Google Analytics 4 is upon us, and there’s no sidestepping the importance of it for your school’s website. In our never-ending quest to support schools with digital marketing, we’re here to spell out the details and make the switch simple.
The short-term pain will mean long-term gain in the form of powerful tracking for both your website and app.
Wondering what's in store for your school with Google Analytics 4? We’re happy to report it’s mainly good things! GA4 is designed to be more user-friendly, with a smoother setup process and easier navigation to simplify your school website tracking. GA4 also offers more granular data tracking, allowing you to monitor individual user behaviour across multiple devices and platforms. This means you can get a better understanding of how your community is interacting with your school's website and digital content.
Overall, GA4 boasts more advanced machine learning capabilities, such as predictive analytics, which can help you better anticipate and respond to your audience's needs. Though it might feel frustrating to need to switch up your system, the exciting new features will give you deeper insights into your school's digital marketing efforts and make it all worthwhile.
Despite all the buzz and excitement of Google Analytics 4, there are some features from the previous version of GA that won't be available in GA4.
For example, GA4 doesn’t support custom funnels or custom variables, which could impact how you track and analyse certain types of user behaviour. You’ll also notice some reporting tools, such as the ability to track AdSense data and create custom reports using multiple data sources, are not yet available in GA4. That’s not to say they won’t pop up in the future—anything’s possible with the ever-mysterious Google!
It's also worth noting that GA4 uses a different data model than the previous version of GA, which means that some reports and metrics may be calculated differently. We recommend giving your team some time to adjust to the new platform and get to know its intricacies.
If you haven't already made the switch to Google Analytics 4, it’s time to clear a slot in your calendar and get it done. This is hugely important due to the recent announcement from Google that the old Analytics will stop processing data from the 1st of July, 2023.
Plus, when you jump to the new system, your school can start benefiting from a more comprehensive and user-friendly tracking experience. This means gaining a deeper understanding of how your audience is interacting with your school's digital content so you can move forward with more informed decisions about your digital marketing efforts.
It’s also possible that switching onto GA4 after the sunset of Universal Analytics could cause your school some data drama, with gaps or modifications required to clean everything up and get switched with accuracy. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: switch your school website to GA4 if you haven’t done so already.
There are a few key distinctions between the shiny new Google Analytics 4 and its predecessor, Google Analytics Universal. Here’s our summary:
If you’d like to switch your school to Google Analytics 4, we suggest chatting with your Digital Marketing Manager or Digital Marketing agency to find out how your school is preparing for the transition. It’s also important to note you will need to install some code on your website to make the tracking possible. You can check out this Digistorm support article on how to add Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking codes to your website or this article from Google about the technicalities of getting set up.
These two articles also offer great advice on making the GA4 switch:
Even though the transition to GA4 needs to be managed by your school, our team is on hand, as always, if you need any support.