Making the shift to GA4

If your website is a significant source of leads, you should be tracking your traffic and sales funnels religiously. Google Analytics (GA) is a free and powerful analytic software that many small businesses rely on.

UA to be replaced by GA4 in 2023

Google has announced that in 2023, they’ll be sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA), the version of Google Analytics that most websites are running on at the point of writing. From July 2023, UA will stop processing new hits on your website (and if you’re using US360, you have till Oct 2023) and it will be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

Why are we forced to switch to Google Analytics 4?

As the world places more emphasis on consumer privacy, the internet is slowly shifting towards a cookie-less future. Previously, consumer behavior can be tracked easily using browser cookies, which are tiny files created by the websites you visit.

Cookies make browsing experiences seamless as they help keep you signed in and remember your browsing preference. At the same time, they could be used to serve relevant content to consumers. However, they raise the question of privacy as websites can identify the preferences of users via their unique cookies.

To protect users, governments across the world have introduced privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Data (GDPA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the latest California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulations now make it compulsory for users to consent to the use of cookies, which is why we’re seeing a irritable amount of cookie consent pop up across websites.

Those who do not consent to it may not be able to fully experience the website. And this is bad for both the user and the business.

Hence, we are moving towards a cookie-less future where user tracking no longer rely on third party cookies. Instead, publishers (that’s you) will have to rely on first party data – aka data that is collected only on your properties (and not installed onto the users browsers, to understand their customer behavior.

GA4 aims to help small business owners like us to prepare for this future. Hence, we are being forced to shift towards GA4.

If you rely on Google Analytics to improve your web traffic and drive sales (which you should be doing), then it’s time to start setting up your new GA4.

How can you prepare your business for this change?

If you have Google Analytics set up on your website before 14 Oct 2020, you’re likely running on UA. This means you should set up your GA4 immediately. Google has made it easy for you to make the switch. See section below for instructions.

If you had set up Google Analytics after 14 Oct 2020, you’re likely already on Google Analytics 4. You don’t have to set it up again.

If you plan to set up GA4 on your own, here’s a step-by-step tutorial.

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