In March 2022 Google announced that Universal Analytics, the standard tracking property for Google Analytics, will stop processing data as of July 1st 2023 to make way for GA4.
This gives website owners a head start of around 16 months to make the change in order to ensure that they can still track user activity on their website, including metrics such as sessions, revenue, bounce rate and time spent on site.
With Universal Analytics effectively becoming ‘end of life’ by this date, it’s imperative that website owners make the move to GA4 now.
Timeline of changes for GA4
Until July 1st 2023, Universal Analytics will still continue to collect data on websites in your GA account
After July 1st 2023, you’ll be able to access historical data in your Universal Analytics account for up to 6 months
If you’re using Google Analytics 360, then there will be a one-time processing extension which ends on October 1st 2023
Still to be confirmed
Google has yet to confirm the date when existing Universal Analytics will no longer be available to access.
This includes accessing your reports through the usual Google Analytics dashboards or accessing data through APIs and third party reports.
This is expected to be announced in the coming months.
How to check your property type
If your property was created before October 14th 2020, then it’s very likely you’ll be using a Universal Analytics property.
If your property was created after October 14th 2020, then it’s very likely you’ll be using a GA4 property.
To double check and find out whether you have a Universal Analytics property or a Google Analytics 4 property, look at your property ID to see which type of property you have.
Universal Analytics property IDs start with UA and end with a number such as, UA-XXXXXXXXX-1 whereas Google Analytics 4 property IDs have only numbers XXXXXXXXX.
What you should do now
We would strongly recommend that web owners make the switch to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible to ensure that there is sufficient historical data by the time that Universal Analytics is put to bed.
For instance, if you are able to get your GA4 property set up, tracking activity and reporting on your key metrics before 1st July 2022 then you’ll still be able to access year-on-year comparisons by the time that Universal Analytics is sunset.
If you have no Google Analytics properties at all, then you’ll need to create an account from scratch and configure a new property in GA4.
If you have an existing Universal Analytics property, you can add a GA4 property to your existing profile by using the GA4 Setup Assistant, which will collect data in tandem alongside your Universal Analytics.
If your website relies on a plugin or extension whereby you enter the “UA-“ ID manually, then you’ll need to insert Google’s global site tag (gtag.js) into the head of each webpage, usually through the custom HTML or page layout in your website builder.
How we can assist with GA4
There have been rumours that this change has been on the cards over the last couple of years so our team already have experience in migrating accounts from Universal Analytics to GA4 to allow your data to be captured without interruption.
As well as setting up GA4 properties for your domains, we can configure the tracking to meet the requirements for your reporting needs, including goal set up and eCommerce tracking such as revenue, checkout reporting and basket abandonment.
We expect further details to be announced over the coming weeks and months, but contact Kanuka Digital today to discuss how we can migrate your Google Analytics data and ensure that you are ahead of the curve.
Why work with Kanuka Digital?
Kanuka Digital are a straight-talking digital marketing and web development agency who specialise in making eCommerce businesses flourish online.
✓ 10+ team of marketers, designers & developers with a passion for eCommerce
✓ Proven experience growing eCommerce companies from startups through to FTSE 100s
✓ Backed by iWeb, an award-winning eCommerce agency, with 20+ years experience