So what is this Google Analytics to GA4 migration all about? If you are thinking of migrating or have recently migrated to Google Analytics GA4, you may be wondering why you have to do it and what exactly are the benefits. Well read on to find out why understanding Google Analytics GA4 is so important for you and your business.
I know Google gets some bad press for being everywhere, but they do offer some free, handy tools to help small businesses, like yours, with marketing and websites. There are some great reasons to use Google Analytics like
- it’s completely free ( and who doesn’t like a freebie these days? )
- It can show you the most popular pages on your website and how long people are staying on them.
- You can see where the traffic to your website is coming from . Whether it’s direct, organic search or from your social media channels
- There’s data in there, so you can get a better handle on how many sign ups, conversions or product sales are happening on your website.
So that’s all staying, but as of Summer 2023, Google have now stopped the original version of Google analytics outright. That was called Universal Analytics or UA as it’s known, because everything in IT has to have an acronym!
It’s now time for you to embrace the new version of Google Analytics called GA4. It’s actually been available for a few years now, but not all the platforms worked with it. Hopefully you’ve been able to update yours, but if not, I have something for you further on.
But why have they changed it? I hear you ask. Because let’s face it, it’s not exactly a sexy designer handbag or a new social media platform
Well, one important reason was that the UA version wasn’t very GDPR compliant – hence the abrupt stop. So I think we could compare that to a 12 year old diesel hatchback getting stung by the new extended ULEZ charge in London.
Getting back to the point, the new version has a more positive outlook on life when it comes to metrics. That’s right, the dreaded bounce rate has gone. Now it’s all about engagement – like how long people are staying on your pages and how often. To add to that there are some default dashboards that help you see things like
- countries visitors are coming from
- average engagement time
- channels visitors are coming from
- your website pages with the most views
So my two top tips for you when it comes to Google Analytics are
- check you’re on the right version – log into your google analytics account – if the property tracking ID starts with UA – that’s the old version. If the property id starts with G – congratulations you are on the new version.
- even if you don’t understand what google analytics is showing, get it set up anyway. The data is kept for 14 months and it may be very useful to you in the future.
I hope this has helped you, if you are still stuck with what to do, I’ve recently added an option on my website to book a Google Analytics SOS session for £37 – you’ll need be able to access to your WordPress or Shopify dashboard, your google analytics account and when on the zoom call, show your camera and share your screen.Book Your Google Analytics GA4 SOS Session