Google Analytics is shutting down their Universal Analytics and will offer only GA4. What does this mean for you?
You need to set up GA4 analytics for your website
We’ve written about the new Google Analytics before, but we haven’t set it up for all of our clients, and you may not have set it up for yourself, either.
It’s time. After June 2023, Google Analytics will no longer give you the choice.
You can set up a GA4 account alongside your Universal Analytics account. You can see the admin screen for our lab site below. Click on the GA4 Setup Assistant button, shown in red below, and a wizard will take you through the process.
The process of creating the account is very simple. You won’t immediately see any data, so don’t think something went wrong. You must install the global site tag in order to collect data for your GA4 account. You may need help with this.
Now you can link to Google Ads, set up events and goals, and otherwise customize your account.
Don’t remove the Universal Analytics code
You can — and should — keep your Universal Analytics code in place through June 2023. This will give you a year to get accustomed to GA4 and to compare data from the two accounts.
You need to download your reports
Universal Analytics will no longer collect data after July 1, 2023. The data collected up to that point will still be available for at least six months after that, but Google has not yet announced exactly when it will stop being accessible.
You should therefore download your data so you will have your historical information. Depending how much data you have, this could be a large project. Our lab site has had more than a million visits, so we need to set aside some time for this project.
Fortunately, it’s easy to download reports. The screenshot below shows how you choose a format for your report. Create the report you want to download, choose a format, and push the button.
The screenshot above shows a simple traffic report for the life of site for our lab site. The strange shape of the line graph is caused by the fact that our site was featured in the Google Doodle and so got an extremely large number of visits one day.
Google Analytics also has an API if you want to customize your experiment.
We recommend that you give some serious thought to precisely which reports you will want to check back on and make sure that you have them all downloaded and stored somewhere readily accessible.
Learn new things
Now you’ll have two Google Analytics accounts to keep track of, and data from both to assist you in decision making for your website.
If that sounds like too much, we will be happy to help. Just fill out the simple contact form below and we’ll be glad to help.