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The Shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4: How Will It Affect Digital Marketing?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has acted as an integral part of almost every marketer’s toolkit since its initial launch way back in 2005, but with Google’s recent announcement that Universal Analytics will cease processing new data on July 1, 2023, as the company rolls out Google Analytics 4 (GA4), many business owners are justifiably wondering how this transition will affect their digital marketing strategies.

While it’s safe to expect some growing pains as businesses adapt to these changes, the good news is that GA4 is set to launch with a number of features that will make marketing efforts more streamlined and more effective than ever. Let’s take a look at what businesses can expect:

Better Insights

One of the most exciting things about GA4 is its emphasis on more user-centric reporting and tracking functionality. Rather than individual sessions on a single device, GA4 will be capable of tracking the user journey across multiple devices. With shoppers jumping between phones, laptops, and in-store browsing increasingly often in order to research and pay for their purchases, GA4 will make it much easier to get an accurate picture of individual users and improve customer journey mapping.

More Customer Privacy

While it’s a major benefit to marketers, some users will likely be concerned about how this improved tracking and reporting will impact the security of their consumer data and personal information.

GA4 was designed with privacy in mind from the start: Not only is it ditching third-party cookies, but it also plans to anonymize user IP addresses to better comply with privacy laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Businesses, on the other hand, may wonder how they’ll actually be able to use customer information for marketing and analysis. For authenticated users, access to User ID and Google Signals data will still provide plenty of rich data, and GA4’s advanced AI is also capable of bridging gaps in data to provide businesses with actionable insights.

The Power of AI

Speaking of artificial intelligence, GA4’s robust AI is poised to give business owners and marketers the unprecedented ability to predict future trends based on current data, as well to identify emerging opportunities and even point out potential problems that might be getting overlooked by existing marketing strategies.

While the full capabilities of GA4’s machine learning tools won’t be understood until the service launches, it seems clear that businesses will be better prepared than ever to spot and respond to new trends in order to better serve their customers.

Get Started with Google Analytics 4

Businesses that want to adapt and thrive instead of playing catch up should start collecting data and developing a plan to transition to GA4 now, but that process doesn’t need to be an intimidating or confusing one.

At Net Profit Marketing, our expert team of digital marketers and developers is here to help you implement GA4 for your company’s websites so that you aren’t caught unaware when Universal Analytics phases out. Contact Net Profit Marketing today to see how we can help you prepare for the future of analytics.

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