Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?

Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?

- in SEO

The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is probably the most broadly used net analytics answer. The platform is so fashionable that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However though many contemplate Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the excellent alternative on your advertising and marketing setup—particularly since Google introduced the sundown of Common Analytics.

On July 1, 2023, Common Analytics properties will cease processing new hits, forcing customers to change to its successor, Google Analytics four. Whereas this may increasingly appear to be a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

The training curve will likely be steep—Google Analytics four is nearly a completely new platform and nonetheless growing. On high of that, Google Analytics dangers dropping the customers’ belief attributable to grey areas across the likes of privateness and knowledge possession.

With a privacy-focused future forward, now could be the time to hunt alternate options that higher steadiness knowledge assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your knowledge assortment correctly: predictable and sustainable. In any case, entrepreneurs and analysts need to course of user-level knowledge whereas constructing belief with their guests.

On this article, we’ll dive into the problems with Google Analytics four from a person perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you can also make an knowledgeable choice earlier than switching platforms.

Consumer perspective: Google Analytics four is a step within the fallacious path

 Google Analytics four introduces an altered reporting and measurement expertise that’s neither nicely understood nor broadly accepted by the advertising and marketing group.

From a person expertise perspective, many discover GA4 difficult to navigate. However past that, there are a bunch of challenges with the characteristic units. Allow us to dig deeper into these limitations: 

There isn’t a easy technique to migrate your knowledge

 Migration is a posh course of and needs to be deliberate rigorously. Sadly, Google Analytics four doesn’t make it any simpler. With out knowledge or tag migration, all historic knowledge from Common Analytics won’t be transferred to the brand new platform.

The problem solely grows with the group’s measurement—you possibly can have lots of of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin accumulating knowledge from scratch, they could as nicely change to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive person interface

Probably the most distinguished problem entrepreneurs and analysts will possible encounter with Google Analytics four is the unfamiliarity with the brand new interface.

A brand new dashboard has a number of instantly obvious variations from what entrepreneurs are used to working. Hit sorts are important to how Common Analytic properties deal with all stats. Hit sorts embody web page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interplay hits.

GA4 doesn’t have any idea of successful sort like Common Analytics makes use of. Every part in Google Analytics four is categorized as an “occasion.” It is a large distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they should adapt rapidly to take care of the identical momentum they’d with this earlier platform.

Limits on customized dimensions

A customized dimension is an attribute that entrepreneurs can configure of their analytics device to dive deeper into their knowledge. It offers the choice to pivot or phase this knowledge to isolate a selected viewers or visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to phase experiences, however there’s a strict restrict. You’ll be able to solely have as much as 25 user-scoped customized dimensions and as much as 50 event-scoped customized dimensions per property.

Lack of customized channel grouping

Channel groupings are rule-based groupings of selling channels. When personalized, these groupings permit entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.

Not like Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t permit you to create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As a substitute, entrepreneurs will solely be capable of use their default channel groupings.

Motivations behind the quick deadline

 The deadline Google has left the analytics group to behave is startling. There are various speculations as to why this may be, together with:

  1. Google might have been disillusioned with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics four and determined to behave decisively.
  2. Google circumventing among the authorized warmth that Common Analytics is going through within the EU.
  3. Google wanting to chop prices and rid itself of technical debt related to hundreds of internet sites with legacy options put in. Since GA4 is designed to assist Google’s promoting community, it ensures extra income than the competitors.

Now there’s a concrete deadline to make the change, entrepreneurs might want to resolve whether or not they need to begin adjusting to Google Analytics four or begin afresh with a brand new platform.

Privateness and compliance: Google Analytics four has a protracted technique to go

If an organization operates in a number of international locations, advertising and marketing groups will want to concentrate on the quite a few challenges ensuing from the obligations of each native knowledge privateness legal guidelines and worldwide rules.

Information safety laws continually altering and tight safety rules solely complicate issues additional. Studying the tea leaves, we imagine GA4 won’t final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European regulation

Google makes it tough to gather knowledge in step with the Normal Information Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of private knowledge to customers and clients. The regulation requires you to acquire express consent when processing private knowledge. Failure to adjust to this provision can lead to hefty fines and even prosecution.

The latest choice of the Austrian Information Safety Authority (DSB), states that the usage of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. Which means that organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing knowledge about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce critical technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.

There isn’t a clear guideline the place the info is linked by way of Google Analytics

A Google information implies knowledge is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nonetheless, the info could also be saved in a geographic location that doesn’t have ample privateness safety to the EU.

Newly launched options in GA4 partially tackle this concern by permitting the primary a part of knowledge assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nonetheless, knowledge can, and most definitely will, be despatched to the U.S.

 The way forward for advertising and marketing requires customers’ consent

Whether or not it’s the info high quality, device limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with knowledge, we imagine entrepreneurs will possible contemplate switching platforms.

Piwik PRO excluds the privateness and compliance points related to Google Analytics, permitting entrepreneurs to gather knowledge predictably and sustainably. The person interface and have units are just like Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts really feel at residence when switching to our platform.

If you want to study extra about Google Analytics alternate options or get extra data on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to piwik.professional.

Nonetheless undecided? Take a look at our article on addressing the considerations about switching to an alternate analytics answer and the analytic mindset you ought to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what you have to know.

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