Since its launch in 2005, it has become the dominant tool for analyzing how a website is performing in search engines. And to top it all, it’s totally free.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool for small business owners to evaluate not only where their customers are coming from, but also how well their website works for visitors and what website modifications are needed to maximize conversions and sales!
Google Analytics, also known as Universal, has been the go-to tool for many small businesses in their marketing efforts.. However, as it is the norm in the tech world, Google analytics has evolved with time. Not only has Google introduced a new version of analytics, GA4, but they have also announced that the current version of Google Analytics will stop collecting data on July 1st, 2023.
GA4 is not just an upgraded version of Google Analytics Universal. It is a new product with a different data model, interface and reports. Its primary benefit is the ability to combine data from both websites and apps for companies that use both. It also boasts of advanced analytics, a focus on engagement and active users as the primary metrics, advanced reporting and enhanced privacy beyond what Universal Analytics offers. And with that, here’s why you need to switch to GA4 now.
A lot of people are aware of GA4 but have not switched due to its different user interface and data collection model. They prefer Universal Google Analytics because they understand it better. However, this won’t be for long as GA4 has now replaced Universal Analytics as the default digital analytics tool. If you are still using Google Analytics Universal and haven’t set up GA4 yet, now is the best time to do so. After July 1st, 2023, you will only have access to the data you previously processed for six months. Take this time to export it, as you'll no longer be able to see Universal Analytics reports in the interface.
GA4 is the new Google Analytics and is critical for small businesses’ digital marketing programs and website optimization. While July 1st, 2023 seems like a long way off, keep in mind how useful it is to look at your annual business data. If you install GA4 now, you can still use Google Analytics Universal for a year while you learn GA4 in parallel. This will give you enough time to configure everything and become acquainted with the platform.
Another Google tool worth mentioning is the Google Tag Manager (GTM) that was launched in 2012. It allows users to effectively update measurement codes and related code on their website or app without coding knowledge.
Google also provides support and a useful migration guide, which links to numerous articles that make your transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 smooth and seamless.
It’s understandable that as a business owner, you may not have the time to install and configure these tools or you may lack staff that is knowledgeable enough. Hiring an agency may also not be in your list of priorities, as they come with overhead and longer term commitments. But getting a reputable freelancer to set up everything for you is a great solution and a great way to transform your business at reasonable rates.