What is Google Analytics 4?
and what will it enable you to do?
On 1st July this year, Google’s automatically replacing the platform that gathers your website’s data. It’s out with Universal Analytics (UA), and in with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Whether you’ve seen the recent announcements about this mandatory move plastered across your Universal analytics, or this is your first introduction to GA4, one thing’s for sure. Unless you make the move to GA4 before Google does it for you, you could lose data relating to your entire website. Switching sooner rather than later is vital if you want to continue to track and optimise the user journey on your website.
Not to panic! We’ve known about this change for months, and we’ve been busy making preparations for both our clients’ websites and our own to make the transition as seamless as possible. Below, we’ve outlined the key features of GA4 that you need to know about, plus why it’s so important for website owners and marketers to make the move.
(And if you’ve got any questions as you read through, our team can provide you with GA4 support and are just an email or phone call away)
With GA4, you can track user behaviour across multiple devices and platforms, including mobile apps and websites. This means you can get a more comprehensive view of your users’ interactions with your business and website content. It also allows you to see how users are interacting with your brand across different channels and touchpoints, like social media, providing a more holistic view of the customer journey.
GA4 is built around an event-driven model, meaning you can track any type of user interaction on your website or app. That’s things like clicks, form submissions, and video views, as well as a wide range of custom events that you can define and track. GA4’s new event-driven approach provides greater flexibility and accuracy in tracking user behaviour, which contributes to better-informed decisions about your website development and marketing strategy.
Machine learning and insights
Another key feature of GA4 is its use of machine learning to provide more powerful insights and analytics. GA4 can automatically identify trends and patterns in your data, like a spike in traffic from a particular location, which can help you identify opportunities for growth and optimisation.
It can also provide automated insights about your data, such as:
- Purchase probability (the likelihood that a user active in the last 28 days will purchase in the next 7 days)
- Churn probability (the likelihood that a user who was active in the last 7 days will be inactive in the next 7 days)
- Revenue prediction (revenue expected from all purchase conversions within the next 28 days from a user who was active in the last 28 days)
Audiences and user-centric reporting
Since GA4 is designed to be more user-centric, you’ll soon be able to focus on specific user segments and audiences when reporting on your website’s analytics. You can create audiences based on a variety of criteria, including purchase probability and demographics, using this information to target specific groups of users with personalized content and messaging and track their behaviour over time.
Pairing this with the ability to create custom reports that focus on specific user segments means you can provide deeper insights into how certain audiences use your site, and their preferences. Ultimately, GA4 data can better inform decisions when it comes to your marketing spend, helping you to identify suitable audiences to remarket to via activities like a paid social media campaign.
Migration from Universal Analytics
If you’re currently using Universal Analytics, you may be wondering what the process of migrating to GA4 looks like. Thankfully, Google has made the migration process relatively easy, with tools and resources to help you make the switch. However, GA4 has key differences from Universal Analytics which you’ll need to familiarise so you’re fully prepped for when the forced switch takes place in the coming months! We can talk you through what’s different and how we can help you upgrade to GA4 – just give us a bell!
Overall, GA4 represents a major shift in the way we think about web analytics. By providing a more comprehensive and unified view of data, it’s the powerful tool website owners and marketers need to understand their users and optimise their digital presence. While the migration process might seem daunting, the benefits of GA4 are well worth it.