If you own a website that has Universal Google Analytics, you're likely receiving lots of email warnings from Google about something called Google Analytics 4 (or GA4 for short).
What does it mean and why should you be concerned?
For decades, Google has offered a powerful free service for website owners called Universal Google Analytics. The tool provides valuable data about your website traffic, where it comes from, types of devices and browsers being used, the geographic sources of website visitors, goal setup and tracking for lead generation, keyword search info and much more.
There is both a desktop and mobile app version of Google Analytics. If you do not have the free app on your phone, you can easily download it for free right now. Just search on Google Analytics in your app store.
It has been easy to integrate Google Analytics to a website. It's literally one line of software code that gets added to a website to make it operate and then sends regularly scheduled reports about your website activity to the gmail address associated with your website.
BUT, all that is changing in 2023.
If you do not take action now, you will lose Google Analytics in mid-2023.
Universal Analytics will stop processing data on July 1, 2023.
Yes, On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits, leaving you blind to the performance of your website.
WHAT'S THE SOLUTION
In its place, Google has launched Google Analytics 4 (GA4), their next-generation measurement solution.
GA4 is available right now.
Here's how Google describes it's new reporting platform:
"With its flexible event-based data model, Google Analytics 4 allows you to see unified user journeys across your website and apps. It uses Google's machine learning to bridge gaps in your data with modeled insights and predictive capabilities that you can use to get better results and grow your business. And it's built to keep up with a changing ecosystem because it does not rely exclusively on cookies, so you can learn about your customers even with gaps in your data."
The good news is that GA4 is still free.
The bad news is website owners must spend some resources now to get it properly set up.
It's not a quick, easy process.
Just like Google, our team at M&M Multimedia recommends you begin collecting data in Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible to build the necessary historical data before Universal Analytics stops processing new hits.
Unfortunately, this is not a quick, simple process.
Your website administrator must be engaged and even they may stumble to get GA4 accurately integrated.
Our team at M&M Multimedia manages hundreds of websites. We've invested the hours to learn GA4 setup, we've built presentations about GA4 to:
- educate business owners about what's happening.
- explain why they must take action.
- describe what the new benefits will be to their website reporting.
If you operate a website and need help getting GA4 properly setup you may contact me at email@example.com to schedule a brief introduction and website review together to see if it makes sense to work together to set your website up for success going forward.