From 1 July 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing data and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will take over. This has been known for a while, but far from everyone is excited about it because this version measures and works very differently from the old version. The main positive consequence? GA4 uses the event-driven data model and this will help you interpret data better. Of the 150 reports, 30 will remain - less is more! These reports are going to help you work in a more data-driven way. Oh, and handy to get into: it's best to create new accounts via GA4 already.
How do you set up GA4 for your existing account?
Do you expect to need today's data a year from now? Then it makes sense to start collecting data now. So, hup, quickly set up a GA4 prop for your account. This is easy with the help of the install-assissent. As with Universal Analytics, the current variant, you only collect data if you proactively pursue it. Once installed, you can work in both the old and new environments. The advantage of timely installation is that you can switch whenever you want. You can then get familiar with GA4 while still using Universal Analytics.
Change: third-party cookies go away
Third-party cookies are also being banned by Google. This trend was started earlier by Safari and Firefox. Just a reminder: third-party cookies are collected, for example, on social media websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and on Google itself. They contain all kinds of information about your online behaviour. What effect does banning them have? Well, visitor activity can be more difficult to analyse, for instance because returning visitors are no longer recognised. The focus is more on first-party cookies, and actually this is a positive development.
Benefits of first-party cookies
Yes, first-party cookies are more flexible and better for storing and using data. They are also seen as more user-friendly because they help websites recognise a visitor's profile. For instance for automatic login, setting a certain language right away or personalising content. Furthermore, these cookies are resistant to ad blockers. Good to know: when used in an anonymous tab (incognito window), they remain active but are limited to the same session. After closing the browser tab, the first-party cookies are also deleted again.
How does GA4 respond to this?
Well then, more and more third-party cookies will be blocked and so it will become more difficult to track a user online. Thanks to GA4, you are better prepared for a future with fewer cookies. As explained earlier, the way of collecting data will be different, but a lot more effective. Namely, the focus will be more on the interaction on a website itself. This helps the customer journey (customer journey) more clearly.
Delete personal data with GA4
GA4 was created in view of the tightened privacy legislation. So this version is more future-proof than the current system. As an internet user, you can make a request to delete your personal data on a website. Will this data then be lost forever? Yes and no. The original data is deleted, but the new machine learning models use copies of the data to predict future user behaviour.
- New insights and expectations
- Tracks users across devices in deeper reports
- Detailed data control options
- Better integration with Google Ads
Practising with GA4
Well, the saying is not for nothing: practice makes perfect. Get to know GA4's new environment, the new way of reporting and creating new target groups. Of course, a new system with a different interface always takes some getting used to. Especially now, because GA4 really does work completely differently from Universal Analytics. Important to remember: you don't take your old data with you. So work on collecting new data! Not an Analytics expert? No problem. At The Fully Bookers, we see this new system as a cool challenge. Our specialists already know all about it. If you have any questions about this, feel free to ring the bell.