As a business owner, you want to keep track of all your important statistics on how many clicks, views, and app installs you have gotten. Google Analytics is the easiest way to get that information in order for you to know what’s working and what isn’t.
If you are a digital marketer, you should be familiar with Google Analytics. But if you are not a digital marketer and do not know what Google Analytics is, well, you should stick to reading this blog because we will have important announcements to make !
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics (GA) is a free web analytic tool provided by Google to help track and analyze the performance of your website traffic. It is an essential tool for every online business to have.
With it, you can track what people are doing on the site, what their demographics are, how many page views there are each day (which will help determine whether or not to change the number of pages on the site), how long they stay on a particular page, which pages show up most often — all these metrics help determine where improvements need to be made so your customers have an awesome experience.
Sample interface of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics)
Now you know what the Google Analytics definition is. Let’s go straight to the next point!
Google announced plans to sunset Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) in 2023.
On March 16, 2022, Google announced that the Google Universal Analytics properties will cease its data collection starting 1 July 2023. Therefore, Google recommends that every website owner should start using Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as the new data collection property.
Google Analytics 4, also known as “GA4” was introduced back in October 2020. It can analyze many types of data, such as websites and apps. This property will provide a sophisticated analytics experience that will allow businesses to observe their users as they utilize their websites and business apps.
What are the key points?
- Standard Universal Analytics will cease processing hits on 1 July 2023.
- Universal Analytics 360 will cease processing hits on 1 October 2023.
- This means that after these two dates, Universal Analytics and Universal Analytics 360 will no longer collect any new data.
- Users will be able to access their historical data for at least 6 months after the data collection has ceased. This means you will not be able to access the Universal Analytics interface on 1 January 2024 and Universal Analytics 360 interface on 1 April 2024.
Why Google sunset Google Universal Analytic?
The announcement from Google states that “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. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.” This means the standard Universal Analytics is unable to deliver cross-platform insights, compared to GA4, which is able to measure cross-platforms between websites, apps and deliver better performance insights.
Besides that, Google wants to emphasize more on the usage of GA4 as it offers better privacy across all browsers on desktop or mobile. This means the Google Analytics 4 no longer collects IP addresses in its data collection. There is now a clear distinction between personal and non-personal information about your users.
What am I supposed to do?
There are a few things that you can do:
Start creating and using Google Analytics 4
If you have a website for your business and already have Google Analytics installed, you must double-check again to ensure that you have also created a Google Analytics 4 property. If you are still using the old Universal Analytics and have not created GA4, it is recommended to create GA4 property now to start collecting your website data before 1 July 2023 .
Export the data
Remember that you can always export the data from the Universal Analytics property if you want to keep those data in a particular file. The supported formats such as PDF, Google Sheets, Excel (XLSX), and CSV.
Click “Export” to download the desired file format
Start learning to use Google Analytics 4
Marketers should start learning how to use GA4 for data reporting. Although the changes will take effect in 2023, it does not mean that marketers should wait until the last minute to start learning about them. There are a lot of free courses that you can find online, such as on YouTube. If you are a business owner and do not understand how to evaluate the performance of your website, you may instead engage a digital marketing agency
We know that this may be a hard decision to start using GA4 as some marketers are still more familiar with the old Universal Analytics interface. However, this can’t be undone since Google has already decided its next plan is to sunset Universal Analytics in 2023. So, let’s just m ove on and start to adapt to the changes that are going to happen as GA4 is guaranteed to be more beneficial with its granular insights.
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