On Wednesday (16th March 2022) Google announced its roadmap to end support for their older Google Analytics property versions which still power millions of websites (Universal Analytics and Classic Analytics). From July 1, 2023, older Analytics properties will no longer process any new data. This change is designed to push everyone across to their newer Google Analytics 4 (formerly known as "App + Web") properties.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest ‘measurement solution’ from Google and despite it being around for a while, there has been a reluctance by businesses to make the switch. This might be due to it being a vastly different user interface and measurement model; or perhaps just our human nature where we dislike change. Be that as it may, this announcement will force us to get to grips with it ahead of next July’s deadline.
What does it mean?
While the loss of Universal Analytics might sound daunting; and while the change might seem like a while away, we would highly recommend that you get all of your Analytics profiles switched over to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible so you can start getting familiar with the new reports and collecting data for historical comparison purposes.
The data you currently hold within your existing now legacy Google Analytics properties will not be possible to migrate, so any historical data will be lost - think YoY comparisons. This is why there is a sense of urgency to get it set up quickly.
It’s not all doom and gloom (although some may disagree). Google is making a step in the right direction for user privacy and compliance in our fast-approaching cookie-less world.
Google Analytics 4 looks at data in a more multi-platform manner and dealing with the changes that have come about from browser changes too. Great for those with Apps or multiple online/offline touchpoints, as Google Analytics 4 can provide a more seamless measurement experience. There’s also a lot of hype around the event-driven data modelling, but that’s for another day.
The impact on your Google Ads activity
As the majority of Google Ads accounts we see are still linked to a now-legacy Analytics property, you need to ensure that goals, eCommerce transactions and audiences are moved across to your new Google Analytics 4 property. This will mean bidding (for conversions) and audiences (for remarketing) remain in place after the 1st of July 2023.
What happens next?
The most important thing is that we don’t lose out on data, therefore speed is key here. We would recommend getting Google Analytics 4 up and running as soon as possible if you haven’t already. It can be configured to run in parallel with a Universal Analytics profile, therefore you can still use the existing features whilst getting to grips with the new ways of working with Google Analytics 4.
If you’d like to know more, if you’d like clarity if your implementation needs to be updated, or if you need a hand updating your implementation, then drop us a line. Our team will be happy to assist.
Personally, I’m optimistic improvements will be made to Google Analytics 4 in the next 15 months, especially so it won’t be essential for every business to have a data analyst to understand what on earth is going on.
If you have any questions, get in touch with the team.
Read the full announcement from Google.