A Comprehensive Guide To Google Analytics 4
GA4 can provide invaluable insights along with other benefits like more control over data, cross-platform tracking, and deep AI-driven insights. Discover all the benefits it has for your business.
Google will phase out Universal Analytics by July 1, 2023, that’s why we highly recommend all brands to set up Google Analytics 4 property on your website or app alongside Universal Analytics right now.
By July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics by Google will be discontinued which means now is the time to get to know Google Analytics 4 and prepare for how you will continue to track and monitor your website and app properties in 2023.
Google Analytics 4 is no longer next. It’s now.
This is good news for anyone familiar with Google Analytics 4. The tool is an improvement in many ways from Universal Analytics with new reporting functions, privacy-first tracking, enhanced features, cross-channel data measurement, and expanded predictive insights, just to name a few, that will enable marketers to effectively analyze data from both websites and apps. Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is highly focused on customer privacy that takes into account the latest privacy regulations like CCPA and GDPR.
At Hook + Ladder Digital, it’s important for us to leverage the best tools that generate accurate results and reporting. Read on to learn about how harnessing the power of GA4 will set you up for success in the long term.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 as mentioned above, is the new analytics suite from Google based on the “App+Web” system that lets marketers effectively analyze important customer usage metrics. GA4 applies Google’s advanced machine learning models to get user behavior and website traffic data without “Hits” from each page. It gives marketers a more holistic understanding of the customer lifecycle instead of individual metrics across pages, segments, or devices.
Google Analytics 4 is designed to work without third-party cookies and instead uses a more ethical approach through predictive analysis and machine learning to fill the gaps in the customer journey.
Google Analytics 4 Vs Universal Analytics- What’s Different?
Here are the major differences between the new Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics.
- Google Analytics 4 property can track the analytics of both websites and applications. On the other hand, Universal Analytics supports only website analytics.
- GA4’s new model measures events and parameters while the Universal Analytics model is based on sessions and pageviews.
- GA4 applies Google’s advanced machine learning models to map out the entire consumer journey, starting from first contact to conversion. It uses artificial intelligence to fill the gaps in the user journey instead of the third-party cookies that Universal Analytics uses.
- The benefits of Google Analytics 4 is it allows cross-domain tracking within the “User Interface” instead of code adjustments in Universal Analytics.
- Google Analytics 4 property has an array of new metrics. It also provides “Data Streams” while Universal Analytics uses segments and views.
You can also check out this Google Analytics guide for beginners
Benefits of Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 offers several advantages to users, some of which are provided below.
1. Deeper Integration with Google Ads
GA4 provides deeper integration with google ads so that marketers can easily manage audiences across websites and apps. For instance, if a user within an advertising target audience completes a purchase, he/she is removed from the advertising audience list automatically thus updating the list so that he/she will not be served retarget ads
2. Codeless Event Tracking
Google Analytics 4 expanded codeless functionality makes it easy for users to measure and track on-site and in-app actions like video plays or page scrolls that have real-time value. Now with GA4, this can be easily done without adding code or setting up “Event Tracking” in Google Tag Manager.
3. Cross-Platform Tracking
GA4 tracks both app and web data in one property that enables you to view the complete customer journey including engagement, acquisition, monetization, and retention. You can also use Google Analytics 4 to track user experience from start to finish across platforms which allows you to better understand the cross-platform experience of your consumers and build more accurate customer acquisition models.
4. In-depth Reports and Insights
Benefits of Google Analytics 4 is it collects and stores all user interactions as separate events that helps you to gain a more complete understanding of your users. Put another way, GA4 users receive more in-depth reports and insights as compared to the generalized data made available in Universal Analytics.
5. AI-powered Predictive Metrics
GA4 has alerts that help you to stay ahead of the latest data trends. You can use its predictive metrics like purchase and churn probability and revenue prediction to make data-driven decisions at a large scale. You can also use these metrics to improve retargeting campaigns as well as website performance. Based on the behaviors and needs of different audiences, you can create custom sales funnels for higher conversions. And, as more and more data is compiled, you get more accurate and higher quality suggestions.
6. Customer Lifecycle-framed Reporting
Another benefits of Google Analytics 4 property, the reports are organized to help you focus on the specific aspects of the customer journey. For example, a User Acquisition Report helps you figure out which channels are driving new customer acquisition. And the Retention and Engagement Reports help you analyze and understand the actions and behavior of your customers.
7. Granular User Data Controls
GA4 helps you comply with several data regulations like CCPA and GDPR. Google Analytics 4 has a “Consent Mode” that is designed for sites to acquire end-user consent to collect analytics data by providing separate consent opt-ins for ads and analytics. GA4 also offers improved data deletion capabilities that enable businesses to comply with deletion requests from users and done in a way that does not remove more data than necessary.
8. More Control Over Data
Google Analytics 4 allows you to have greater control over your data through customizations. You may choose to create your own dashboards, which allow you to view the reports essential to your business. You can also create custom visualizations of the data collected in conjunction with Google Data Studio.
Google Analytics 4 also expanded its segmentation capabilities that allow users to create segments out of events that are a subset of events that took place within your app or website. As a result, you can more accurately track interactions of your customers and get a more granular view of their behaviors.
For a step by step guide to implementing Google Analytics 4 for your business, click here and reach out with any questions.
Google will phase out Universal Analytics by July 1, 2023, and you can only access the previously processed data for the next 6 months after that. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend all brands to set up Google Analytics 4 property on your website or app alongside Universal Analytics right now.
This would allow you to collect data as soon as possible as GA4 only collects data from the date it is set up and enabled. Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool that can provide invaluable insights along with other benefits like more control over data, cross-platform tracking, and deep AI-driven insights. If you are looking for support in the setup of GA4 for your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Campaign Strategist at Hook + Ladder Digital