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It’s almost time for us to say our goodbyes and send Universal Analytics to a farm upstate. Why is that? Google has officially announced that Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, and Universal Analytics 360 properties will stop processing hits on October 1, 2023. Google Analytics 4 will be the new way of measuring performance through Google.

Why is Google switching away from Universal Analytics?

According to the director of product management at Google, Russell Ketchum, “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 multiple platforms and it doesn’t rely on cookies for their measurement. It also does not store IP addresses, which can help brands stay on the right side of privacy regulations.

This might not seem like a huge deal, but with every lawsuit and every iOS update, companies run into the issue of not being able to properly track user metrics.

Why is this so important?

If you’ve been putting off setting up your GA4 properties, now is the time. Even though we have known for over a year that Universal Analytics would eventually leave, the earlier you make the new property, the more historical data you will have.

Setting up your GA4 Property

The first step for GA4 is to set up your data stream. In the admin section for Universal Analytics is the ability to upgrade a property.

In order to keep the Universal property firing while you learn the new interface, you need to have both tags firing on your site. We would recommend keeping the UA view of your property up until it is no longer valid. That way any and all fixes can be made for the new GA4 property.

Edit your events in GA4

When you first navigate to the events menu, it will show the standard events that come with GA4. You’ll also have the buttons at the top of the screen that allows you to modify an existing event, or create a new event. The menu also has easy sliders that turn any event into a tracked conversion.

While every user click on your website is important, only some clicks should be counted as conversions. That’s where modifying events becomes key. You can set up new events that only count certain clicks. To do that, first, click on the “create an event” button. You’ll then give the event a new name and the conditions for that event. Since all page views in GA4 are considered events, you can create an event for “page location” and then put in the page name you want to track.

We know that platforms updating can be nerve-wracking, but we can help! If you need help with any of your digital marketing strategies, contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you reach your goals.

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