Be Prepared—Google’s GA4 May Disrupt Your Business

With all that is going on in the world today—the economy, political unrest, and COVID-19, among other concerns—it is easy to lose focus on planning and preparing for the future. One future happening that shouldn’t be overlooked is Google’s gradual but ultimate shift to Google Analytics 4 (or GA4 for short). Readjust your focus. Your brand’s online presence depends on it.

What’s in store with GA4?

As reported several months ago, Google is migrating to GA4 as an answer to complaints from the Austrian-based data authority, DSB, over not following the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This ties in, obviously, with the concerns of Google customers that have resulted in a shift from marketers using third-party tracking (not privacy-friendly) but are now attempting to change over to applying first-party data (all about transparency) to reach target audiences. Google’s change to GA4 is happening now. And your brand or business must be ready.

A breakdown of similarities and differences between the old and the new

In a recent study for Search Engine Land, Krista Seiden pointed out that there are in fact some similarities between Universal Analytics (UA) and GA4, stating that the concepts—including users, sessions, and pageviews— are similar, but the application is different. The differences between the two applications are primarily that “Conversions” of GA4 replace “Goals” of UA, and there is a new concept called “Engaged Sessions,” which are made up of time periods on a site that last 10 or more seconds, a conversion event, or two pageviews or screen views. Other new features to GA4 include “Predictive Modeling” and “Data Attribution,” which are explained in further detail by Jim Pasqualone, Senior Director of Digital Development at EGC.

The clock is ticking. Not everyone is happy…

The complete migration to GA4 will be complete by the end of 2023, which, as of this writing, is approximately a year-and-a-half away. There have been complaints and concerns about the differences, ranging from how data between UA and GA4 won’t be comparable to marked differences in the interfaces. As Jessica Jacobs, writing for AdExchanger summarized:

GA4 is a new, still-evolving platform, which can pose a different set of challenges for marketers. GA4 is not a one-to-one swap for UA. Taking time to understand the nuances and configuring the platform to work best for individual needs can yield major dividends down the road.

There will undoubtedly be the proverbial bugs in the GA4 system that must be worked out over time. If you feel intimidated about making this switch, you may find help from a “one stop solution” provided by the Digital Dashboard of Raydeus Local. This platform enables you to control how your business is seen and be discovered in online searches everywhere. Additionally, discover more at MyRaydeusLocal.com and how its team of retail marketing specialists dedicate themselves to retail, franchise, and multi-unit location marketing.

Contact us. We will help you manage and promote the visibility of your brand’s online presence.