If you’re a small business owner or a digital marketer, you’ve probably seen the top banner in Google Analytics telling you that Google Analytics will be phasing out Universal Analytics (UA). Additionally, it tells you to switch and set up Google Analytics 4. Simply put, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a new version of Google Analytics that uses machine learning. By mid-2021, users already started switching over to GA4, less than a year after Google first announced it in October 2020. In fact, 60% of marketing professionals already updated their Google Analytics account by May 2021 according to databox. And an additional 22.7% said they hadn’t done it yet but planned to.
So, why the switch? Other than Google phasing out UA by July 2023, GA4’s use of machine learning allows it to offer new and attractive features. It’s also important to note that GA4 doesn’t use historical data, i.e., all the data users have built up over the years. But it can use data it’s gathered over time, so switching over to GA4 sooner is better than later. That way, it’ll start accumulating data in the new system before the old one gets shut off. Plus, it means you won't be starting from scratch when setting it up after support for Universal Analytics ends. And GA4 will improve over time, resulting in more accurate results when using its new predictive modeling features.
Google Analytics 4 Features
GA4 uses a more sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), which allows it to provide better insights into understanding the data moving forward. And it uses historical evidence it’s gathered over time to predict future outcomes. But GA4’s use of machine learning is continually evolving so it’s likely that it’ll introduce more AI tools in the future. The hope is that GA4 will eventually allow marketers to identify which users are more likely to convert based on specific website interactions. Other additional features GA4 offers include funnel analysis, tree diagrams, overlapping audiences or segments, and many more.
For users with multiple Google Analytics properties, it can be difficult to track individuals across multiple properties. And if you’ve ever used Google Analytics in a high-traffic area, you’re probably all-too-familiar with the loading bar, which can take several minutes to load. Google has made the process much faster by redesigning it from the ground up instead of relying on what was a 10-year-old data mining process. Additionally, tracking visitors’ overall customer journey as they travel between multiple channels is much simpler with GA4’s “Information Streams” feature.
To switch, all you have to do is connect Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 in the admin panel. Or you can switch by replacing an embed code. If the embed code is particularly old and doesn't reference gtag.js in it, the code will have to be replaced.
If you need any help in switching over to Google Analytics 4, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling us at 800-232-3989 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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