What does Google Analytics 4 mean for your business?

Millions of online businesses worldwide already rely on Universal Analytics to understand consumers better and create better customer experiences for them.

As businesses are under increasing pressure to make all marketing spend count, generating insights from digital analytics tools is even more essential.

Existing analytics solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer and extract insights from data. Shifts in consumer behaviour and privacy-driven changes to industry standards mean current analytics approaches need to keep up.


So what is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is Google’s next-generation measurement solution. It's a new analytics service that enables you to measure traffic and engagement across your websites and apps.

Google Analytics 4 helps you get a better ROI from your marketing. It has machine learning at its core to highlight helpful insights automatically, and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.

It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Google Analytics 4 even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data.

Google Analytics 4 gives you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next. It will replace Google Universal Analytics on 1 July 2023.

Google Analytics 4 Highlights

  • Smarter insights - Google Analytics 4 can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data, such as product demand or customer churn.
  • Integrations across Google’s marketing products - A deeper integration with Google Ads, for example, lets you create audiences that can reach your customers with more relevant experiences. Google Analytics 4 can measure app and web interactions together. It can include conversions (i.e. YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email) that occur in-app and on the web in reports.
  • A complete understanding - With customer-centric measurement, Google Analytics 4 uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users who opted into ad personalisation. This gives you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business, from acquisition to conversion and retention.

How does the Google Analytics 4 change impact me?

These changes will impact anyone who uses Universal Analytics on their website or uses Google Ads.

Google Analytics 4 is a new property with different reports than what you're used to seeing in Universal Analytics properties.

From 1 July 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new data. After that, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in Universal Analytics for approximately six months.


What do I have to do?

Make the switch.

If you rely on Universal Analytics, we recommend that you complete your move to Google Analytics 4. Universal Analytics will stop collecting data from 1 July 2023.

Google Analytics 4 doesn’t migrate your data over from Universal Analytics when you switch, which means you won’t have any historical data available when you move to Google Analytics 4.

By moving to Google Analytics 4 now, you can run both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics alongside each other and start collecting data in Google Analytics 4 before Universal Analytics is phased out. You will also have time to get familiar with the terminology used by Google Analytics 4 while Universal Analytics is still active.

If you want to start using Google Analytics 4 right away, then setting up a Google Analytics 4 property can be completed using the GA4 Setup Assistant.

If you don’t have Universal Analytics already set up, when you add a new property moving forward, Google Analytics 4 will be the default option. The Universal Analytics option will continue to be available, but only for a limited time. For guidance, check out Google’s Help Center resources.

Be ready for what comes next.

Getting Google Analytics 4 now will allow you to start gathering data and benefit from the latest innovations as they become available while keeping your current Universal Analytics implementation intact. It will also help you respond more effectively to rising consumer expectations, regulatory developments, and changing technology standards for user privacy.

If you want your web analytics to better inform your strategy, click the button below to arrange a free 30-minute strategy session.

Together we’ll:

  • Review your current website and analytics
  • Set some achievable goals for your website
  • Find the biggest issues that are preventing your website from converting
  • Get actionable recommendations to kick-start your business growth and optimise your web analytics.