Google Announces Retirement of Universal Analytics – What You Need to Know
Recently, Google announced that they would be discontinuing Universal Analytics (Google Analytics 3) from the 1st July 2023, replacing it with their new Google Analytics 4, which was launched in 2020.
You may be wondering what this means for your website analytics, as most websites still rely on GA3. With this post we hope to answer a few of your burning questions.
How is Google Analytics 4 Different?
Although the premise of Google Analytics 4 is the same as Universal Analytics, much of the interface and data collection methods have changed.
In GA4, rather than tracking individual metrics such as page views, it focuses on events such as user engagement. This includes metrics such as clicks and scrolling which offers a greater insight into your users’ actions. These new metrics mean that the generated reports have changed.
As some metrics have been removed and new ones added, the reports generated by Google Analytics have changed as well, with more focus on user engagement. There is also a new reporting interface that allows you to create your own custom reports using the new metrics. Although this is a process that requires some learning.
This move to Google Analytics 4 demonstrates Google’s dedication to improving user engagement and experience.
How Much Longer Can I Use Google Analytics 3?
After the 1st July 2023, Google Analytics 3 will no longer track your website traffic and data. This means that technically you will be able to use GA3 up until this point. Following on from this, although GA3 will no longer analyse your website, it will continue to store your history allowing you to view your previous data.
However, this means that comparing your current performance with your history will become more difficult.
The last date you will be able to send data into Universal Analytics will be the 30th June 2023.
When Should I Make the Move to Google Analytics 4?
Despite Google Analytics 4 being a direct move from Universal Analytics, your history will not be transferred over. This means that if you wish to compare your current performance with your history, as mentioned above, it will be a more difficult process.
To ensure that you get the most out of Google Analytics 4, you should consider making the move sooner rather than later. Comparing your history with your current performance is a key metric within GA as it provides crucial insights into improvements and issues with your website.
What Should I Do Now?
At this stage, you should set up and configure a Google Analytics 4 Property ASAP, as this will allow you to gather data before Universal Analytics is turned off.
If you wish to know more about the process of making the change to Google Analytics 4, or need help setting up a GA4 property then please contact us and we will begin the process.