You have probably heard the news that Universal Analytics (UA), the previous version of Google Analytics, is officially coming to an end. Google has announced that they will be phasing out support for UA and forcing users to switch to the newer Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Specifically, all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. In this blog post, we will discuss what this means for website owners and what they can expect from the transition to GA4.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics that was released in 2020. It is designed to provide a more comprehensive view of user behavior across multiple platforms and devices, including mobile apps and websites. GA4 uses a more flexible data model that allows for a more straightforward integration of data from various sources, making it easier for website owners to analyze user behavior and make data-driven decisions.
Why is Universal Analytics (UA) being phased out?
Google is phasing out support for UA because it is an older technology that does not provide the same level of insights as GA4. UA relies heavily on cookies, which can be blocked or deleted by users, resulting in inaccurate data collection. Additionally, UA does not provide in-depth insights into user behavior across multiple devices and platforms, making it difficult for website owners to get a complete picture of user engagement.
What can website owners expect from the transition to GA4?
The transition to GA4 may take some time and effort for website owners. However, there are several benefits to switching to GA4, including improved data accuracy and more comprehensive insights into user behavior. Website owners will also be able to take advantage of new features, such as machine learning-powered insights and event-based tracking, which provide a more granular view of user behavior.
The tough thing is that there is no migration tool to facilitate the transition to GA4. Instead, Google’s solution to users is to “make the switch to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible” in order to “build the necessary historical data” in the new GA4.
In conclusion, the end of support for Universal Analytics is a significant change for website owners who rely on Google Analytics to monitor and improve their website's performance. However, the transition to Google Analytics 4 offers website owners an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive view of user behavior and take advantage of new features and insights. By investing time and effort into the transition to GA4, website owners can ensure that they continue to receive accurate data and make data-driven decisions to improve their website's performance. But if you’re looking for a GDPR-compliant alternative, Beam could be a decent option. It has the most generous free tier, the most affordable paid options, and comes with features like funnel analysis that no other GA4 alternative has.