Google Analytics 4 - What You Need to Know
Legal Marketing

Google Analytics 4 - What You Need to Know

Brianne Gillham, January 15, 2023

It’s Google’s world, and we’re just living it.

You may have been told by a member of your marketing team that Google is retiring their current website analytics platform, Universal Analytics, in favour of their newest property Google Analytics 4 (GA4). But what does that mean for you and your firm, and why is it important to take action now?

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that allows the businesses to better understand the users that land on their website, including how they behave and if they contact or engage with the business.

Until recently, businesses have been using the Universal Analytics platform to collect and analyse this data, with tracking codes installed on their website that measures user behaviour.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is Google’s newest analytics property that Google claims is “designed for the future of measurement”. Google Analytics 4 is focused on providing more surrounding the entire lifecycle of the user journey - offering more insights about the user and their level of retention, engagement, and ultimately monetization.

GA4 is also heavily focused on data privacy. Alongside not collecting data using cookies, and to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Google Analytics 4 does not allow users to collect personally identifiable information. The platform uses data modelling to fill in the gaps of user data.

Do I Have to Use Google Analytics 4?

Google has already announced that they are going to sunset Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. This means that all Universal Analytics properties will no longer collect new data after this date, and you will only be able to access the UA data for the next 6 months after that.

So, if you do not have GA4 installed, then you are missing out on collecting very valuable data about users of your websites - or in other words, data on your potential clientele. This includes information like:

  • How many users have visited your site
  • Where in the world the users are visiting from
  • How you acquisition them (Organic Search, Referral Source, Social Media, Paid, and Direct)
  • GA4 also focuses on events and user activity, vs Universal Analytics which focuses on sessions and pageviews

Using this information will help you better understand the visitors to your website and how to optimise your content to better acquire these users and convert them into potential clients.

What Do I Need to Do To Prepare?

Even though GA4 Universal Analytics isn’t being phased out until July 1, 2023, we recommend that all websites set-up a Google Analytics 4 property now.

GA4 will only collect data from the date it is set up and enabled, so if you wait until after Universal Analytics is gone, you will lose out on valuable data about how users are navigating your website.

If you’re concerned about GA4 and are unsure if you have this property set-up and linked to your website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.