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Google Analytics Changes Update

Google has announced some pivotal changes to their Analytics product, here I’ll run through some of the practical and top level changes I’m aware of. Please do get in touch if you run into any specific problems or have any questions; I’ll update this post accordingly. 

If you are struggling with GA4, please send me a message, if it’s something you are really struggling with and doesn’t take up much time, I’ll help for free. I know how frustrating it is to move platforms when you are familiar with one, especially if you aren’t from a marketing background. Most of my clients are just getting the handle on UA! 

Universal Analytics is being made redundant in 2023, giving businesses ample time to react accordingly.

Where to start? 

Log into Google Analytics and click on the profile drop-down at the top left. When you click on an account you’ll be shown properties, here you are looking for the code starting with UA, which indicates Universal Analytics and a number without UA to indicate GA4. If you can see a UA number, not a problem, let’s jump onto the next step. 

When you click onto a UA profile there should be an admin button at the bottom left, this will show a settings screen. 

You are looking for GA4 Setup Assistant which will be in the middle column, this will guide you through the full process of transitioning to GA4. 

Should you use Google Analytics UA?

Yes, GA4 doesn’t capture as much data as UA, so I’d use this for as long as possible. I suspect we’ll see a wind-down in features over time though. 

Are there big changes between UA and GA4?

Yes, GA4 is a big pivot to the current UA, you may be familiar with the simplicity of UA, with GA4 things have moved. I hear from clients struggling with data streams, events and conversion tracking – just let me know if you need help. 

Is GA4 better than UA?

No, I don’t think it is as it currently stands, I hope there is a feature ramp up by the time they fully transition. I spend about 80% of my time in UA profiles and 20% in GA4. I suspect this will transition over the next year or so but I’ll only move over when new features are available. 

Do I need to relink ads and GA4?

Yes, please go through the linking accounts again to include your GA4 profile. Now is also a good time to validate the conversions you are publishing over to Ads too – you may see add-to-basket values creep in there too so be cautious. 

What else is worth checking with GA4 implementation?

I’d take this opportunity to move your GA tracking code to Google Tag Manager if it’s currently hardcoded. GTM allows better manipulation of the data layer too as opposed to navigating  GA4, so I’d always try and migrate to GTM if you are hardcoded tracking. 

I’d also recommend taking this opportunity to check your trackers on the site, you may have legacy code on there from old trackers and software providers. 

GA4 Updates

  • You can now integrate GA4 into Merchant Centre
  • I’d also recommend audience creating in GA4 too