s a spot where people tend to drop off and identify any issues keeping people from moving to the purchase stage.
Essentially, Google Analytics 4 will give you the data needed to improve the ROI of your website. Plus, it’s completely free! As long as you know where to look and how to interpret the data, you can make your website and your marketing more effective.
Ways You Can Use Google Analytics 4
If you’re still unsure how the data garnered from Google Analytics 4 will benefit your business, here are a few ways you can use your website analytics to improve your business ROI.
Whether your digital marketing includes social media, paid advertising, email marketing, or blogging, you’ll need comprehensive data to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted. Google Analytics 4 can show you how people got to your website and what steps they took after getting there. That will tell you which of your marketing efforts are the most effective at driving traffic and, ultimately, driving sales.
Search Engine Optimization
If you want people to find your website organically, you’ll need to ensure your site keeps up with search engine optimization. Google Analytics 4 gives you insights into which pages are performing best on search engines so that you can see where you might need to improve your content. This information can especially be helpful to see if a particular blog is driving traffic or didn’t perform as well as expected. You’ll get the data right away, so you can improve your strategy with every update search engines make.
As mentioned earlier, Google Analytics 4 gives you more information about the journey people take on your website. This data is crucial in understanding your customer’s behaviors and any obstacles keeping them from making a purchase. If you see that customers drop off when viewing a particular page on your website, you’ll know that you need to revamp that page.
You can also see if a particular page leads to more sales than expected. That may become a page you promote more on your social media or that you make more prominent on your navigation.
The information you get from Google Analytics 4 can even give you details like whether someone played a video, scrolled down the page, or downloaded a file. These details can help inform what you put on particular pages from the content to the website design.
That data from Google Analytics 4 will tell the story of your customers’ visits to your website. A shrewd data analyst will be able to use that information to make the process from website visits to purchases much easier.
Google Analytics 4 will tell you how your customers interact with your site, but it will also tell you who they are (in a limited way.) You’ll get information about age, gender, income, location, language, preferred device, and more.
That data can then be used to better define your buyer personas, target your advertising, or show demographic areas where your reach could be improved.
How We Can Help
While Google announced the plan to remove Universal Analytics on March 16, 2022, we’ve already started the process of learning everything we can about this change. Our team is training up on Google Analytics 4 so that our clients don’t miss a beat on getting the data that’s most important to them and their businesses.
For our existing clients who are doing SEO, PPC, or social media with us, we’ll be providing a free upgrade to Google Analytics 4. There’s no need to worry about how to make the change. We put our clients and their needs first. That’s why we’ll make sure it’s done so that your goals from Universal Analytics are set up properly with GA4.
If you aren’t an existing client of ours, reach out to get started. We’re happy to help you and your business get transitioned to Google Analytics 4 and make sure you’re getting the most of the data it provides.