The digital world is changing fast, especially in data and analytics. Google’s decision to stop Universal Analytics shook many1. By July 1, 2024, it will no longer work. This pushes companies to move towards new ways of tracking and measuring data.

The news about Universal Analytics ending hit me hard. As our marketing leader, I felt both unsure and determined2. Losing access to Universal Analytics data and facing issues with Google Ads and Search Ads 360 urged us to shift soon.

We’re here to help you switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)3. We have a plan for a smooth changeover. This includes everything from setting up GA4, checking key events, to moving data to Google Ads. We’ll be by your side through it all.

Key Takeaways

  • Google Universal Analytics is being replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  • The timeline for the shutdown of Universal Analytics ranges from July 1, 2023, to the final shutdown on July 1, 2024
  • Migrating to GA4 involves setting up a new property, installing GA4 code, reviewing event tracking, and optimizing for GA4 features
  • Exporting historical data from Universal Analytics is essential to retain valuable insights and patterns
  • Failing to migrate to GA4 before the shutdown risks losing valuable data and disrupting digital marketing and analytics processes

Need assistance with migrating to GA4? Our experts are ready to help at hello@defyn.com.au.

An Overview of Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest version of Google’s web analytics platform4. It’s made to understand the modern digital world better. The older version, Universal Analytics (UA), mostly tracked websites. But GA4 looks at how people move between devices and platforms, like from a laptop to a phone4.

GA4 changes how it collects data, switching from focusing on pages you see to what actions you take4. This means businesses can learn more about what you do online and make smarter choices based on this info4.

One main reason GA4 was created is the fading out of third-party cookies4. They are key to how old web analytics worked. With many popular browsers not using them anymore, businesses needed a new way to get useful data4. GA4 steps up by offering better privacy protection in its analysis tools and other ways to understand users better4.

GA4 also adds cool new stuff like predicting what will happen next and using AI to understand data better4. Plus, it can follow up to 300 different actions online. This means companies can really dive deep into what you do online and plan ahead with confidence4.

Moving to GA4 is a big deal for the web analytics field4. It helps businesses keep up with digital changes and use data smartly to grow4.

“With the phasing out of third-party cookies, identity solutions and first-party data are becoming increasingly crucial for effective audience targeting and measurement.”

The Transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4

Shifting from Universal Analytics to GA4 needs careful thought and action5. Universal Analytics has been standard for a while but ends on July 1, 20234. Marketers are starting to switch to GA4 before this date5.

The big change is how data is looked at4. Universal Analytics cared a lot about when and where. GA4 is into what you do on different sites and devices. This could mean companies might have to change how they check and explain their data4.

The shift to GA4 also is happening along with third-party cookies going away. This has a big effect on how ads and reaching out to people work online4. To adapt, businesses are looking into using their own data and new ways to connect with online visitors, like focusing on who these visitors are4.

Going for GA4 brings a lot of good changes4. Companies can move faster since they get detailed data quicker. They can make better plans with the help of AI and smarter analytics4. This is a challenge but also a chance for companies to do well in the digital world456.

GA Data is closing down

The standard Google Analytics, known as Universal Analytics, will stop working on July 1, 20237. Businesses and websites must switch to Google Analytics 4 before then7. If not, they’ll lose old data and can’t track future website performance7.

Google urges everyone to move to Google Analytics 4 by July 18. In March 2023, GA4 properties will be automatically created for those who haven’t moved yet. By July 1, 2024, Universal Analytics will be completely inaccessible9.

On August 22, some got notices that their Universal Analytics properties were done processing data. Google says the shutdown process began then and will end on July 1, 2024. Businesses need to act quickly to switch to the new platform smoothly8.

Key Dates Event
March 2023 Automatic creation of GA4 properties for users who haven’t manually migrated from Universal Analytics9
July 1, 2023 End of Standard Universal Analytics Processing9
July 1, 2024 Start of the final Universal Analytics shutdown phase9

Moving from Universal Analytics will harm some businesses. It affects audience lists, API requests, and Attribution Projects in Google Analytics7. Also, you can only request a BigQuery export and backfill data from Universal Analytics 360 properties until June 30, 20247.

Despite difficulties with GA4, like user interface issues and data problems, the switch is necessary. Our Marketing team is here to help. Email us at hello@defyn.com.au.

Steps to Migrate to Google Analytics 4

Google is ending support for Universal Analytics. This is why it’s important for Australian businesses to plan their move to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). By following a few steps, you can smoothly transition to the new platform. Let’s look at these steps closely.

Create a Google Analytics 4 Property

The first thing to do is make a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. You’ll do this by setting up a data stream and adjusting data collection settings10. Start by going to the Google Analytics website (https://analytics.google.com/) and signing in. Then, find the “Admin” section and choose “Create Property” to begin making your new GA4 property10.

