Daily Standup 08 – Transitioning From Universal Analytics to GA4, Google’s Power & Who Wins

This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection. 

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Daily Standup 08 - Transitioning From Universal Analytics to GA4, Google's Power & Who Wins

Daily Standup 08

  • Google is retiring Universal Analytics in July 2023
  • Setting your GA4 account up for success
  • A tool to migrate Universal Analytics goals to GA4
  • Google’s power to make big changes and who wins?

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Automated Transcription

All right, hello. Hello Tyler Bryden here. Excited today to talk about a big change is coming. A big change that will impact many people and that is a switch from Google Universal Analytics to GTA4. And now this may be a niche topic for some of you. This might be where you end up and you don’t care about this right now, but generally small businesses, businesses across the world have been using analytics for many many years to measure the success of their marketing efforts.

Hook it into their websites. Optimize ad campaigns and it’s instrumental tool for companies who are trying to advertise and grow their business and use digital marketing to do that and what this speaks to is a really interesting I think power dynamic, which is a lot of people don’t want this to happen. They’re very comfortable with universal analytics. They’ve they’ve had it for many, many years. They’ve got a set up that they’re happy with and yet it it shows the control and the power that Google has to be able to make.

Big changes like this and not really just like a subtle change where it’s like, here’s a new version you can start using this it G8 four has been in beta for a while and you’ve been able to open up a property and start testing and playing around with it, and I’ve heard some mixed reviews and things, but generally Google has that with some of their products, but then optimizes over time based on feedback and so I do think it will get better. And as they talk about a lot of this is. It’s different from a. The world is different now than when Google Analytics. Google Universal Analytics was created. So in July 2023 July 1st, Universal Analytics will stop processing new data.

And if you do not have GTA for account then you will be no longer leveraging the insights and tracking data through analytics anymore. So you can set up GTA4 right now and I would recommend that you do because the data is not going to transfer over and so after it seems like maybe six months Google might even just remove access to universal analytics and thing. That’s really interesting here I believe is that you know who I’m asking. Sort of who wins. In this scenario, and who wins our I would say marketing agencies, freelancers who are working with clients who have universal analytics who do not.

These clients don’t have the capacity or sophistication level or the the time, anything, anything that allows them not to spend time on this, meaning that they’re going to now rely on these agencies and freelancers to make these changes. And you know, know how an agency model works. You say quote for 10 hours takes people an hour, and I think there’s going to be a lot of money flowing. Found to make these changes with. With relatively low impact on the actual success for the businesses on the end, so. There are some recommendations here about making the switch as soon as possible.

There are some things around. At least claims around why GTA4 is the right shift and got some couple articles here. I’ve played around with a bit to be honest, I’m still a little bit confused. I feel like for the first time I’m having this like I like. You know, I’m you know.

Back in my day Universal Analytics, I’m having that experience of a little bit playing around with it and just some things that seem counterintuitive. Based off, I would say some of the intuitiveness that I do find in universal analytics, but maybe that’s just a bias from using it. Quite a bit, and one of the things that I think is really important to me is one of the biggest elements, and when I was first of all running my marketing agency and then working with a bunch of different clients, one of the things I found was that there were often no goals set up or and if they weren’t, then that was a huge transformation that needed to be made to make sure that that was set up. So then you could optimize ads, track success, make optimizations, make improvements. Now the companies that did have goals set up, or now that you do have it set up, this is one of the most important parts of your business.

Because, for example, you pull in goals into Google ads and you use that to optimize the algorithms when you’re paying for advertisements to increase the success, decrease the cost per acquisition cost per conversion. And if you don’t have goals, then Google doesn’t have the signals that are required to to be able to do that, and so Google is now if you’re in your Google ads account, you will see that they’re recommending to make the switch, and that you actually need to import a GA four data G4 goals to then. Get prepared for this shift and I think there was a little bit of panic here, but what is nice? At least what I’m seeing here is that there is a GA 4 basically universal analytics to GA. Four goal migration tool and I haven’t gone through this yet.

I might go through this in another version of this or just maybe share some insights from the process, but you can look at goals versus conversion events. It tells you the eligible goals that you’re able to convert over and that is. For example, I think the main two goals that are really important in. In most people’s analytics stats, so destination goals. So when someone views a specific page.

And they give an examples. You have a contact form on your site when a contact form is successfully submitted, you redirect to it. Thank you page and then then that triggers the goal. That’s the destination goal. Those are widely used across businesses in different businesses and industries and sizes and everything and scale so great you can.

You can transfer that really nicely and then the second base is event based goals. So those goals are much more sort of custom made. A lot of people are stacking Google Tag manager which is sort of a shelf for Google. Analytics and then sending a trigger when say someone clicks on a specific link or interacts with a dev or something on on a website page that then sends a sort of a trigger back to to Google Analytics and then that pushes it as a goal. So as you can see video play, ad click etcetera etcetera. So that is also eligible.

You can transfer that over. It’s seemingly pretty easily and again once I go through this experience I will share if that was as easy as I thought it be or hoped it would be. And I think that’s you know those are some of the big pieces there. A couple of other goals setups are not really going to be the same, but you know. So they’re saying that you can’t do duration smart goals.

I don’t know these smart goals always suck. Some of these pages per session goals. Really, I don’t know if those should be goals when you have a limited scope, there are other things that you should probably focus on as a business, then multiple pages per session, and you can sort of integrate that in different ways and. Lastly, just one other article from them. Make the switch and this is an interesting.

You know, get started and then finish migrating so they’ve even rated the effort of these tasks to make the switch successfully and then finish migrating and so depending on again business size, the complexity of your analytics setup, how many properties you have. This seems like it could be relatively easy, or this could be relatively horrible and time staking. And I know for myself, there’s a bunch of properties that I mean not too many websites floating around both from just my perspective legacy clients. People that I’ve you know helped support in the past, and they’re all sitting on universal analytics. I’m looking at upwards of, you know, 5075 possibly and.

You know, even for me it’s like I need to inform these people that they need to make the switch and now you know my time my my my time is considerate valuable. How do I build that capacity and do I want to build that capacity? And do I sort send them to someone else? Do I do this myself and I think that’s going to be a question that a lot of people who have worked with clients all different sizes will be asking themselves, but knowing that this is a very important transformation that needs to happen. And a migration that needs to happen.

And I’m also interested with this. Change that no one really wanted that has scared people along with some of the cookies that are happening. We’ve seen the impact of, you know, sort of this macro trend of people getting less convinced about digital marketing. The success of it with Apple, what they’ve done with the cookies? Google planning to do the same.

Are are people using this sort of open source versions of analytics now there’s? Ethical concerns with using analytics. Like a lot of changes are happening here and I’m really interested to see how does this impact all this. And obviously if you are going to continue with analytics, got a little bit of work to do so July 1st 2023, you better have that that transformation that migration in place and I’d recommend at least getting this GA 4 property up as soon as possible and then if you can migrate those goals as quickly as possible so you’ve got some historical data as that. You know, as that transition happens.

So if you have any questions or anything about this, let me know. I’m going to be doing this on my own. I’ll share some insights about the process, but definitely thank you Google, I appreciate this very much and for anyone else who has any thoughts around this, would love to hear and hear about the migration efforts and anything else that you’re thinking and even just to maximize the value of G A4 as we all get ready for it. So thank you so much for tuning in. Hope you enjoyed this and for all the digital marketers out there.

Best of luck. All the companies out there. Best of luck. Thank you very much for tuning in.


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