Jun 14, 2023
If you have been reading anything else that we’ve written recently, you’ll know one fact above any other: Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is here, and as of July 1, 2023 it will be the new and only standard analytics platform offered by Google.
The previous standard, Universal Analytics, will stop processing data on July 1. While you’ll still have at least 6 months to view your previous UA data, eventually the interface will be depreciated until a point where these accounts are no longer accessible or viewable.
Without exporting your UA data, your agency could lose a valuable historical perspective on your client’s campaigns. To maintain month-over-month and year-over-year continuity, having both UA and GA4 data in one place will be essential.
As a digital marketing agency, you are responsible for the performance of your clients’ campaigns. This also includes measuring and reporting on the data to determine the effectiveness of the strategy you created backed by their investment.
However, there are some definite challenges. GA4 is not some cosmetic swap of the UA interface nor is it just a few tweaks to the platform. It represents an entire paradigm shift for how campaigns are evaluated.
Anticipated Challenges for Agencies After July 1
As we’re all creatures of comfort, this massive transition can seem like more of an obstacle than an opportunity. The specific challenges lie within access to your clients analytics reporting data in two locations, such as:
Finding the Data You Need
Does everyone still have the correct access permissions and correct properties in GA4 that they had in UA? Between ensuring proper access permissions to view the data and the proper alignment of properties between UA and GA4, knowing where to look for similar data can become time consuming, frustrating, and highly inefficient.
Different Primary Metrics
GA4 and UA collect data differently. Along with this, the primary metrics that they measure also differ significantly, with GA4 placing a heavy emphasis on Events. Comparing the two will never be an apples-to-apples situation, but highlighting the primary metrics in the new interface will be essential.
Let’s note, though, that not everything between UA and GA4 has a one-to-one counterpart. Some metrics will translate with ease while others will not prove compatible at all. This will create a responsibility for your agency to put these new metrics into a relevant context for your client’s business when reporting on campaign performance.
This also ties back to the importance of proper access and aligning properties correctly. With these pieces of the puzzle in place, finding the right data becomes a far easier task than jumping into GA4 headfirst on July 1 without a holistic historical view.
Reporting Can Become Outdated
If you’ve based your reporting on UA up until July 1, you will undoubtedly need to alter the way that you report on campaign performance to your clients. With primary metrics shifting, your reporting processes will need to adapt alongside this change.
Take the time now to understand how GA4’s arrival will alter the way that you report for your clients. Build these changes into your documentation and prepare to explain why the change happened, what this means for measuring performance, and how it will change (and ultimately benefit) your client’s campaigns from a data perspective.
UA is Dwindling Down
As we mentioned above, UA stops processing data as of july 1st. However, GA4 is not retroactive - so how will you be able to keep track of histroical trends/data even if it's not a seamless comparison?
If you have not already exported your UA data and migrated your clients’ to GA4, then you should export all of your data first and foremost after July 1. While we cannot give you a guarantee when UA will officially be discontinued and barred from public access, it’s best to do this as soon as possible so that you can maintain the integrity of your client’s data and avoid any surprises a few months from now.
A Reporting System that puts both your Agency Client’s UA and GA4 Data at your fingertips
The solution to overlay GA4 Data on top of UA data is an industry wide challenge that still needs to be solved. Having both in a single, holistic environment that simplifies the user interface and access are both instrumental advantages for any agency looking for a solution to navigate this shifting landscape.
At Conduit, we’ve been assisting agencies with GA4 transitions since it was first introduced.
More than a year ago, we made the decision to connect both UA and GA4 data into a centralized dashboard so that our agency partners could easily access both instances of data with a few simple clicks. This resulted in our one-of-a-kind Agency Performance Panel (APP) which brings together a complete view of your entire account portfolio as well as the ability to drill down to the most granular details for campaigns run on each channel. Building our tech stack to centralize your analytics data in a single location provides tangible benefits to your agency in multiple ways, including:
Single Point of Entry
Once you get the proper access no additional access is required, simple switching back and forth, and no guessing what reports/metrics are the most importan benefits of a Conduit APPt. You won’t need to spend time juggling multiple interfaces and risking something becoming lost in translation.
Centralizing UA and GA4 Data Analysis
With our dashboard, you can view UA and GA4 data in one location. This creates an easy single point of access for everything that you need to measure your client’s campaigns historically as well as performance in real-time.
Identifying the Most Comparable Metrics
Once we have access to your client’s data, our system organizes it in a way that highlights the most comparable metrics between UA and GA4. You’ll know exactly what to analyze, where to find it, and how to tell the best story for your clients. Beyond the pure metrics, we also provide unique insights and analyses from our analysts for each campaign that you’re running as part of your partnership with Conduit.
Get Ahead of July 1 with an Elite Partner
Our team at Conduit Digital serves as an elite white label ad operations partner for established and successful agencies in North America. Acting as an extension of your own in-house team, we outfit you with the communication and performance infrastructure to confidently operate your agency in a digital landscape that seems to change drastically by the second.
Once you’ve exported your UA data and are ready to take your GA4 reporting to the next level, contact us to learn more about how our state of the industry APP.