By the second half of 2023, Google Analytics as you know it will die.
Sadly that’s not hyperbole.
When most people talk about Google Analytics, they’re actually referring to what Google calls Universal Analytics.
On July 1st 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing new data.
And there’s nothing that you can do about that.
The good news is that it’s being replaced by Google Analytics 4.
The bad news is that Google Analytics 4 is a little bit horrible.
Unless you’re very technical and like jumping through complex hoops and challenges to serve up data that under the “old” Analytics was a click or two away.
I’ll be honest with you.
I am really quite surprised by how horribly complicated, confusing, frustrating and unpleasant Google Analytics 4 is.
But don’t worry. I have a solution that will make you fall in love with Google Analytics 4.
But before anything else, you have to understand this:
Google Analytics 4 isn’t a new interface or upgrade.
I wish it was, as it’d be easier to work with.
But it’s a completely different beast.
The reasons for this are complex and boring, and don’t really matter.
What does matter is that we’ve become accustomed to being able to quickly find answers to simple questions.
- How many people come to our website?
- What content do they view?
- Where do they come from?
- How worthwhile are our content pieces?
- Which pages do they go to?
- Which do they ignore?
- Is anyone even spending time on our website?
- What’s broken and needs to be fixed?
On July 1st, this data will never be refreshed or updated again.
Today you have to make a decision.
Broadly speaking, you have four options to choose from.
Option 1 – do nothing.
You can choose not to act on this at all.
But on July 1st, everything will go dark.
And on July 1st or later, you’ll have to choose between options 2 and 3 anyway.
So this isn’t a good option.
Option 2 – switch to a new product.
In other words a new analytics solution.
There are a surprising number of them out there – free & paid, poor & excellent.
But you have plenty of options to choose from.
Option 3 – switch off all analytics forever. Go dark.
This is an option, but I really don’t recommend it.
You may not log into your Analytics account often at all, but when you’ve needed to, that information is there.
Do you really want to know nothing about how well or badly your website is performing?
About how many people read your blog?
About how much interest there is in your products or services?
Option 4 – install Google Analytics 4 today.
Bear with me.
First of all, you need to know that you can run Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 on the same website at the same time.
Second of all, doing so is surprisingly easy.
It goes without saying that I recommend the fourth option here.
Wait. Didn’t I just slam Google Analytics 4?
Yes I did.
But I’m curiously optimistic, and also reasonably logical.
The optimism? Maybe, just maybe, Google will make the front end of Google Analytics 4 easier to work with between now and July.
Why do I think that’s even a possibility?
Because if they don’t, I am confident that a lot of businesses will choose the second option of switching to a competing product.
And Google have invested heavily in Analytics over the years.
And the logical choice?
Installing Google Analytics 4 means that when July comes around, you’ll not only have more options to choose from, you’ll also have months of data, should you choose to move to Google Analytics 4.
The most important thing is to do something. And do it today.
The more options you have, the less you’ll be pressured to decide.