Google Is Phasing Out Universal Analytics
Google has announced that Universal Analytics is being phased out by June 30, 2023 - that's this week. We'll cover what you need to do this week but before that, let's talk about why it's important for your nonprofit to use analytics in the first place.
So What's The Big Deal About Analytics?
Here's the cool thing - Google Analytics is a free website tool that helps your team measure your ROI of marketing, fundraising, and communications campaigns. You can find out about the acquisition of new visitors and donors and which campaigns bring traffic to your website. You can measure the behavior of your visitors once they're at your site - what content they are reading, what pages they visit, how long they stay on pages, and more. You can see which actions visitors take on your calls to action - when they convert and provide you with their information in exchange for information, more content, a meeting, or to provide a donation.
Basically, these analytics track, measure, and provide reports based on how you set up information to be tracked. From that information, you can make data-driven decisions on your campaigns, the content you provide, the calls to action that are successful, and much more.
If you've been using Universal Analytics (Google Analytics 3), you've realized the benefits of making decisions on this data. Now it's time to upgrade to Google Analytics 4. Let's next cover the benefits of Google Analytics 4.
What Are The New Features Of Google Analytics 4?
The thing we like most about GA4 is it prioritizes user privacy. That's important for nonprofits who want to ensure the safety and security of their supporters' information and data. Here is a brief comparison of Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4 features. You can read more details on Google's Support Page:
|Total Users||Total number of users.||Total number of unique users who logged an event.|
|New Users||Number of users who interacted with your site for the first time.||Number of users who interacted with your site or launched your app for the first time.|
|Active Users||N/A||Number of distinct users who visited your website or application. An active user is any user who has an engaged session.|
|Pageview||Total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.||Total number of app screens and/or web pages your users saw. Repeated views of a single screen or page are counted.|
|Unique Pageview||Total number of pages viewed but duplicates are not counted.||N/A|
|Session||Period of time a user is actively engaged with your website or app.||To determine the session that each event comes from, the session start event generates a session ID.|
|A session will end when there has been more than a 30-minute period of inactivity.||A session will end when there has been more than a 30-minute period of inactivity.|
|If a user comes back after a session timeout, it will start a new session.||If a user comes back after a session timeout, it will start a new session.|
|Conversions||You define a goal to indicate that a particular user action is to be considered a conversion.||You specify a conversion event for each action that you want to count as a conversion.|
|UA counts only one conversion per session for each goal.||GAF usually counts every instance of the conversion event, even if the same conversion event is recorded multiple times during the same session.|
|Bounce Rate||Percentage of single page sessions in which there was not interaction with the page.||Percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions.|
|Total Events||A UA event has a category, action, and label and is its own hit type.||N/A|
|Event Count||N/A||Every hit is an event and GA4 events have no notion of category, action, or label.|
|All actions are events.|
So, now that you know a bit more about Google Analytics 4, it's time to set up your GA4 account.
Options To Set Up Your GA4:
If you are an editor or administrator of your website, there are three options to get started with GA4.
If you’re new to Analytics and ready to start collecting data on your website, you’ll need to set up your analytics data collection. Learn more here>>. This article covers how to:
- Create an Analytics account
- Create a new GA4 property
- Add a data stream
- Set up a data collection for websites
If you already have Universal Analytics set up, you can add a GA4 property alongside your existing UA property. Learn more here>>. This article covers:
- How it works
- Get started
- Next steps with your new GA4 property
If you use a Content Management System-hosted website, such as WordPress or Drupal, then you can add GA4 to your CMS. Learn more here>>. This article covers:
- Which platforms accept a Google tag ID
- What if my platform only accepts a “UA-” ID
- Instructions for each platform
- Add a data stream
- Set up data collection
Wrapping It Up
We trust you’ve found this information helpful. Today is the day to upgrade to Google Analytics 4. If you have more questions you’d like answered, contact us and let us know!