We have previously talked about the impending switch from the Google Analytics Universal version to Google analytics 4, which is happening on 1st July 2023.
After which point you can access historical data for 6 months but then it will cease to be in operation.
With that we suggested a number of things you could do last year to prepare for this:
- Setting up a GA4 account, so that by the following year you will have collected a year’s worth of data in the history section.
- Run your existing GA account alongside the new GA4 account to cross-check and understand differences.
- Pull down historical reports from GA so you have that stored history somewhere.
- Migrate your bespoke reports across to GA4, so where possible you have the existing suite of reports you rely on as a business.
- Understand now where terminology has changed – for example goals are now called conversions.
Google have explained the impact of the change in their questions and answers article here.
Initial teething niggles……
Through helping clients with this transition, in the last year, we have found a number of niggles with the GA4 including:
- Tracking will suddenly stop for no apparent reason
- Bounce rates have shown anomalies without obvious explanation
- Variables disappear and then re-appear
- Tags and settings change
- There is a limit on how many API quota’s you can do at any one time
- You might have to wait two days for data to show in bespoke reports
Google have said these are all bugs they are looking to fix, but it has led us to question whether GA should be your main source of digital analytics or should you look at other ways to track?
How Fusion Analytics could be an alternative…
Fusion analytics has a digital reporting alternative called WebFusion. It captures and holds raw click stream data so, whatever happens, we have a history and ability to mine into data. We have found this ownership extremely powerful for our clients in the following ways:
- They wanted to track people not browsers, so we can enable this.
- Sampled reports in Google Analytics would break confidence in the data, so we instead we can provide unsampled data.
- When GDPR came in, we had more control about what data we captured/didn’t capture.
- When our clients re-platform with new URL structures, we can splice in the old structures so reports remain consistent.
- If a client finds a new cohort of customers, we can calculate this retrospectively for them rather than always having to start again.
- We have prepared for the cookieless future by having a range of identifiers we can switch to retrospectively.
So, whether GA4 is right for you but you need support in set up and migration, or if Webfusion could be a better alternative get in touch on email@example.com or call 0203 287 5387.