Mediagistic Blog

GA4 vs. Universal Analytics: What Google’s New Analytics Platform Means for Home Service Businesses

Chris Swere
Chris Swere

Google Analytics 4 is a major upcoming change to Google’s web analytics platform, offering a fresh new way to collect and utilize data from your website and app visitors. Google originally introduced this property back in October 2020, but it’s gaining a renewed wave of interest and attention as Google has slated its previous analytics platform, Universal Analytics, to stop processing data in the middle of 2023.

Read on to learn more about what GA4 is, what it means for businesses, and how Mediagistic is working to address the GA4 transition for our clients.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest release in Google’s data analytics properties. Its predecessor, Universal Analytics, will become obsolete on July 1, 2023. Universal Analytics 360 will continue to process data for a further three months, until October 1, 2023, at which time GA4 will be the only option available for processing and evaluating Google data.

Why is the Transition to Google Analytics 4 Important?

The transition to Google Analytics 4 is important because this is a mandatory change for any marketer who wants to assess and utilize data from Google. GA4 first came out of beta in October 2020, so many marketing teams are already familiar with its features and functionality. However, the pending demise of UA means that learning how to function within GA4 is no longer optional – it will soon be essential.

GA4 vs UA: What Does This Mean for Businesses?

GA4 functions very differently from UA. Within UA, page views were the most critical metric. These were evaluated within individual sessions, providing somewhat compartmentalized data. GA4 expands the parameters of Google’s search analysis, compiling data on visits to both your website and your app.

GA4 provides more in-depth insights that go beyond individual sessions to evaluate engaged sessions, engagement time, and engagement rate. Essentially, this tells you not only how many people are visiting your website and app, but also how attentive and active those visitors are.

What Does the Transition to GA4 Entail?

To start using GA4, you’ll need to either set up your Google analytics collection from stage one, or you’ll need to add Google Analytics 4 to an existing website. If you’re currently using UA, the GA4 Setup Assistant can seamlessly integrate Google Analytics 4 alongside Universal Analytics. UA will continue collecting data until July 2023, allowing you to use both properties in the interim.

How is Mediagistic Addressing the GA4 Transition?

Mediagistic is proactively responding to the coming transition by progressively implementing GA4 code on all LeadBuilder sites. This allows us to begin collecting valuable GA4 data well ahead of the phaseout of UA. In preparation for the July 2023 phaseout, the Mediagistic digital strategy team is:

  • Creating new accounts for all of our clients.
  • Ensuring that properties and tracking are set up properly.
  • Setting up Google tag manager.
  • Ensuring that GA4 integrates seamlessly with our Business Center tracking and that there is an API component of the setup.

We’re closely monitoring the changing metrics to assess how they will impact our clients. By phasing GA4 in early, we’re able to ensure a smooth transition for our clients. At Mediagistic, we continuously monitor trends and evolving technology in the digital marketing space so we can create effective campaigns that fully utilize all the latest tools. Our digital marketing solutions allow home services companies like yours to achieve unprecedented growth.

Chris Swere is a Digital Strategy Manager at Mediagistic with over 20 years of experience in internet marketing. He excels at using both technical and creative skills to help companies achieve their goals through web analytics, search engine optimization, paid search marketing, social marketing, and more. Chris is an expert in a variety of areas including account management, customer service, web design, and video and audio production. Connect with him on Linkedin.

Featured image via iStock

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