For almost two decades, Google Analytics has been a relatively easy-to-use way to collect information on a website’s performance. So, when Google announced a significant change to the tool that will go into effect in July 2023, panic set in for many – but not for FindLaw.
What’s happening with Google Analytics?
Without getting too much into detail, Google is retiring its Universal Analytics Code (UA Code), which has been widely used to measure things like visits to a website and where those visitors came from, in July 2023. By then, users will have to adopt the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4). While GA4 will undoubtedly have improvements over UA Code, it tracks and reports analytics differently, forcing a sea change in how website performance is understood and reported upon.
Furthermore, historical data won’t automatically be carried over from UA Code, making standard metrics like year-over-year comparison more difficult. On top of that, there is likely to be a period of time when GA4 will have bugs and kinks to iron out, meaning there will almost certainly be a period of turbulence post-launch for the digital marketing companies that use it. (If you would like to read what Google itself has to say about this change, here is its explanatory document.)
What does the Google Analytics change mean for the digital marketing industry?
Many digital marketing firms have long relied on Google Analytics because it’s easy to understand and easy to report upon. Those firms now have about a year to prepare for the launch of GA4 —which isn’t as long as it may sound, given all that needs to be done in that time. have to figure out how to collect and store their historical data (since it won’t be carried over), communicate with their clients about the change to GA4 and what reporting will look like post-July 2023, and learn how to use GA4, as well as get through the rocky period of rollout. In short, it’s a major change that is almost certainly bound to have a hiccup or two at the very least. It’s not something to look forward to if you depend on your website and its performance for new business development.
What does the Google Analytics Change mean for me?
- First, as it always has, FindLaw has digital marketing professionals focused solely on the behind-the-scenes performance of its products. Some digital marketing firms create a product, let it set sail, and never revisit it. We don’t. When we create a product, we continually monitor its performance and make adjustments as necessary so its performance is at all times optimal. If you’re a FindLaw client, you don’t have to lose any sleep over whether we’re on it. We are. (For an example, read this post about our retooling of LawInfo.com, a solid standby that performs even better following a few light tweaks.)
- Second, FindLaw doesn’t use Google Analytics to observe and report on its products’ performance. We use Adobe Analytics, which is more powerful and more sophisticated than UA Code, and our proprietary tool INSIGHT. Since Adobe Analytics and INSIGHT aren’t changing, FindLaw won’t face any interruption to performance or metrics reporting. That means there won’t be any pre-launch scramble or post-launch flailing around for you.
- Third, and perhaps most importantly, the coming change in Google Analytics will likely turn into a competitive advantage for you. If your peer firms work with a digital marketing agency that relies on Google Analytics, it’s very likely that they will stumble during the transition and lose valuable time regrouping. That won’t happen for FindLaw clients. While others are scrambling, we’ll be moving forward smoothly—and so will you.
Once again, the advantage of working with FindLaw is that we use the collective brainpower of legal and digital marketing professionals to create tools and plans that work, so you can spend your time practicing law and not fine-tuning marketing strategy. If you have any further questions about what the pending change to Google Analytics may mean, please contact your Client Development Consultant or Client Manager. In any event, rest assured July 2023 will come and go without any disruption to you or your business.
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