With the world’s biggest search engine set to retire Universal Analytics on July 1 2023, what does this change mean for brands who rely on this feature?
First launched in November 2005, Google Analytics markets itself as the tools every brand and business needs to better understand their customers. As a digital analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, Universal Analytics was rolled out in 2012 to offer new tracking codes for websites and features that can more accurately measure user behavior.
However, a statement made by Google in March 2022 revealed that Universal Analytics is set to stop providing its services, with Google Analytics 4 to replace it by July 1, 2023. While users will be able to use Universal Analytics until the above date mentioned, it will not be possible to process any data in UA after July 1, 2023 – but how will these changes affect the millions of people who rely on the service on a day to day basis?
GA4 Set To Replace Universal Analytics
Although not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of being forced to use Google Analytics 4 over the trusted and reliable Universal Analytics, key team members at Google believe that the changes are necessary. According to Russel Ketchum, Director of Product Management at Google, retiring Universal Analytics is simply unavoidable.
“Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.”
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) differs from its predecessor in that it operates across platforms, doesn’t rely on cookies for data, and uses an event-based data model for measurement. The new system provides a better representation of user behaviour, with less time spent on collecting and aggregating data. Google Analytics 4 users can deploy the software to track a website, an app, or both a website and app together. It also does not store IP addresses, which can help brands stay on the right side of privacy regulations, particularly for those trading in Europe.
A major perk for brands and businesses to consider when swapping to Google Analytics 4 is that it puts the emphasis firmly on users and their interactions, which are now captured solely as Events. Web developers can now create and capture a custom User ID within your app and web environments, allowing for greater understanding of the customer’s journey.
With the move to the new platform, it seems that Google is all too aware of the changing face of the digital landscape, and are doing their best to ensure that their loyal users around the world have enough time to get familiar with Google Analytics 4 before Universal Analytics becomes a read-only feature of the past.
Thus, if you haven’t set up your GA4 properties yet, now is the time. Even though we have well over a year, configuring GA4 now will enable it to start tracking the metrics you care about so that historical data is there if and when you need to reference it in the future.
Needless to say, it’s more important than ever to stay relevant in the online space as a means to craft a consistent message that matches the tone of your business. If you manage or run your own brand or business, maintaining your website and learning how to use platforms like Google Analytics 4 can be quite daunting. If this is something that you can’t quite commit to, it might be time to consider outsourcing.
The Key To Good Marketing Is Great Content
Producing quality, consistent and on brand content takes time, effort, experience and resources, but avoiding these responsibilities altogether may actually be doing your brand a disservice. Thankfully, investing in a solid content marketing strategy has actually never been easier.
Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as blog articles, social media posts, videos and even animated Instagram stories. By using this model, we believe that it enables us to produce high quality content with faster delivery times.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.