Even if you’re the least tech-savvy coworking space operator around, you’ve probably heard rumblings about GA4—the latest iteration of Google Analytics.
This is a pretty big deal.
Because Google Analytics, the most widely-used tool of its kind in the world—and one that has remained largely unchanged for the past two decades—is getting an overhaul.
As of July 1, Google has sunset the historic version, known as Universal Analytics, and replacing it with something nearly unrecognizable.
We know what you’re thinking: you’re in the coworking business, not the web analytics business. So, why would this mean anything to you?
But the reality is that this transition will have a big impact on your coworking business. It’ll affect the way you track the performance of your website and your marketing efforts, monitor your conversions and track the traffic to your website, and more.
There are a lot of moving parts with GA4, and that’s why we launched our Google Analytics Resource Center for Coworking Spaces to help keep you in the know—but we’re sparing you all the confusing tech jargon that makes your brain hurt.
And to get you up to speed, here’s a 30,000-foot view of what’s going on.
What’s the Difference Between Google Analytics and GA4?
We’ll explain this in the simplest possible terms: the jump from Universal Analytics to GA4 isn’t like going from version 1.0 to version 1.2.
It’s like jumping from version 1.0 to version 5.0. It’s completely different.
Not only does the interface look completely different, the reports you’re used to seeing are no longer there. But it’s not just the appearance that’s changed. The metrics you can track are completely different as well.
And therein lies the most likely reason why Google decided to revolutionize one of its most widely-used tools.
Why Did Google Upgrade from Universal Analytics to GA4?
In typical Google fashion, the answer to this question is shrouded in mystery.
But, if we were to speculate, our guess would be that it was done to help you monitor and manage insights from the way people use the internet in 2023 (and beyond).
And that’s actually great news.
Think about it this way: people aren’t just using an internet browser on their computers anymore.
Everything is multi-platform nowadays.
People consume content on apps, in stores, on your website, using third-party providers and software tools, and beyond.
That means it’s hard for you to get a clear picture of how people are interacting with your coworking space online so that you can optimize their experience and, in turn, help bring in more members.
GA4 has been redesigned to let you connect all of those dots by transforming it into first-party data—data that you own.
Ultimately, the goal with GA4 is to move from something with a web-primary focus into something that’s a bit more omnichannel because that’s the way that the world is going.
The world has expanded. Websites aren’t the only way of consuming your online materials anymore. And Google is working to give you a more versatile view of how people are interacting with your coworking space online.
What Does the Transition from Google Analytics to GA4 Mean for Flexible Office Space Operators?
Finally, we reach the million-dollar question:
Why should you, as a coworking space operator, care at all about the transition from Google Universal Analytics to GA4?
The answer is simple:
In the years we’ve been working with coworking space operators, we haven’t seen a single one that doesn’t have Google Analytics set up for their website.
So, whether you use Google Analytics in an in-depth way, at a high level, or it’s just something that’s used by someone on your marketing team, this transition will have implications for you.
If you have even a top-level interest in your online presence—which you most likely do since it’s safe to assume the majority of your tour leads come from your website—you need to be paying attention to this.
Google Analytics shows you:
- How people are engaging with your website
- Where your leads are coming from
- Where your leads are dropping off
- Why you might be losing opportunities
- Plus, a whole lot more!
If you’re using OfficeRnD, Optix or CoWorks, you’ll have access to member and customer data. But if you want to understand the number of leads you’re getting, how many are converting, what’s working for you, which marketing channels you should double down on, Google Analytics is essential.
What Does the GA4 Roll-Out Look Like and What Do You Need to Do?
Since there was a hard cutover from Universal Analytics to GA4 on July 1st, 2023, it’s almost like an entirely new service. Historical data is not being migrated which means you’ll have to set up new ways to get the same data.
You’ll still have access to your historical data for six months (until the end of 2023 according to Google), but Universal Analytics won’t be gathering data anymore (though we have seen some accounts still capturing data).
You can set up the GA4 basics on your own, but if you want to continue getting important insights from it, there’s a lot that needs to be done.
If you’re looking for more insights to help bring in new members with Google Ads, speaking with a specialist can be incredibly helpful. And that’s where Spacefully can help.
And if you’ve got questions about how to handle the transition from Google UA to GA4 for your coworking space, book a Free GA4 Assessment call today.