Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s popular web analytics platform, offering advanced features that provide businesses with insights into their customers and data-driven decisions. However, if you’re using Universal Analytics, you may be wondering about the effort involved in migrating to GA4 and whether it’s worth it. 

In short, yes, it’s worth the time and effort to migrate as soon as possible. Despite the challenges, there are a number of long-term benefits. On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data. After July 1, 2023 only GA4 properties will track and report on site analytics. Better to get a jump start on the process now to make sure you’re ready! 

End of Google Analytics, rise of Google Analytics 4

Universal Analytics off into the sunset

What GA4 migration challenges can you expect?

Some things to consider:

  • Updating Tracking Code: One of the main challenges of migrating to GA4 is updating your tracking code. Unlike Universal Analytics, which uses a single tracking code, GA4 requires a different tracking code for each type of event you want to track. This means updating the tracking code on every page of your website or app to take advantage of GA4’s features.
  • Data Loss during Migration: Data loss during migration is a possibility, as not all data collected using custom dimensions or custom metrics in Universal Analytics may be fully supported in GA4. However, Google has made efforts to ensure as much data as possible is transferred to GA4.
  • Cost of Migration: Migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4 can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large and complex website or app. This means there may be a cost associated with upgrading to GA4, whether in terms of time spent by your team or the need to bring in outside help.

What are the benefits of GA4?

Despite the challenges, there are many good reasons to consider migrating to GA4. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Better tracking of user behavior: GA4 places more emphasis on tracking user events, which are specific actions that users take on your website or app, such as clicking a button or completing a form. This makes it easier to understand how users are interacting with your business, and to identify areas for improvement.
  • Improved data accuracy: GA4’s event-based tracking system is more accurate than Universal Analytics, which relies on sessions and pageviews to track user behavior. This means that you’ll have more reliable data to work with when analyzing user behavior and making business decisions.
  • Machine learning capabilities: GA4 is designed to work seamlessly with Google’s machine learning technology, which can help you automatically identify patterns and trends in your data. This makes it easier to spot opportunities for optimization and growth, and to make more informed data-driven decisions.
  • Easier cross-device tracking: With GA4, it’s easier to track users across different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. This is important because many users interact with businesses through multiple devices, and being able to track their behavior across all of them can provide valuable insights.
  • Enhanced privacy features: GA4 includes new privacy features that make it easier to comply with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. For example, you can set up data retention controls to automatically delete user data after a specified period of time.

GA4 Conclusions

The benefits of GA4 make it worth considering for businesses of all sizes and industries. Updating your tracking code, ensuring data transfer, and being mindful of potential costs are essential steps to take advantage of GA4’s advanced features and drive growth and success for your business.