What's Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
Why Do You Need to Be an Early Adopter?
So, you’ve heard about GA4 but haven’t made the switch yet? There are a bunch of improvements that make this a must-upgrade. We will cover our favourites in this post, but it’s a great idea to check out Google’s posts about all the new features.
Google Analytics 4 is not just a visual design refresh; it’s a powerful tool that gives you a more holistic approach to understand the user journey. Combining data from websites and apps in a single set of reports, Google analytics 4 (previously called App+Web properties) is the latest version of Google Analytics. It’s a very sophisticated GA property for collecting and analysing user activity across multiple platforms and gives you some reporting options that are not available in the standard version of GA (Universal Analytics).
Why do you need to switch to GA4?
Although standard Analytics is unlikely to be phased out anytime soon, Google has switched its default implementation from Universal Analytics to GA4.
And yes, it’s intimidating to think about the process of making the switch as we’ve been using traditional Analytics for many years, and there isn’t a magic button for it. Naturally, we all resist change, especially when we don’t know how to make a change happen. So, let’s go through 4 features of GA4 that will make you want to get started.
1- Analytics in a Cookie-less Future
Since third-party cookies are practically dead, there’s no way to escape data gaps now. With or without cookies (or user identifiers), the new Analytics is designed to adapt to the future of collecting/using data. Leveraging the power of machine learning, it’ll fill in the data gaps in your data.
2 – Advanced Insights and Predictions
There’s a range of options available to you for gaining insight into your customers’ habits and preferences in this new analytics property. Using advanced machine learning models, GA4 is very powerful with its insights and predictions.
It can alert you to significant trends in your data, such as increased demand for one of your products because of new customer needs. It can also help you predict your customer’s future actions. Businesses can use these reports to predict churn rates and potential revenue they could earn from a particular segment of customers.
3 – Deeper Integration with Google Ads
The new Google Analytics, with a Google Ads integration that is deeper than ever before, allows you to create audiences and reach customers with more relevant and helpful experiences wherever they choose to engage with your business.
Since it can measure app and web interactions together, it’d help you make sense of the combined impact of all your marketing platforms. For example, it has reports where you can find the conversions coming from YouTube video views alongside conversions from other channels such as non-Google paid channels, social, email or organic.
4 – Customer Lifecycle Reports
It’s essential to understand your customers comprehensively. GA4 gives you customer-centric measurement instead of breaking it down into multiple devices or platforms. It now has reports that unite all your sources, making it easier to put a special touch on some elements of your customer’s experience.
The new GA provides simplified, reorganised reports for marketers to find insights based on the part of the customer journey that they’re interested in. For instance, you can determine which channels lead to conversions in the user acquisition report and then track what actions these new customers take and how often they return in the engagement and retention reports.
To wrap up, Google encourage us to keep our standard Google Analytics implementation and create a GA4 property alongside our existing property. Also, worth noting, your GA4 property only collects data going forward. To see historical data, you need to use the reports in your Universal Analytics property.
GA4 is Google’s vision for the future of analytics for many reasons, and all future developments are expected to be focused on GA4. So, adopting GA4 as early as possible and learning more about its features will give you a competitive advantage.
If you’re getting started with Google Analytics 4 and looking for some guidance, get in touch with us online or over the phone and so we can discuss how we can help your business succeed.