To help navigate the transition period, columnist Robert Miller shares some common questions and his recommendations around the Google Universal Analytics upgrade process.
Google Analytics (GA) recently announced that in the coming months, GA properties will be automatically upgraded to their new standard property type, Universal Analytics. No hard deadline has been announced on when all properties that use legacy tracking code will be converted to Universal Analytics; however, some low traffic/low-risk properties have already been automatically converted.
To help navigate this transition period, here are some common questions I've been asked and my recommendations around the Universal Analytics upgrade process:
1. So what exactly does this auto-conversion mean for my GA properties?
Currently, accounts that are upgraded to Universal Analytics properties are still able to use the ga.js legacy tracking codes. This means that your tracking codes do not have to be updated immediately. However, if the tracking codes are not updated from the ga.js syntax to the analytics.js syntax, new features such as custom dimensions and metrics or dimension widening won't be available to you.
2. What if I don't have the resources to retag my site right now?
3. What else should I be thinking about during this transition period?
Retagging an entire site can be a daunting task. However, it also provides an opportunity to fix any tracking implementations that may not be ideal. You may have metrics you don't trust, or items you want to track but haven't had the opportunity to do so. Whatever your situation, take the time and invest the right resources.
Here are a few questions to consider when updating your site's code:
What other questions might you have about the transition to Universal Analytics that you would like answered? What features of Universal Analytics are you most looking forward to?
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Robert Miller is a Senior Analyst at Search Discovery. He is actively involved in industry organizations, such as the Analysis Exchange and the Digital Analytics Association.
With the Analysis Exchange, he helps non-profits capitalize on their website data, and educates aspiring digital analysts about the foundation of digital analytics, from the implementation of a digital analytics tool to performing analysis and making data-driven recommendations for organizations.
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