Are You Ready to Jump on these Digital Website Trends in the New Year?
While there’s always something new, not every change is essential for the average small biz owner to embrace immediately. Here’s a quick look to see what might affect you:
The future is GA4.
You have no doubt been warned about the familiar Google Analytics going away in favor of the latest offering, GA4. No new data will be processed as of July 1, 2023, from the older code. If you heard that the deadline was pushed back to 2024, that pertains to the enterprise version, Analytics 360, and not the free version most small businesses use.
Analytics are important to businesses of all sizes so you are going to want to make this move. Just because you could wait until July doesn’t mean that you should. You’ll want to switch as soon as possible so you have historical data to compare rather than starting from scratch in July. There are tutorials online to walk you through the process, but you can always ask a professional (like us, for instance!) for help.
It’s called Google Analytics 4 because it’s the fourth version, but this one is very different than the last ones. Automatic reports are scarce because it is expected you will create your own. The tool is not running at 100% just yet, but we expect there will be more guidance from Google and offerings of third-party services in the next months. For now, experts suggest you run both the old and new Analytics at the same time.
More emphasis is coming on ADA compliance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act has been around since the last millennium, but the focus on internet access has lagged. Be aware that the Department of Justice will be taking a whack at new digital accessibility rules in April of 2023.
There are already requirements and suggestions for making websites ADA-compliant, but not everyone has climbed on the bandwagon yet. Be aware, however, that ignoring the issue could be a lawsuit waiting to happen. We at Sprocket have been helping clients update their sites to meet compliance regulations for some time, so give us a call if you have questions.
ADA compliance is most important for government and social service websites, but it’s also the right thing to do for really any website since folks with disabilities are just another segment of your audience. As a plus, many of the compliance solutions also strengthen your website’s SEO.
Cookies are crumbling.
Have you noticed more and more pop-up notices on websites asking you to agree to their cookie notification? Cookies are not evil themselves, but some third-party cookies cross the privacy line when collecting data. This prompted the creation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU.
Internet privacy is obviously a huge issue these days. Websites with any EU customers should already be posting cookie notifications and it may only be a matter of time before other locations require it as well. Google has been talking about deprecating third-party cookies for a while now, although they recently pushed their deadline back to 2024.
Yes, it’s aggravating having to learn about all these changes when you just want to run your business. We’ll try to highlight the trends most important to small business owners in the coming year, but you are always welcome to drop us a line or give us a call with any questions. Here’s to growth and prosperity for all of us in 2023!
Photo by Jill Wellington