We have been talking about this for a while now.
The day when the original (and most loved 🥰) Google Analytics will stop collecting data and the new version will take over. The new version is GA4 and if you haven’t installed it yet, Google will automatically install it for you on Saturday, July 1.
If you haven’t yet installed it. Wait. Let Google do it for you.
If you have already installed GA4 and you are reading this before July 1, 2023. Then we have some suggestions for getting the set up correctly, right from the beginning.
- Opt out of letting Google overwrite your GA4 set up
- Check all of the boxes to complete the set up
- Set the data retention to 14 months instead of the default which is just 2 months.
Here is a quick (7ish minute), video we made that walks you through each of these steps.
Speaking of Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is crazy robust and there are 10 million ways to slice and dice the data. The user interface of GA4 though, is vastly different than in old analytics and takes some time to get used too.
Even though we are now able to measure different things in Google Analytics 4, in our experience there are 9 metrics that most successful businesses track.
- Traffic Sources
- Most Popular Pages
- New Users
- Users from Google
- Time spent on Site
- Engagement Rate
- Number of ranking keywords
- Ranking Keywords
For details on exactly what these metrics are and why they are important, check out this article.
Helpful Guides to GA4
If you are looking to learn more about GA4 and how to get started with it. We have a few sources we like.
Here is a great video on the basics of GA4.
Here is an easy to follow video on how to set up conversions with GA4. Conversions are like Goals from UA, only you can have an endless number of them, not just 10!
FAQ about Google Analytics 4
Q: Will Google Analytics switch to GA4 automatically?
A: If you do nothing, a new GA4 property will be automatically created for you and the Universal Analytics configurations will be copied to the new GA4 property.
Q: How long will I be able to access the data in Universal Analytics?
A: Google UA historical data will be available until July 1, 2024
Q: Why did Google create an all-new Analytics?
A: Google says that it is because GA4 is better at tracking users across devices (website and app) which allows marketers to better understand the customer journey. This is definitely true, but also because they can make more money from ads.
Q: What happened to Bounce Rate in GA4?
A: Technically it has been replaced by Engagement Rate. Bounce Rate measured the percentage of sessions that were not engaged with the content. Engagement Rate measures the percentage of sessions that are engaged. It is not a one-for-one, but they closely related.
What else? Please send us any other questions you have about Google Analytics and we will answer them in an upcoming post.