Zed Williamson

The Google Analytics you know is leaving - Introducing GA4 analytics.

They are transitioning from the Google Analytics you know and (maybe?) love, to GA4.

You have relied on Google analytics for what feels like forever - well almost forever, November 11, 2005, to be exact. Maybe you use it once a day, once a month, or once a year. What you do know, is that when you have had a question about your website, Google Analytics has been your go-to - and now - it is going away.

What’s next for Google Analytics? 

Google isn’t just going to leave you empty-handed. You may have seen this scary message come across the top of your dashboard. 

They are transitioning from the Google Analytics you know and (maybe?) love, to GA4. This is Google's new and improved version of analytics, and there are some key benefits that users can enjoy. 

Key Benefits of GA4: 

  • Mobile app integration
  • Increased cross-device and cross-platform tracking 
  • Increased flexibility to Universal Analytics
  • Easier conversion tracking 
  • Ability to create complex conversions
  • Additional focus on the user journey
  • Enhanced and easier event tracking
  • New metrics focused on engagement tracking
  • Predictive analytics capabilities
  • And more… 

When will Universal Analytics become GA4? 

Well, it won’t. You have to make the transition on your own. It’s best to do it now that you have access to both platforms. If you are wondering how to make the leap from Universal Analytics to GA4, Google has created some resources to make it easier.  Google has a hard-stop date on when it will collect your data from Universal Analytics. That day is July 1, 2023.

What happens if I don’t go to GA4? 

The biggest issues? You will have gaps in your website data. If you don’t transition in a timely manner, then you will be caught with a blind spot, which is something no website owner wants to have. Having access to old data helps you make decisions about your website for the future, and if you have a few chapters of that story missing - the ending might not make any sense at all. 

Alternatives to Google Analytics:

If you decide that this transition from Universal Analytics is the perfect time to force a new platform - more power to you! Although Google Analytics is the primary platform for website owners, there are certainly other options that have their own set of key benefits. 

Here are 5 alternatives to GA4: 

  1. Matomo 
  2. Heap 
  3. Clicky 
  4. MixPanel
  5. Woopra

These platforms rival GA4 in many ways. They each have their own key features and depending on your unique needs, you may find a better fit among one of these platforms. 

The Bottom Line

Whether it is to GA4 or another platform like Matomo, you are going to have to make some kind of transition out of Universal Analytics, whether you like it or not. If you don’t, you will lose insight into your web data. If you currently have tons of custom reporting set up in Google Analytics, now is the time to make your move while you have access to your old data. This will help you recreate the reports that you rely on with a safety net of knowing you still have access to Universal Analytics through July 1, 2023.