Google recently announced that their current Universal Analytics tool will be phased out in favor of Google Analytics 4, the next generation of data tracking tools. While the cutoff date of July 1, 2023 may seem far away, the migration over to GA4 can be a complex, multi-step project, and most business owners have already started to lay the foundation for making the switch.
Why is this happening?
All marketing tools are a product of their time, and therefore as the landscape evolves, the tools have to be upgraded to keep pace with progress. Since the advent of Universal Analytics, the web and the way data is collected and used have changed so much that UA is no longer relevant to the needs of marketers.
However, the jump to GA4 is not just an analytics life raft – it’s a positive move to a platform that will provide businesses with everything they need in the years to come, as well as navigating the maze of constantly-changing international privacy and data laws that affect how data tracking can be used.
How will this migration affect marketers?
In the long term, GA4 will help your business better spot the trends and patterns of your audience, so that you can predict behaviors and modify your strategy accordingly. The tools do look and behave differently from UA, so there is a learning curve for making the most of the new platform. Luckily you can use the old and new platforms at the same time, and you definitely should be running both versions side-by-side so that you can compare what’s going on between the two and make sure you fully understand the upgrade before you lose access to UA.
Psychologically, you need to be prepared for a somewhat hard landing, at least at the moment. GA4 does not have a particularly intuitive interface, and it does feel somewhat clunky to use, but major UI updates are in the pipeline that should soon be making the platform easier and more intuitive to navigate.
What is the best way to start the migration process?
If you’ve been putting off the migration to GA4 because you’re used to how UA works and you’re dreading the change, you’re not alone. Luckily Google has put together a handy guide to preparing for GA4 migration, as well as a 12-step to-do list that will walk you through each step of the process in detail. Some of the steps are more involved and time-consuming than others, so it’s important to get started immediately to give your business the smoothest possible transition.
Major forced changes like these can be overwhelming. If you’d like some help with your GA4 migration process, or if you simply have concerns about your general marketing strategy, contact us for a free consultation. We can give you an honest assessment of your current setup, plus some personalized tips to help you take your marketing game to the next level.
COGO Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.