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Google Analytics makes Chewy yawn.

Make the Switch to Google Analytics 4


Secret confession: I love data! As a teacher, I loved to look at assessments to see what skills students had mastered and then which ones needed more instruction. Then I would get granular with this data and create small groups based on the skills that were not mastered. This way I could be super-targeted about what students needed. As a digital marketer, I have found my data fix in Google Analytics!

One of my accomplishments this summer was dusting off all-night study Sophie and getting my Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ). Yes, I am bragging! That shit was hard! Google Analytics is like taking a peek behind the curtain of the internet and getting to see how people interact with your content. And when you see how users interact with your content, you can use that data to be responsive and adjust as needed based on what your ideal client is searching for. Remember how I said getting my GAIQ was hard? That is why many may be hesitant to make the switch because there is a learning curve.

Looking Back

In 2005 Google had the idea💡 that internet traffic web analytics could help both marketers and publishers design more effective webpages and ads, therefore, attracting more internet traffic. It purchased the web analytics program Urchin. This was the original Google Analytics. Over the years Google has refined its analytics to help provide the best experience for its users. Their words, not mine. In October 2020 GA4 was released as the replacement for Universal Analytics. Cue: moans and groans of everyone who had finally figured out Universal Analytics. For the past few years, there has been the option to have them both collect data. That is coming to an end in July 2023 when GA4 will replace Universal Analytics permanently. 

Make the change to GA4 now

3 Differences in GA4

One of the biggest changes that I can wrap my head around right now (byte-size pieces people) is the change from conversions to events. This means that GA4 will focus on various touchpoints of the customer life cycle versus just one event like last click attribution. This is part of the new data attribution model. Linked is an article on Search Engine Land specifically about the Google Analytics 4 attribution.

Another change in GA4 is it will use AI to suggest predictive audiences (link to Analytics help page on creating predictive audiences). You will be able to build new audiences not just from people who have converted but also using others who Google believes, based on behaviors, will convert. 

Fun fact about GA4. It is optimized for mobile users 📲 which we all know is how most people currently interact with the internet. Don’t worry it still collects desktop data, it is an upgrade overall, but especially in the way, it handles mobile data.

The last change of this clearly not exhaustive list is that visually GA4 looks quite a bit different. It will take some getting used to because things are not where they used to be. But you do have the ability to customize the dashboard so that it looks like your UA dashboard and shows you almost the same information. Ch-ch-ch changes 🎶. You can do it! Create your Google Analytics 4 property now instead of waiting until June 30, 2023.

Can You Delay the Inevitable?

I know that messing with data collection can definitely be intimidating. When you make the early switch you are giving yourself the gift of time to figure out the new system and how it will work for your data collection. 👩🏼‍💻💻😳

There are going to be “the sky is falling down people” 🐔 but I am an optimist and I prefer to go into change with an open mind and some time to get ready. You may be like me too or you may need convincing drumroll please:



1. You want it to start recording your data. In July 2023 Google Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing new hits. If you want to have historical data in GA4 then you need to start processing data as soon as possible so that you will be able to make comparisons over time.

2. Once you set up the GA4 property you can still use UA for your current data reporting. This will allow you to compare the dashboard, reports, and functions in GA4. Go ahead and set up the dashboard in GA4 to show you the data points you were tracking in UA.

3. Making the switch is easier than you think. You don’t need a new account. You can create the property in your UA account and then add the code to your website (this is cut-and-paste in many situations) if you have Google Tag manager even better as it puts it in the right place for you.

Consider yourself convinced! Chewy and I are celebrating. You can do it and doing it early is the best option. It will give you time to learn it and work out any kinks. Happy New Year and Happy GA4 Data Analyzing!




Chewy and Sophia providing you news and tips for digital marketing.

Hi I’m Sophia!

Chewy and I are on a mission to share digestible bytes of digital marketing information with you. Let’s be real there are no academic papers here. However, there is research. I keep up with the news, trends and useful information about digital marketing. Then I grab Chewy, do a photoshoot, agonize over every word, publish and you get your byte.

Looking for something specific? Send me an email. Chewy and I will do our best.

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