It’s for good reason that Google’s Analytics “free” service has become one of the most popular services to measure websites. Google’s Universal Analytics product has been around for over a decade now and many people recognise that service as being completely synonymous with website analytics.
What not so many people know is that Google will retire their Universal Analytics service on July 1st this year, replacing it with their latest Google Analytics 4 (GA4) system – and action is required otherwise websites will stop being measured.
Universal Analytics Stops Working in:
After this time, you will need to switch to Google’s “free” Analytics 4, adding in the new tracking code to your website in order to keep using Google Analytics.
We encourage our clients to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 earlier rather than later as historical data is not transferred between the services, so an earlier move will ensure that they have some historical data to compare their new results against.
As a Google Partner, Urban Haze can readily help anyone upgrade from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
You may have noticed that we use the word “free” in quotes here when talking about Google Analytics – that’s because whilst there is no paid cost to use these services, you do need to agree to Google’s terms and conditions, and within those terms and conditions you’re agreeing to certain things that not everyone has fully read the small print and understood:
- Your analytics data relating to your visitors is taken outside the EU to be processed.
- That browsing data on your side is used to add to Google’s knowledge about your visitors
This means you need good cookie and privacy polices and agreements of your own to ensure you remain compliant with legislation like GDPR and let them know you’re doing this with Google, and you may also need to think about the ethical issues of people visiting your website helping Google learn more about them and their browsing activities.
We like to mention this to all clients, just to ensure that they can make informed decisions.
For most, this will be an acceptable exchange and using something like Termageddon helps deal with compliance issues. For those few that prefer other analytics solutions. It goes without saying that we’ve done our research and have found the best option available to help with that, which we believe is Fathom.
If you’re happy using Google Analytics – as most people are, then we recommend using it along with Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager. These solutions work nicely together to provide a great foundation for any analytics and will tie in nicely with online marketing solutions such as Google Ads or A/B Testing to provide automatic feedback, improving the efficacy and value of these services.