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What do the changes to Google Analytics mean for your business?

Google Analytics is the key tracking tool Google uses to measure your website traffic and content.

This tool is about to change completely and requires every business owner to complete a manual update on their website, or they will lose access to important website information.

Even if you haven’t used this data before, or found it complicated, now is the time to take action and use this great free tool to learn more about your business.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service by Google to collect data about the behaviour of visitors to your website. If set up correctly, it can be a powerful tool to help you understand how much traffic comes to your website, how customers use your website, where these customers come from, which pages they are most interested in, and which pages do not attract attention from your visitors. Google Analytics can be an important tool for your business’ strategic planning, particularly if you rely on your website to attract new business.

What is the change?

Your old Google Analytics code (Universal Analytics) will stop working on 1 July 2023. If you would like to retain historical data, you will need to extract it before it is gone forever.
It is best to insert the new Google Analytics code (Google Analytics 4) into your website now so that you can start collecting the new data as soon as possible. This will allow you to see the differences in the reporting of UA vs GA4 and familiarise yourself with the new system before it is implemented in July next year. The data is collected completely differently and is not directly comparable between the two systems.

Is Google Analytics 4 an improvement?

Yes, GA4 will collect both website data and app data so that you can better understand your customer’s journey. It is likely to be more reliable than the UA version, which relied heavily on cookies to ‘remember’ information about visitors. Cookies are now optional for most website visitors, so UA is not capturing this data effectively. GA4 should be easier for most people to set up. It is event focused and has more parameters available to drill down into the events you want to measure, so it should also be more powerful if set up correctly.
If you are technical and want to understand the differences, please check out Google’s explanation of the differences between the two systems here.

What do I have to do?

You will need to add the new G4 code to your website and apps as soon as possible. If you are not confident to do this, Red Hippo can assist with this process. If you use Google Tag Manager you will need to update or replace tags. You will also need to create new Google Analytics properties to store the new data in, new data streams, and configurations. Google has developed a Migration Guide, if you are tech savvy and want to do this yourself.

How do I customise the code for my business and interpret the resulting data?

To gain the most from GA4, you will need to configure it to collect the data you are interested in and filter out the data you are not interested in, decide on your data retention settings, and build your reporting templates to suit your business needs. Developing your new GA4 settings with a strategic view will help you to collect the data your business needs to grow and develop. You won’t be dragged down by useless or confusing data.

How can Red Hippo help?

Red Hippo can set up the new GA4 code on your website and apps. However, to get the most from GA4, ? strategy and customisation that should be done to build an information matrix that is useful and supports your business decision making. Red Hippo is currently offering to assist you with the transition to GA4 including a web audit of your current site to examine strengths and weaknesses of your website, a 30 minute strategy session to determine which information will be most helpful for you to collect, followed by customisation of the GA4 code into your site to match this strategic planning. Contact us now for a quote.