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GA4: What You Need to Know

On July 1, 2023, digital analytics as we know it will change. Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) will stop recording new data, and a shiny new dashboard known as GA4 will take over the job. But don’t panic! You’ll still be able to access old data until the end of 2023, giving you plenty of time to acclimate your digital skills.

Why is Google shifting from UA to GA4?

UA was built for an older time. Do you remember about a decade ago when watching hit counters, etc., was how we measured digital success? Digital intel has evolved so much over the years that UA can’t keep up with things such as data privacy, user behavior, and conversion paths. (That’s multiple website visits across multiple devices across various stages of purchase/lead funnel, etc.)

What is GA4 and what do we need to know about it?

Instead of modifying UA, GA4 has been built from the ground up to work for the internet of today. The truth of the matter is companies need more control of their data.

It’s a completely new platform from Universal Analytics. Ad blockers and privacy rules make it difficult to attribute sales and leads. Machine learning and AI will be used to help model conversions and attribution. Samples being modeled are going to be anonymized, and sample size will be a key factor. People will be able to see trends and patterns, and then measure the probability of success.

Is there something that UA does that GA4 will not be able to do?

UA uses what’s called a “session-based data model” which records user interactions on the site within a given session. GA4 uses an “event-based data model” which records all user interactions as events. Because of this, GA4 will be able to provide more insight around engagement with the site. In short, GA4 can do all things UA can do, just a little differently. Customizing how data is recorded and reported can help make things easier.

Do UTMs still work?

Yes! UTMs will still be strongly recommended to identify and segment users on the site from specific advertising channels and will help measure effectiveness of those advertising efforts.

How do we prepare for GA4?

Get the GA4 code added to your site as soon as possible. Remember that you don’t have to remove the current UA code they CAN run congruently. After that, adjust all settings and customizations to fit your site’s specific needs. Then all it takes is getting familiar with the new reporting capabilities within the platform.

If you’re already using Google Tag Manager, it makes the transition easier.

How are goals measured in GA4?

Website “goals” are being replaced with “conversions,” which still essentially mean the same thing – what are the more meaningful actions users can take on my site? These can include purchases, form completions, downloads, etc. Once these events are tracked in GA4, you can select them to be counted as conversions, which will help GA4 understand your site’s objectives.

July will be here before we know it, so the sooner you start to use GA4, the easier it will be. This will give you time to get used to the new system and to make sure that all third-party tools are also plugged in. In the meantime, Google will continue evolving GA4 to make the experience simpler.

Still not sure where to start? Contact us today so we can lead you through the process.

Our Favorite Things Help Us Make a Memory

Why are the holidays special? Sweet memories and funny traditions. Together our GG team shared our favorites – laughed at some odd ones – and collected fun ideas to make the season shine.

Coming together, we found the experiences we had, as kids or adults, left memories that lasted long after the batteries had quit running or the new socks had sprouted holes. We enjoyed hearing each other’s stories and wanted to encourage others to make their own memories.

Our creative team came up with mod illustrations and fun copy to deliver bite-size gifts to our clients and community all December. Through social media and short funky videos, we’re hoping others enjoy the season like we do.

For Marc, that’s going ice skating with friends and family. Can’t you just hear “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in the background as they carve out a figure eight?

Jen’s go-to tradition is brewing up a batch of mulled wine and grabbing the most comfortable seat on the couch. The perfect companion to the Christmas movie marathon to begin.

Lori, our singer, loves caroling by candlelight at the homes of others. Even if you can’t carry a tune like she can, it still makes spirits bright together.
Naturally, our stylish leader Sonia, suggested creating this season’s most fashionable snowwoman. Someone who stands out on the runway, or at least the front lawn.
Anita enjoys finding the cool shops and specialty stores near home. With her group, she shops local and shares together, having an inexpensive gift exchange under $15, that still supports Wichita businesses.
For Donna, making a gingerbread house with kids was a treasured holiday tradition. Sometimes the dream home just needs a little more frosting, a few more gumdrops.
Jennifer’s family makes their windows into a canvas, frosting the glass artistically with festive stencils and holiday scenes. Even if it’s not a snowy holiday, it can be a showy one.
Mrs. Claus? Nope. Kendall’s grandmother always dressed up as Santa Claus the night her family celebrated Christmas at her house. Getting into the costume got everyone into the spirit.
Cory’s family would drive to the source and find the perfect Christmas tree on a farm. Enjoying a hot chocolate and tractor ride while they were there was a priceless part of the process.
We love to tour the town and look at the lights. Our two Ashleys make time every year to find the best displays around the city. It’s OK to be riding in the pajamas for that.
Who loves to bake? Whether it is Josh enjoying Gram’s Pfeffernüsse – tasty German cookies – or Stephanie’s family coming together to bake homemade apple pies on Christmas Eve, we know why this is a sweet season for all of us. Of course, baking also means sharing, as creative Tasha designs cookie boxes to go with the sweet treats, ready to deliver to family and friends.
Finally, only Chaney could make sure we remembered the true meaning of “naughty or nice.” His family’s tradition involves a very not-for-the-kids Dirty Santa party, where risqué gifts are exchanged, embarrassment is enjoyed, and the laughs linger.

Whatever your traditions are, we hope you’ll try out some new ones and Make a Memory!

Happy Holidays from your friends at Greteman Group.