If you have a website there’s a good chance you’re using Google Analytics, and if you have Google Analytics you’ve probably received a bunch of emails from Google saying you need to move to Google Analytics 4 by July 2023.
What the heck is all this about, and what does it mean for you?
Google Analytics is a service that tracks website and app usage. At the most basic level, once you’re hooked up to Google Analytics you can see how many people are visiting your website, where they’re coming from and what they’re looking at. But perhaps more importantly Analytics is foundational to Google’s ecosystem. Being connected to that system makes your website and organisation discoverable across Google services, like their search engine & map services.
Two things are driving Google’s move to Google Analytics 4 or “GA4”:
- The increased usage of mobile apps and web apps means we need a tool that can measure both. Changes to privacy laws and technology mean the old methods of tracking website usage will be blocked.
- The second point is behind the push to upgrade to GA4. In the past upgrades to Google Analytics were a sedate affair, with plenty of time to upgrade. This time around the changes to privacy law and privacy changes in technology from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Firefox and others are forcing this change.
There are other changes to GA4 regarding how website and app usage is tracked, this gives a lot more flexibility, but also requires more setup to track the things that are important to website owners (e.g. e-commerce purchases).
Our recommendation is that our customers start using GA4 as soon as possible, to start building a history of usage in your website in this new system and ready themselves for the changes to privacy. It is also important for your search engine profile that you are part of the Google ecosystem, including Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
To start using GA4:
- Squarespace is relatively straightforward: Using Google Analytics with Squarespace
- Shopify is a bit more complicated: Setting up Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on Shopify
- UpShift can help with setting up GA4 on Squarespace or Shopify.
- Please contact us about Silverstripe, other website platforms, web apps and mobile apps.
Banner Photo by Blake Wisz