What is GA4 and Why Should I Upgrade from Classic Google Analytics?


What is GA4 and Why Should I Upgrade from Classic Google Analytics?


You may have heard of GA4 (Google Analytics 4), and you may be wondering why you should consider upgrading.

At this point, you are probably used to Classic Google Analytics, and learning a new platform may feel like an uphill battle. While this may be the case, it’s a necessary one. Not only is Google Analytics 4 a superior platform, but it will become the only platform available before you know it. 

Below is more about Google Analytics 4, the transitioning/upgrading process, the consequences of not updating, and what the implementation will look like.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s web analytics tool that has different measurement models, tracking IDs, and reporting interfaces (compared to Classic Google Analytics). GA4 uses an event-based data model, which tracks user-centric information across platforms and does not depend on cookies. GA4 creates a single user journey from the data associated with the same user ID, as well. 

How do you know if you have it?

If your business is running paid advertisements through Google, then you likely have analytics set up. Also, if you’ve ever seen reports that show you how well your business is doing online, you likely got that data from Google Analytics. 

Even Wordpress website plugins (such as “Monster Insights”) typically connect to Google Analytics to collect the data that it shows you on Wordpress. 

What is the importance of transitioning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

There are a couple of main reasons why you’ll want (and really need) to transition to GA4. One is the cutoff date. After the cutoff date of July 1st

Universal Analytics properties will stop processing hits, including standard properties in accounts that also contain 360 properties. Some properties will continue to process data for a short period after this as we stage the shutdown of Universal Analytics. You'll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property until July 1, 2024.

It’s important to note that the transition will be a good thing overall. There are a lot of great new features, and GA4 is designed for the modern web of 2023 (not the web from literally 15 years ago). Things have changed a lot over the years, and GA4 is modernized to reflect those changes.

How does Google handle converting “old data”?

Google will start moving everyone to the new platform on July 1st because they cannot have UA continue due to European litigation. While Google will have attempted to migrate your data, there are no quality assurances on the migration.

WRIS can assist in getting your old data into a nice report for future reference alongside new GA4 data. To ensure the best transition possible, reach out to WRIS for support! 

What are the consequences of not implementing GA4?

Keep in mind, all session data will have stopped on July 1st, 2023 if you haven't implemented GA4. Now is a good time to work with a GA4 consultant who can help you to implement better marketing analytics. 

What does implementation look like?

You may run both UA and GA4 concurrently until July 1st. The best practice is to put both the UA and GA4 tag inside Google Tag Manager and configure the options to best suit your business needs. 

Depending on how your site is built, WRIS can assist you in updating that code within your site. This will make the process as seamless as possible. 

Why WRIS?

With all of these changes, it’s good to have a company that specializes in digital marketing solutions in your corner. At WRIS, we are able to not only help with your GA4 implementation but also provide a variety of other marketing solutions that include: 

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay per Click Campaigns
  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Site Analytics
  • Indexing Review

WRIS also offers design, copy and content writing, brand strategy, hosting, and so much more. To learn more about WRIS and the services we offer, visit us today at: https://wris.com/ or call us at 888-353-9971. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with all of your web implementation, design, and marketing needs.

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