Google Analytics 4: How It Affects Your Marketing Efforts
What is Google Analytics 4?
This year, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing data as of July 1, 2023, leaving the option to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), an optimized analytics tracking strategy that focuses on the customer journey.
Like Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 will offer the capability of tracking how users interact with online content. Unlike Universal Analytics, Google Analytics will offer a more streamlined approach, with improved metrics to guide your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
The main difference between the two tracking methods is that UA is hit-based, logging data like page hits, events, eCommerce details, and social interactions whereas GA4 will log all such interactions as events. With GA4 these events are categorized in one of four ways:
- Automatically collected events
- Enhanced measurement events (events you can track without configuring them in Google Tag Manager)
- Recommended events
- Custom events
Classifying interactions as events instead of separate types of hits puts more of a focus on how much customers interact with your online content. GA4 tracks these events so you can watch how a customer interacted with your website or app, i.e., where they clicked, how long they stayed on a page, and what drew their attention. This allows for a customer-centric approach so you can make decisions about content based on how your users view it.
Along with being customer-centric, Google Analytics 4 is also user-centric. As a user, you can focus on either audience, acquisition, monetization, or retention. A specialty of Google Analytics 4 also includes its ability to compile predictive analytics, showing you how it predicts customers will interact with your website and highlighting what changes you might make in advance.
Google Analytics 4 provides a level of accessibility that Universal Analytics does not. With GA4, you can more easily set up cross-domain tracking. You can create custom dimensions and metrics that suit your business’s needs. You can even encourage customers to complete actions on your website or app with the ability to directly integrate with media platforms.
Google Analytics 4 also offers:
- better detection of anomalies;
- easier conversion and event tracking;
- simplified debugging with DebugView;
- privacy controls, such as cookieless measurement and behavioral and conversion modeling.
How Google Analytics 4 affects your marketing strategy
With the newfound focus on the customer journey in Google Analytics 4, you’ll see how customers interact with your business, what they enjoy, and what throws them off. These tracking capabilities give you the data to make customer-centric decisions about the type of content you share, the navigation of your website, the interactive capabilities you provide, and more.
Cross-device buyer journey management allows for the measurement of behavior across multiple devices and sessions, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the buyer’s journey. The movement away from cookie use sets up businesses for more accurate insights that will remain consistent in the future.
The boost in insightful data means the ability to make better-informed decisions about your business. An increase in these details means more knowledgeable use of business’ budgets and a better ROI.
How to set up Google Analytics 4
- If you’re new to Analytics, get a fresh start and set up analytics data collection here.
- If you’re already using Universal Analytics and need to make the switch follow these steps. You’ll be able to set up Google Analytics 4 alongside Universal Analytics. You can access both data collections in the admin area until Universal Analytics ends.
- If you’re currently using a Content Management System like WordPress, Drupal, Squarespace, and others, add Google Analytics 4 to your website builder platform.
At Arcane, we offer Google Analytics consulting services. Get in touch with us today.