Take Inventory of Key Items

Before moving any data, list the important items from your current Universal Analytics. This includes goals, audiences, and custom reports10. By doing this, you’ll make the migration smoother. It ensures your key data and insights make their way to GA4 successfully10.

Begin Migrating Items to Google Analytics 4

After creating your GA4 property and noting what to move, it’s time to start. Depending on how complex your setup is, you might use a tool or do it manually10. The switch might take up to five working days. You’ll get emails from Google to let you know when the new property is ready10.

While migrating, choose what level of data and settings you wish to transfer10. You’ll need editing or managing permissions in Google Analytics. This lets you use the GA4 Setup Assistant to finish the migration10.

If you own a website, you may have to install Google tags. Or, use Google Tag Manager to link your site to GA410. Especially if your site is on platforms that need special set up for collecting data10.

GA4 Migration

Follow these steps to move to Google Analytics 4 smoothly. Starting your migration early is key. It helps you avoid issues and be ready for the end of Universal Analytics10.

“Businesses will have the ability to identify user journeys across websites through automation and leverage machine learning technology for insights in Google Analytics 4 (GA4).”11

It’s vital to stay current with digital analytics. Google Analytics 4 brings insights that can help your business grow in our digital world.

Custom Tracking in Google Analytics 4

At Defyn, we know every business is unique. That’s why Google Analytics 4 (GA4) allows for custom tracking12. This lets you gather data that matters just to you. Isn’t that great?

GA4 lets you track extra details about your users or their actions12. Think about info like subscription type, favourite language, or the device they use. These details offer deeper insights into your audience.

With custom events in GA4, you can trace specific actions your users take12. This includes things like form completions, shopping cart additions, or video views. Such data is gold for smart decision-making.

When using custom tracking in GA4, remember a few tips12. Keep event names under 40 characters. You can attach up to 25 bits of data per event. And, don’t forget to list all custom data in GA4 for clear reports.

For the best custom tracking, we suggest using Google Tag Manager (GTM)12. GTM makes event tracking more flexible. It smoothly works with your site or app.

Custom tracking in GA4 offers a sea of data for your business12. At Defyn, we’re ready to support you. We help set up custom tracking so GA4 truly works for you13.

ga4 custom tracking

Being realistic about data tracking is key13. There might be some missing data due to browser settings or consent issues13. Knowing these facts helps you plan better and use GA4 effectively13.

Defyn is dedicated to Australian businesses and GA4 success14. From custom tracking to understanding your audience better, we’re here for you12. Get in touch at hello@defyn.com.au to see how we can boost your GA4 use121314.

Ongoing Maintenance and Audits

Keeping your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) setup accurate and efficient is key. It helps you get useful insights and make smart business choices. After setting up your GA4 property and starting to track data, you must do regular ga4 maintenance and analytics data auditing15.

It’s important to check up on your tracking and reports every now and then. This makes sure everything is working right. You need to confirm that your custom settings, like events and dimensions, are tracked correctly. And, check that the reported data is spot on16.

Comprehensive Audits for GA4

Doing comprehensive audits every year or so is a good idea. It keeps your GA4 in great shape. The audit looks at your GA4 setup in detail, with steps like:

  • Review the overall GA4 property setup to find any issues or places to improve.
  • Check if your tracking codes are right and set up well.
  • Look at your GA4 data to find any weird things that need fixing.
  • If needed, adjust your GA4 setup to get better data.

Using tools to help with some of the audit work can make things smoother16. But, doing a thorough manual check is still crucial. This makes sure your GA4 setup is fully understood16.

Keeping your GA4 property well-maintained and often audited is vital. It helps you spot any data errors early. This way, you can trust your reports and use them to guide your decisions16.

“Regular audits and continuous monitoring of your GA4 setup are crucial for maintaining data accuracy and account health over time.”

By putting in the effort for ga4 maintenance and analytics data auditing, your GA4 becomes a reliable tool for your business151617.

Setting a Final Migration Date

The ua sunset deadline is getting closer. It’s vital for companies to choose a final date to shift to ga4. This ensures there’s enough time to move all necessary data and settings by the deadline18.

Think about your ga4 migration timeline. Look at how complex your analytics are now. Also, check the resources you have for the change. Consider any apps or connections that may need extra time19.

Setting a clear analytics transition planning with a deadline is crucial. It makes switching to GA4 smooth. This helps avoid any problems with gathering or using your data after the change18.

For a good migration, think about getting help with your data preservation strategy. Special services can help you prepare, set up, and make the most out of changing to GA420.

“By setting a final migration date early, you prepare well for GA4. You avoid missing data or reporting issues.”

Don’t forget, the full switch to GA4 and historical data must be done by July 1, 202418. Start planning your move now. This ensures everything goes smoothly and successfully181920.

