Google Universal Analytics Is Dead, Long Live Google Analytics 4
On July 3, 2023, Google will no longer record data to websites using Google Universal Analytics and instead shift all tracking to Google Analytics 4. What does this mean for your medical practice and your marketing efforts? We’re here to help.
Universal Analytics (UA) is the name of Google’s website performance tracker, more commonly referred to simply as “Google Analytics.” It’s been the default measurement protocol for information about your website at both a high and granular level for years. UA allows people to track who has visited their website, including users’ locations, time spent on specific pages, which pages they visited, and other relevant information to help website owners make decisions about how to best manage and encourage people to visit their site.
If you created your Google Analytics account before October 14, 2020, you’re using UA. Accounts created after that date are likely built with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you have a marketing team, ask them whether you have UA or GA4.
The new generation of Google Analytics is called Google Analytics 4. It represents a few key changes that increase privacy for individuals while enhancing the accuracy and granularity of collected data. The dashboards and current user experience will be updated slightly to better allow marketers or managers to see drill-down analytics and establish goals that align with their marketing funnel.
Here are a few of the main differences between GA4 and UA:
- IP addresses are no longer collected (enhanced user privacy)
- User interactions no longer aggregated within a given time frame (increased granularity)
- Machine learning tracks a user across multiple devices (greater insight into user journeys)
- Integrations with other Google services, including Ads (paid ads easier to track performance in one location)
While they may seem like small changes, they represent an effort to future-proof Google Analytics with looming data privacy laws across the globe and provide analysts the ability to better track what is fast becoming a key gap in understanding: how people use the web across multiple devices.
Changing over from UA to GA4 isn’t a matter of “if,” but “when.” UA accounts will no longer work after July 3, 2023. Fortunately, the process of updating your Google Analytics account is simple. You can choose to simply re-add your website to push the tool to use the newer GA4 platform, or use Google’s GA4 Setup Assistant within the Analytics site.
Your marketing agency will be able to handle this transition without losing access to relevant prior website data.
Google Analytics is the foundation of a strategic, data-driven practice growth strategy. It’s a free platform that allows you to see who’s coming to your website and what they’re doing on it. However, gaining real insights from all this raw data can be confusing for people who don’t have the time to learn how to use Analytics and monitor performance metrics full-time.
At DLM, we provide end-to-end marketing analytics to ensure your practice is maximizing ROI by linking lead data all the way through to your EMR, which allows you to see real dollar amounts rather than vague metrics like page views. Find out how your website stacks up to competitors by calling our team or filling out a contact form today.