Google Analytics Universal, which was launched way back in 2012, is closing its doors. That means all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop computing new data on July 1, 2023. All data from Google Analytics is to be deleted on that date, but still can be exported from Analytics for up to 6 months.
You may be wondering: “How will I continue to do my analytics for my website in the future when Google Analytics deletes my data? Will I lose everything? How will I do my analytics from now on?”
While this all may sound scary, a massive tech company like Google wouldn’t leave their users in the dark. Moving forward, the solution is to pass the baton to Google Analytics 4, Google’s even more modern data measurement solution. This new generation of analytics has several upsides, including:
- Privacy-focused data collection.
- Smarter, machine learning-powered insights into the customer journey.
- Integrations with Google’s native advertising platforms.
The goals of Analytics 4 remain the same for all users, as all of these advantages are aimed at driving higher quality traffic and providing a better return on investment (ROI). Marketers looking to increase their app instals and generate more leads and sales, for instance, will find that this version still perfectly meets their needs.
As long as you get ready for the future of analytics and export your data starting in July 2023 (and six months after that), you’ll still have access to the previous data you’ve collected using Analytics Universal.
Why is Google Doing This?
Users are becoming increasingly aware of the measurement of their online customer journey. With stronger privacy controls, people now have more control of how their data is shared and used.
In the words of Russell Ketchum, Director of Product Management at 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.”
In order to help users understand their audiences while fully respecting their data, Analytics 4 was built with privacy in mind. As an example, Google Analytics 4 won’t be storing IP addresses in view of users’ expanding control over their own information. And that’s a great thing. When you match user expectations while aiming at a better experience for them, your business wins.
What Are Your Options?
As far as alternatives go, you have two solid options to consider:
Create a Google Analytics 4 Property
In the words of Russell Ketchum, “Without a modern measurement solution, you leave essential insights on the table that can impact your business. So now is the time to make Google Analytics 4 your cross-platform Analytics solution.”
- Get a comprehensive view of the customer lifecycle across touchpoints.
- Get predictive insights about human behaviour.
- Analyse and measure the impact of your marketing with compliance in mind.
- Measure your engagements and conversion.
- And much more.
At this time, you still can’t import your data from Universal Analytics. Remember that you can start importing your data starting in July 2023.
Unfortunately, however, Analytics 4 won’t solve the privacy concerns from January, where Google Analytics was deemed illegal in Austrian court. The decision was made by the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA), ruling that websites using Google Analytics are not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). So yes, Google Analytics remains a GDPR violation in businesses that have an establishment in the European Union. You can read more about it here.
By the way, we at SixFive have been performing privacy-compliant and comprehensive data collection for our clients for a year. If you don’t feel like dealing with this stuff yourself, you can contact us for a free audit, where we can set it all up for you.
Change to Matomo.com
Matomo is an established provider that’s fully privacy-focussed. As a Google Analytics alternative, it ups the ante by protecting your data and your customers’ privacy. So, if you’re a business aiming to improve your marketing strategy while still prioritising privacy, consider the switch.
By using Matomo, you’ll be giving users 100% of data ownership, while still complying with all data protection requirements.
For smaller websites with less than 50,000 hits per month, the pricing is $31AUD/month. The only downside to it is the need to re-implement all your Custom Dimensions and Conversions. Other than that, it comes highly recommended.
Change to UseFathom.com
This is a fairly new player, but privacy-focused and reliable nonetheless. Fathom allows you to learn everything you need to know about your visitors – without spying on them.
If you’re looking for simpler analytics and software that’s a breeze to install, you can sign up for a free trial (referral link). You have a whole week to give it a test drive. No credit card required, and of course, it’s GDPR compliant.
Sign Up to Our Care Plans
Maybe, even the thought of analytics gives you chills. So why not give yourself some peace of mind by leaving it to us?
Fathom is now included in all of SixFive’s care plans. Signing up to our hosting and Care Plans give you four things:
- Your website will run faster and smoothly 24/7.
- Your customers’ privacy will be respected.
- We’ll shield your website from threats.
- If anything goes wrong we are here for you.