Conclusion

Moving from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 is a big change. It brings many new and exciting advantages. These include better data, smarter insights from machine learning, and stronger privacy features21.

Planning ahead and making the switch can really help your business in the digital world. At Defyn, we’re ready to help you all the way. From starting your GA4 property to making custom tracking, we’ve got your back21.

As Universal Analytics services close and data safety comes more into focus, taking action is critical. Email us at hello@defyn.com.au to find out how we can guide you through this change. Let’s work together to make the most of GA4 for better data decisions22.

FAQ

What is the deadline for the Universal Analytics shutdown?

Google said the standard Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, will stop on July 1, 2023. If you used Universal 360 properties, they will stop on July 1, 2024.

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

GA4 is Google’s latest web analytics platform from 2020. It offers better analytics than the old version. GA4 has advanced data collection, machine learning insights, and strong privacy features.

What are the steps to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4?

To move from Universal Analytics to GA4, follow these steps: 1) Make a GA4 Property, 2) Check what you need to move, and 3) Start moving to GA4.

How can I set up custom tracking in Google Analytics 4?

Businesses might need to track their unique data. They can set up custom tracking in GA4. Create custom dimensions and events to track what matters most to you.

Why is it important to conduct periodic audits on my Google Analytics 4 setup?

It’s key to check your GA4 setup regularly. This ensures everything works right. Audits show if your custom settings are correct and if your data is on point.

When should I set a final migration date for my organisation?

Setting a final migration date is important with Universal Analytics ending soon. This allows enough time for a smooth move to GA4. Consider your analytics’ complexity and available resources in planning. Check potential impacts that might need extra time.

Source Links

  1. https://www.amire.com.au/blog/overcoming-the-end-of-googles-universal-analytics/ – Overcoming the End of Google’s Universal Analytics | Amire
  2. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/11583528?hl=en – Google Analytics 4 has replaced Universal Analytics
  3. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/10759417?hl=en – [GA4] Make the switch to Google Analytics 4
  4. https://martech.org/is-google-analytics-going-away-what-marketers-need-to-know/ – Is Google Analytics going away? What marketers need to know | MarTech
  5. https://www.bounteous.com/insights/2024/03/25/navigating-transition-ua-sunset-ga4s-evolution – Navigating the Transition: From UA Sunset to GA4’s Evolution
  6. https://www.luzmo.com/blog/google-analytics-4-migration – Google Analytics 4 Migration: What You Need to Know | Luzmo
  7. https://inmarketingwetrust.com.au/dont-lose-your-data-google-analytics-data-to-be-deleted-july-1/ – Don’t Lose Your Data: Google Analytics Data to be Deleted July 1 – In Marketing We Trust
  8. https://searchengineland.com/universal-analytics-processing-data-one-month-on-430025 – Universal Analytics still processing data two months after ‘sunset’
  9. https://metriclabs.com.au/ua-historical-data-faces-july-2024-deadline/ – Attention: Google UA Historical Data Faces July 2024 Deadline – Metric Labs
  10. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/13486733?hl=en – [UA→GA4] Migration guide for beginners
  11. https://www.bidnamic.com/resources/how-to-migrate-from-universal-analytics-to-google-analytics-4 – How to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4
  12. https://www.analyticsmania.com/post/how-to-track-custom-events-with-google-analytics-4/ – Custom Events with Google Analytics 4 (2024) – Analytics Mania
  13. https://www.analyticsmania.com/post/missing-google-analytics-transactions/ – Missing Google Analytics 4 Transactions? Here are the solutions
  14. https://www.ruleranalytics.com/blog/analytics/google-analytics-conversion-tracking/ – How to Set Up and Track Conversions in Google Analytics 4 – Ruler Analytics
  15. https://www.analyticsmania.com/post/google-tag-manager-vs-google-analytics/ – Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics explained (2024)
  16. https://www.simpleanalytics.com/glossary/google-analytics/key-term/audit-in-google-analytics – Audit in Google Analytics
  17. https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/dpa/dataprocessingamendment_20130906.html – Google Analytics Data Processing Amendment v20130906
  18. https://colorwhistle.com/ga4-integration-guide/ – Universal Analytics [UA → GA4] Google Analytics 4 Migration Guide – ColorWhistle
  19. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/13467533?hl=en – [UA→GA4] What’s happening with Google Analytics?
  20. https://www.webfx.com/blog/marketing/ga4-migration/ – GA4 Migration Guide: How To Migrate to GA4
  21. https://www.radiatordigital.com/news/2024/may/google-analytics-transition-farewell-ua – Google Analytics Transition: Farewell UA
  22. https://www.simpleanalytics.com/blog/norway-takes-a-stance-against-google-analytics – Norway takes a stance against Google Analytics

READY TO RE-DEFYN YOUR BUSINESS?