The GA4 Migration Tool Has Arrived– But Should You Wait to Migrate?
Now that July is here, brands advertising across one, some, or all of today’s major Paid Media platforms have one year to migrate from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next generation of Google Analytics.
Mark your calendars: Come July 1, 2023, GA4 will be the default option when advertisers set up a new property.
GA4, which Google announced in late 2020, was designed to help brands navigate the fast-approaching future of data privacy, boasting several promising enhancements, including cross-device and cross-platform reporting.
With many new features intended to address the performance-tracking challenges posed by iOS 14 and the upcoming demise of third party cookies, GA4 intends to help brands better understand the multi-platform journeys of their customers to optimize their full-funnel, omnichannel digital advertising strategies.
With Google sunsetting UA on July 1, 2023 and many brands already experimenting with its future-forward capabilities, the question is not whether the new property will benefit your brand, but how soon should you get started to see for yourself.
But First: What is GA4?
The myriad GA4 enhancements are still being fine-tuned and rolled out, but at its most basic, the new property reports across apps and websites together in one central hub, prioritizes first party data over the soon-to-be-obsolete third party cookie, offers deeper integration with Google Ads, and leverages an event-based data model to deliver user-centric measurement.
Its real superpower? It’s future-proof and flexible enough to take on any data privacy implications crossing its path.
As explained by Google:
Google Analytics 4 has the flexibility to measure many different kinds of data, delivering a strong analytics experience that’s designed for the future. It allows businesses to see unified user journeys across their websites and apps, use Google’s machine learning technology to surface and predict new insights, and most importantly, it’s built to keep up with a changing ecosystem.
Taken together, these solutions and controls are proving necessary in today’s data privacy universe, where users are expecting more privacy protections and control over their data–and advertisers are desperately hunting down new data solutions–not only to survive in this seemingly unmeasurable new world, but thrive in it.
When Should You Migrate to GA4 … and How?
While the migration itself won’t take long, it is a complex process that requires a GA4 migration tool to quickly recreate eligible goals from a brand’s connected UA property as conversion events in their GA 4 property.
MuteSix is excited to announce that the long-awaited migration tool has arrived–much earlier than anticipated.
Now that it’s here with a year remaining to migrate over, MuteSix urges clients to act fast and not wait to migrate for a number of important reasons.
“It’s critical that brands start moving over to GA4 sooner rather than later so they can begin amassing the historical data required to fuel GA4’s AI-powered insights and predictions,” advises Harrison Hunt, VP of Paid Search at MuteSix.
Such insights are priceless given their ability to predict important future outcomes like churn rates and potential revenue from any given customer segment, but in order to get the most accurate forecast, “brands will need a pretty fair share of historical data to dig through, which takes time to accumulate,” explains Hunt.
So, How Soon Is Soon Enough?
Now that Q3–a relatively slower time of year compared to the shopping frenzy that is Q4–is here, the next coming months would be an ideal time to make the switch and get a lay of the land, according to experts.
“Brands should avoid procrastinating. Don’t wait until the end of 2022 to start your conversion migration because performance notoriously fluctuates during high-transaction periods like the holidays,” notes Harrison.
Final Thoughts on the UA → GA4 Migration
Google and MuteSix also recommend that brands set up both property types and run them in parallel, since getting familiar with GA4 may take some time, during which brands can still rely upon their existing UA properties for business critical insights.
However, it’s important to note that all standard UA properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, while 360 UA properties will stop on October 1, 2023.
For brands ready to make the switch today, Google has released helpful guidelines and tips to consider as you migrate from UA to GA4.
MuteSix continues to check in with our dedicated Google reps and stay ahead of the latest GA4 updates, and will continue to keep brands informed. In the meantime, to learn more about GA4 and how to start migrating today, reach out to the MuteSix team.