Whether you are a B2C, B2B, nonprofit, or for-profit company, understanding your website analytics is crucial to understanding your target audience, your customer’s user journey, and your website performance.
Many marketers and companies rely on google analytics and 3rd party data to understand their website’s metrics and adjust strategy accordingly. However, how we collect website and online data is about to change.
Google Analytics 4
Google has announced that as of July 1st, 2023, Google Analytics will no longer account for data gathered using their Universal Analytics version which, will be replaced by Google Analytics 4. Google wants to be more in line with recent privacy and anonymity concerns and to be more proactive with closing those gaps while enhancing visualization, data management and control. Therefore, Google Analytics 4 will practice collecting cookie-less data, and focusing more on the users; you will only have access to your Universal Analytics data until six months after the update.
What does that mean, you ask? First, we need to understand what party data is.
4 different types of Party Data can be collected online.
- Zero Party Data: Information that the user intentionally gives you through surveys, customized recommendations, and more
- 1st Party: Information collected through the user’s journey, interactions on your websites, purchases, preferences, etc.
- 2nd Party: Information given to you from a trusted partner, such as opt-in lists.
- 3rd Party: Information indirectly gathered from tracking the user through their outside journey and cookies.
Google Analytics 4 will be blocking 3rd party information in 2023. 3rd party information is the backbone of paid media; analytics from contextual and behavioral targeting based on shopping and research behavior. This will impact re-targeting and conversion tracking; however, you can still gain information from 1st and 2nd parties. Even though you will not be able to home in on one specific person, you can still target audiences more broadly.
How to Prepare
The best way to prepare for this change is to collect as much data as possible before it’s too late and to understand all the different touch points. You will want to understand your data and start to build look-a-like targeted audiences. What do your current and prospective clients/users have in common? And, based on your information gathered, start to create in-depth personas.
You want to gather as much information as you can now and make sure you export your reports. You will also want to develop a new and enhanced paid strategic media plan.
- Employ a diverse and flexible media mix through cross funnels and cross-media channels
- Enhance your analytics and attribution capabilities.
- Emphasize testing through variation audiences and A/B testing to create a customer-centered approach.
We must maximize our efforts now to adjust our strategy accordingly when we no longer have access to 3rd party data. Want to learn more about how you can maximize your analytics reports?