In October 2020, Google began releasing the latest version of its analytics platform.
Known as GA4, this new iteration of Google Analytics was created to make it easier for business owners and marketers to track both mobile and web properties in one place. It is also a solution that enables cookie-free tracking, which has become the standard in the world of online data tracking under the new privacy rules.
This latest version of Google Analytics offers new features, UI updates, and a whole new way to view and analyze data with more emphasis on event tracking.
Dissemination to business people and marketing teams has also raised the question of how and when exactly their data, website performance monitoring and strategy development will be affected.
Here’s a look at some of the key things you need to know about GA4 if you want to stay ahead of the game when tracking your website statistics with Google Analytics.
What is GA4?
GA4, or Google Analytics 4, is the latest iteration of the Google Analytics platform, one of the most widely used website analytics platforms on the web.
If you’ve been paying close attention to Analytics over the last few years, you may have noticed that Google already released the “Application and Web Properties” version of Analytics in 2019. It turns out that it was actually a GA4 beta platform that was officially launched in October 2020.
Although this is a duplication of previous versions of Google Analytics, it is a major change for the GA4 Analytics platform. The interface has changed significantly and the new version requires getting used to even those who are most familiar with Analytics.
It is important to note that although GA4 is now available, it is not yet a complete replacement for the existing Google Analytics platform. There are still many features and bugs in the deployment that need to be fixed before GA4 becomes your supported version of Analytics.
When should I switch to GA4?
The short answer to this question is: as soon as possible.
Even if GA4 isn’t ready to replace Universal Analytics, for some reason it’s important to migrate to the new platform (which we’ll explore below).
If you upgrade, you’ll want to run GA4 in parallel with your existing Universal Analytics (Google Analytics) account. This allows you to collect data in both versions and switch between the two if necessary.
When the time comes, it is essential to invest in improved implementation of GA4. Basic implementation on the ground does not provide us with enough information for the strategies and planning to be implemented.
Why should I switch to GA4 now?
Given that GA4 is under development but not yet ready to replace the previous version of Google Analytics, which is familiar to most users, many people are wondering why they should migrate to GA4 now.
Switching to GA4 as soon as possible is important for some reason.
First, GA4 will eventually become the main supported version of Google Analytics. If this shift occurs, it’s important to upgrade, as previous duplicates of Google Analytics will eventually expire.
Second, you should be at least somewhat familiar with the new interface when this transition occurs.
In addition, you want your website information and statistics to be tracked in GA4 for as long as possible during the official exchange. Your existing analytics history will not be transferred to GA4, so it’s important to start monitoring soon to ensure a smooth transition to the new platform, at least without affecting historical statistics.
Again, when the time comes, investing in more accurate implementation of GA4 is key, as the set minimum is not enough to make strategic plans and marketing decisions based on website performance data.
Do you have questions about GA4?
Not sure what this transition to GA4 means for your business? Do you hope to ensure a smooth transition to the new version of Analytics? Contact us today!
We’ll talk to you about what you need to do to be ready to transition to GA4, and we’ll give you the insight we’ve gotten when we’ve explored GA4 for ourselves. This platform is new to everyone, but we would be happy to share what we have learned so far.
Want to learn more about tracking your site’s performance with Google Analytics?
To learn more about measuring site success, see the following:
Key performance indicators for SEO: Learn what statistics to look for when tracking your search engine optimization success.
How do I know if my SEO program is working?: Learn more about the key signs and statistics that show a successful SEO program.