avoiding content decline

Switch to Google Analytics 4, or else

The world is changing, and we’re not talking about climate. On July 1, 2023, Google is closing the curtain on GA 3 (Google Analytics 3) and replacing it with GA. GA 4 isn’t an upgrade, like the Hummingbird and Bert updates, it’s a new beast, and your participation is not optional.

GA 4 – The Basics

The new version, which has been available since 2020, relies heavily on machine learning (artificial intelligence) to zero-in on engagement and conversions. The critical stuff you need to know about the behavior of your audience.

A conversion might be as simple as a visit to a particular page, a landing on the shopping cart, or an email sign-up form fill. You can also layer any dimension of your audience (demographics, source of the visit, or the path through your site, etc.) to gain insights, for example, who, what, and why visitors are or are not converting. You identify and set up the conversion points.

Why GA 4 now?

Heightened controls and expectations of privacy are impacting traditional data collection — for example, usage of third-party cookies and device identifiers. Also, many browsers moving forward won’t support them.

Regulations around the globe, for example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are impacting how data can be collected and used.

Overall, GA 4 is a massive step forward in measuring audience data that impacts your business objectives.

Our recommendations

  1. Have your developer add Google’s demonstration site, which is almost fully functional, to your account. It’s a live site that collects data from the Google Store.
  2. Whether you’re a developer or a normal person, take advantage of the free training Google offers. You can get the basics in 30-45 minutes.
  3. Install GA 4 on your site and use GA 3 and G4 simultaneously to familiarize yourself with the differences between the two and get the lay of the land.
  4. Switch to GA 4 long before Google’s deadline on July 1, 2023.

Because people don’t like change in general, so there’s been some crazy talk about switching to third-party alternatives modeled more closely to GA 3. Beware. No company has the resources or investment in search and web analytics that Google has.

Good luck with your GA 4 journey!

Sources: Google Support, Klick, Search Engine Journal

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