Universal Analytics Sunset: What Does It Mean For Businesses and the Way Forward

Google announced in March 2022 that Universal Analytics (UA) would end on July 1, 2023 and users should switch over to Google Analytics 4 until that time. Google has sent multiple reminders regarding Universal Analytics’ sun setting since 2016. A new announcement by Google states that they will create a basic GA property for any user if one doesn’t create their own by March 2023. As an online business, you should read this article to gain an understanding of the implications of Universal Analytics sunset on businesses and what can be done to remain compliant during its transformation.

What Can Google Analytics 4 Provide?      

Google Analytics 4 is an up-and-coming tracking product developed by Google that will replace Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. UA accounts will no longer render information, so Google advises all users to switch over as soon as they can to GA4. GA 4 now utilizes a G-site code, first released late 2020, which features predictive intelligence, powerful reporting tools and integrated with other Google products such as Ads.

What Does UA Sunset Mean for Website Owners?

In order to avoid losing data after 1st July 2023, Google Analytics 3 and GA4 must receive all new information before its sunset date on 1st July. Now is the time for website owners and website operators alike to transition over.

Why Should You Provide Data to GA3 and GA4?  

When creating your GA4 account from scratch, all past data won’t be present – which makes gathering this information essential for understanding user behaviors and making informed decisions. After universal analytics sunset, no additional information could be sent for evaluation and comparison to it; rather it will become inactive; although you could still open it to access data but no longer monitor website traffic through it. Therefore, the earlier you start using GA4, the more data will be accumulated about your website’s performance and traffic.

What Does Universal Analytics Sunset Mean for Businesses?    

Google is drastically cutting back the amount of historical data stored, creating one of the biggest hurdles users are currently encountering when transitioning to Google Analytics 4. Some businesses may need historical data in order to assess lifetime company growth for grants or loans, or just scale their businesses and assess marketing tactics over the long term. But this poses a great difficulty, due to an information gap between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, as well as wasteful retention policies for long-term data storage.

Option#1

For maximum convenience and cost efficiency, Google Analytics UA exports every report as either CSV, PDF Google Sheets or Excel file. Ideally you should export data as spreadsheet as this makes plotting points on charts or graphs easier and can dynamically interact with it dynamically. Of course this requires manual labor as it could contain years’ worth of analytics data that must be kept.

Option #2  

For an easier, yet more complicated option, Google Analytics API offers users more control in reporting. However, this may cost money depending on which tools you choose to implement this method.

Option #3

BigQuery can also take your data directly into Google Analytics 360, an enterprise-level analytics software designed for large firms with larger budgets. Google Analytics 360 offers the most feature-packed and advanced solution, but requires both technical knowledge and financial investment for small businesses to take full advantage of its benefits. Both can become potential obstacles.

GA4 settings currently provide two data retention timeline options, 2 months or 14 months. If you wish to retain data longer, head to Google Analytics admin panel > data settings > retention settings and select your selection before clicking save button.

Shifting to Google Analytics 4 Requires Learning New Things Like any technological transition, adopting GA4 requires time and resources. For assistance with Universal Analytics issues, online resources offer fast solutions. Thankfully, over time this information has accumulated.

There may still be many questions about GA4 that no online resource can address, but don’t wait thinking you will make the switch once more content becomes available online. Start planning now to switch. Your only choice is to recognize that in order to successfully transition, some things will need to be handled on your own.

What Has Changed with Google Analytics?

While we anticipate more formal updates will emerge over time, the core elements that stand out as having immediate influence among consumers include:

1. The Reporting Interface Is Changed

We often evaluate information within Google Analytics to recognize patterns. But when doing that in GA4, a completely new interface will appear before your eyes.

Google Analytics 4 allows users to develop customized reports, although they will likely face an insurmountable learning curve.

2. Data tracking has changed.   

The Way GA4 Stores Data You will notice that GA4 stores and reports data differently than its predecessor, Google Analytics (UA). Marketers need to set conversion goals within GA4, while events within UA serve as conversion triggers in GA4.

Google Analytics 4 makes it possible to connect multiple data streams pertaining to web and apps (both iOS and Android) into one property, providing marketers with an unparalleled opportunity to use data analysis skills for all activities and events that occur on one property.

GA4 allows you to set up to 30 types of conversion events on each property, but they must be set up manually by you alone. Furthermore, daily users will need to become acquainted with new report views and terminology before beginning using GA4.

Take advantage of Google Analytics 4 by hiring SEO services, to maximize its benefits in marketing your products or services.

3. Introduction of New Metrics

Debut of New Metrics Universal Analytics displays bounce rates; however, Google Analytics 4 features engagement metrics such as sessions and time spent engaged. Google Analytics 4 no longer features the channels report found within Universal Analytics; its place has been taken over by the traffic acquisition report. If you want to find the total volume of visitors from various countries, go directly to GA4’s Demographics tab instead of Audience for this task.

4. High Privacy

Today’s users are extremely concerned with protecting their personally identifiable information (PII) and are eager to know where websites store this data and who can access it.

Marketers need to assess user behaviors and actions on their websites in order to effectively market. Google has designed its latest analytics tool with GDPR and PECR compliance in mind to assist site owners from breaking these rules.

5. Smart Data Modeling 

As GA4’s AI-driven model becomes smarter, SEO companies may discover more insights and ways to enhance website performance and marketing. Google ads offer another advantage for businesses by helping to draw more visitors to their site and thereby uncovering ways of measuring how well marketing investments convert into sales.

Conclusion:

Your Anticipated Features Will Soon Appear Google Analytics developers have long since stopped adding new features to Google Analytics 3, so we anticipate seeing ongoing upgrades to GA4. We expect them to bring with them exciting traits, metrics and reports for GA4. We anticipate continuous enhancements with GA4. For creating an analytics campaign, users can reach TDTRG for guidance. We will provide you with top-notch reports, analysis of websites and audit of your business.

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