Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is Google’s latest web analytics platform version. It was announced in 2019 and has gradually rolled out to users. GA4 is a significant update to the previous Universal Analytics (UA) version, which was released and regularly used since 2012. GA4 brings many changes impacting how businesses collect and analyze data about their website visitors. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of new data-tracking methods, which came into effect in July 2022.
GA4 has improved upon several features from Universal Analytics, including:
All of these upgrades are designed to give businesses a greater understanding and deeper look into user behavior and how they’re interacting with their website. In addition, improvements to data collection help to be resilient against privacy measures, which often leave gaps in UA’s data.
New to GA4 are reports and integrations. The User Acquisition Report provides a more detailed breakdown of how users discover a website, such as through organic search, paid search, or social media.
The Engagement Report provides a more detailed analysis of user behavior on a website, such as time spent on the site and the number of pages viewed per session.
These new reports are designed to provide businesses with a more comprehensive understanding of their website visitors and how they interact with their websites.
Finally, GA4 includes a range of new integrations and features that make it easier for businesses to integrate their website data with other Google products, such as Google Ads and Google Tag Manager. This means businesses can use the full range of Google’s marketing and advertising tools to reach their target audience more effectively.
This may seem like a daunting task, but it’ll help in the long run. Here are a few things to know to make the most out of GA4.
There are 3 ways of identifying visitors – Client ID, User ID, and Google Signals. By leveraging these identification methods, businesses can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their audience and make more informed marketing and user experience decisions.
GA4 won’t create a new session for return visits to better captures the user’s complete journey. By tracking user behavior across multiple sessions and devices, GA4 provides businesses with a more comprehensive view of the customer journey. This allows businesses to understand better how users interact with their website or app over time and optimize the user experience accordingly.
GA4 will show you where your customers interact: forms, email, phone calls, SMS, ads, live chat, social media, etc. Use this data to identify the top-performing channels and optimize based on that experience.
It’s important to choose the right attribution model for your business needs, as different models can give you different insights into how users are interacting with your site or ads.
Choosing the attribution model that fits your business needs will give an accurate look at your marketing efforts and give credit where credit is due.
It may feel overwhelming to build your analytics account, but by diving into these new tools and metrics provided by GA4, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of your user. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Pre-Planning Checklist to get your GA4 account set up right from the get-go.
Once you’ve finished the pre-planning steps, you’re ready to start taking action within GA4. Our below recommendations serve as an outline for an action plan, with each recommendation serving a specific purpose in helping achieve the end result: a more successful marketing program built on real data from your website.
With its many new features and data-tracking methods, GA4 offers businesses a more comprehensive and accurate view of their website traffic, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and drive meaningful business outcomes. Although the changes that come with GA4 can be challenging to adapt to, the benefits of using this platform are clear. Therefore, businesses that have not yet made the switch to GA4 should consider doing so as soon as possible to stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.
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