As you've probably already heard, as of 1 July 2023, Google will stop collecting data for Google Analytics UA (Universal Analytics), which is the most widely used web analytics tool today. Google has released an updated version of Google Analytics (Google Analytics 4, GA4) that all current users of UA are supposed to transition to. For those of you who have already made an attempt to transition to GA4 or had a quick look at GA4 when it was released over X years ago, there is a lot that has changed and in my opinion, much for the better.
The main issue and the big reason why Google chooses to stop maintaining and collecting data in Google Analytics is, in my opinion, the new laws and regulations, including GDPR and Schrem 2 that Universal Analytics does not fully comply with.
But GA4 is within all the rules of the law, the main ones being that the data is now stored in Europe and that IP numbers are no longer stored. This information came out already in March 2022 and can be read directly from Google in this article Prepare for the future with Google Analytics 4
Do GA4 and Google Analytics (UA) work in the same way?
No it is a new way of measuring and needs to be set up in a new way. The different versions of Google Analytics also look different and need to be configured a bit differently when it comes to Goals/Conversions.
Can I continue to use Google Analytics?
The old version of Google Analytics UA will stop collecting information on 1 July 2023. This means that you will no longer be able to analyze or collect information in Google Analytics after this date. Therefore, it is important to have GA4 or another web analytics tool set up before that date if you want to continue measuring traffic and events on your website.
Is GA4 data stored in Europe?
Yes, GA4 stores data in Europe which allows you to collect web statistics on your website fully compliant with GDPR regulations.
Is GA4 GDPR and Schrems 2 secure?
Yes GA4 is compliant with both GDPR and Schrems 2. But it is not the old version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) so it is high time to move to GA4 now.
I can't find Goals in GA4:
Goals is a feature found in the old version of Google Analytics that has been replaced by "Conversions" in GA4. They serve the same purpose but the set-up is slightly different. In GA4 everything is based on events which can then be recorded as Conversions instead.
Do I need to change the Google Analytics tag on the website to move to GA4?
Yes, you need to do that. There is a new script to be added to the website that is adapted for GA4. This can be done both by implementing the code directly on the website or a tagging tool, e.g. Google Tag Manager.
Do I need to use GA4?
When Google Analytics UA stops collecting information, you will not be able to use that tool. But there is no obligation to switch to GA4. There are many other web analytics tools that you can use instead of GA4. Here are some options: Matomo, Piwik Pro and Vizzit.
Does it cost anything to use GA4?
GA4, like Google Analytics (UA), is completely free. If you need help setting up GA4, event tracking or configuring something, agencies or experts can be hired and you often have to pay for that. But if you are competent yourself, everything can be set up completely on your own.
Is GA4 difficult to use?
As with any new tool, it can be difficult at first before you learn how to navigate around and where to find the reports and information you are looking for. Other than that, it's no more difficult than Google Analytics (UA). But here, too, taste is as much as the butt; divided
Can you help us set up GA4?
Yes, we at Contitude have specialists in data and digital analytics and will of course help you if you need that help. Each set-up is unique and if you would like a quote for a set-up, please contact one of us at Contitude.
I want to learn more about GA4
If you would like to learn more about how to get the most value from GA4, we at Contitude run courses in GA4 and you are more than welcome to get in touch if you are interested.
Contitude has developed an online training in GA4 that is suitable for those who are just getting started with Google Analytics 4. In the 2-hour training, we go through everything you need to succeed with GA4 and impress your colleagues with your newly acquired knowledge.
In addition, there is a lot of information to be found on Contitude's blog but also on Google's own blog about Google Analytics
Need to get started with GA4 and need some help?
Book a free 30 min consultation with us: GA4 Consultation