The next generation of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4, is here. For those that aren’t familiar with Google Analytics, it is a data collection tool offered by Google that tracks website traffic. This comes in handy for businesses who wish for insights into their website’s performance via visits, clicks, conversions, and more.
This new Google Analytics program, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), will be the mainframe for analytical data starting on July 1, 2023. GA4 has a number of changes that impact the overall functionality of Google Analytics. However, the basis of the platform remains the same.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is a new way to capture data using similar tools as its predecessor. This is a new measurement tool with valuable changes that can be useful for businesses.
So, what’s new?
Google Analytics 4 has a few new features, including event tracking, cookieless measurement, and predictive capabilities.
Don’t worry; we’ve outlined them for you.
- Event-based data. Instead of using session-based data, Google Analytics 4 uses event-based data. This creates a more robust collection of information that can assist businesses in increasing traffic to their websites or apps. A “session” is a click or quick website visit. This doesn’t recognize if the consumer is actually consuming the information. “Events” are now tracked instead. An event can be a “scroll,” which is triggered when a user reaches 90% of the website’s page length. This indicates the consumer likely absorbed some of the information you provided. This is just one example of how the new feature gives businesses tangible insight into the user experience.
- New Information about Cross-Device Usage. Do you ever wonder what type of experience your customers are getting when browsing your website? Google Analytics 4 will give you insight. This new system allows for a new way to collect cross-device data, allowing businesses to track if customers are visiting their websites on a mobile device, computer, tablet, or a combination of devices. This can tell of your website’s user accessibility and what device provides the best experience. Does your site represent your brand appropriately when viewed from a mobile device? Or a computer? Websites can appear distorted when not properly adjusted for multi-device uses. Knowing which format suits your audience the best will help determine how your site should be tailored for the best user experience.
- Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the way of the future. Many technology companies are exploring its use, and Google is no exception. GA4 offers this brand-new feature that looks at target segments and provides insight into the likelihood of customer purchases and the potential revenue your business can make on those purchases. Businesses can use this data to refine target audiences and create well-rounded marketing campaigns for the largest return on investment.
- Cookieless Data. The potential for a cookieless Internet is upon us. Customers can opt out of tracking with cookies, which created quite a problem for marketers. Now, GA4 allows for cookieless reporting, eliminating the need to work around the lack of third-party data. GA4 Analytics has technology that fills in data gaps, still allowing marketers to target their audiences without violating privacy. This provides a happy medium that allows users to retain their privacy while offering companies the ability to target qualified audiences appropriately.
- New Reporting. Proper marketing is all about testing the user experience, making necessary adjustments, and reporting the results of efforts. GA4 provides insights and reporting like never before to help marketing pros really dive deep into what a user’s journey looks like. This reporting tool allows businesses to see what channels are directing customers to websites. Then, marketers are able to analyze engagement and retention reports to see the customer’s journey from the initial site entry until they leave your website. The most valuable data comes from how long they stay on your site and what they visit during that time. This can help narrow down what efforts are working best, which aren’t, and where adjustments can be made. All of these directly affect the user experience and, ultimately, end goals (sales, downloads, etc.)
Change is inevitable with technology. Every day, changes are being engineered to enhance our world. This change is just one of many.
At PTE, we are here to help you. If you’re confused or need assistance, contact us. We can help businesses like yours grow and keep up with our ever-changing world.
Confused by some of the terminologies in this blog or need guidance on how to apply this new knowledge? Go back and visit our blog Understanding Analytics, which can help you better understand this change to GA4 analytics and how to use it to your advantage!