Google Analytics 4 – here’s everything you need to know!
Google Analytics 3, better known as Universal Analytics, will no longer be available for use and users will be required to default to the new Google Analytics 4 property if they wish to continue using this analytical platform and tracking your website’s performance.
Say hello to Google Analytics 4
In recent months you may have received a few emails asking you to sign up for Google Analytics 4 or have been prompted to upgrade your platform to the latest version.
The biggest difference between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics is the expansion of products that you can now track and analyse through GA4. You can now use the platform for websites, apps or both simultaneously. This is something that Universal Analytics did not offer, only supporting website properties.
The interface has also had a slight update, making it tricky to find the data and filters that we are quite familiar with. The way in which these tools work has also changed slightly with new and improved data capture, tracking and general user experience.
3 key features that you will find in GA4
A new way of capturing data
One of the most note-worthy changes to the platform is the shift from session-based data reports to event-based data captures.
Something that Universal Analytics struggled with was providing flexible and accurate reporting, it all felt a little generic.
With Google Analytics 4 all interactions and behaviours are considered to be an event, including page and event hits. You will find that each of these events has an additional parameter added which is used to describe the type of event that occurs on your website.
There are many different types of events that GA4 tracks. This can be a page view, session duration, link click, a download and more.
You may be thinking that AI-powered insights are not exactly brand new to Google Analytics. However, GA4 has improved the function of these AI reports and insights since the launch of the new platform.
A new addition to this includes report highlights where you will be shown growing trends with certain products/ services that you offer.
Over time these trends will lead to predictions made by the machine learning technology, with access to analyse possible conversions, sales and churn rates.
Improved view of user journey
Don’t get too excited (or maybe just a little) but Google Analytics 4 has now organised its customer lifecycle-framed reports around the customer journey. This new data approach is designed to provide users with a better understanding of how their website visitors are engaging with their business. You will be able to really dig deep into your customer journey all the way from your customer first discovering your business through an advert, to making a payment on your website.
This addition to Google Analytics 4 provides business owners and marketers with a more comprehensive view and understanding of their customer’s lifecycle and interaction with their business all the way from acquisition to conversion.
Access to such in-depth insights allows you to find ways to improve user experience in all of your marketing efforts as a way of increasing conversions and ROI.
Do you need Google Analytics 4?
If you are a complete website newbie, we would highly recommend creating a GA4 account to have access to some sort of data as a way of tracking the performance of your website.
If you already have a GA account setup but are using the Universal Analytics interface, the answer to this really depends on what you use the platform for.
If you use the platform as and when and are quite nonchalant about tracking data, switching over to Google Analytics 4 straight away may not be necessary especially as you will need to learn your way around the new interface.
However, at some point, you will need to upgrade to GA4 as eventually the old platform will be phased out. Better to be early to the party than late!
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