The Google Analytics version businesses use now — also called Universal Analytics (UA) — is a thing of the past. Its designers invented it for a different time, back when websites used counters and page owners would get excited seeing them go up by even one.
The way modern consumers use the internet has evolved; today, they use multiple devices and apps, blocking all sorts of data tracking pixels and software for increased privacy.
Google Analytics can’t keep up with all of this — so Google is moving on. The search engine giant decided to create Google Analytics 4, or GA4, in 2020. The corporation also announced UA sunset — or automatic termination of the program — by July 1, 2023.
This article will discuss what GA4 is all about and how you can use it to elevate your marketing efforts.
What Is Google Analytics 4?
Contrary to popular belief, Google Analytics 4 is not just a redesign of the current version.
The shift from the classic GA to UA was an upgrade, even if the latter did so much more than automatically tracking user movements through subdomains. Users then only had to switch around a piece of code to achieve a seamless transition, improving all functionalities.
However, GA4 is an entirely new product that users should add to their existing UA profile; it’s a separate platform requiring additional setup and configuration. Truly, the only thing it has in common with the classic GA is its name; this program can operate powerful analytics while using cookieless technologies to comply with consent management regulations.
If businesses want the most effective analytics possible, they should be running two versions right now: UA and GA4.
What Should Users Do to Prepare for GA4?
Users can still use both Google Analytics versions without experiencing any software challenges. However, there’s one simple thing they should do to prepare for future use: set up a GA4 account to transfer data into it immediately.
After the UA sunset date, the program will stop receiving new information from its users, so it’s best to start feeding data into GA3 and GA4 now.
The GA4 has some stark differences from its predecessor. Below are some benefits of using the former over the outdated model:
Provides Users With Machine Learning Capabilities
One of the most striking GA4 distinctions from GA3 is the latest version’s machine learning (ML) capabilities. As brands face more consent management concerns, Google created a privacy-centered technology that fills in information gaps whenever necessary.
Understands the Customer Journey Better
The platform no longer focuses on device or platform metrics. Instead, it enables users to delve deeper into users and their interactions. This feature lets businesses use a single set of metrics for web and app data, enabling more intelligent aggregation.
For instance, GA4 users can track consumer movement even if they use a desktop computer for initial research and their phone to purchase a product or service. GA4 can help track and stitch these events more clearly.
Attracts High-Quality Audiences
GA4’s customer-centric measurements, tools, and integrations lead to more powerful audiences for marketing campaigns. This component ensures a better return on investment (ROI) for ads.
Before GA4, tracking a consumer using different devices to access a site was challenging. However, once businesses understand customer journeys better, they can easily capture quality audiences.
Sees New Metrics
GA4 uses different metrics than GA3. It removed some information altogether, like bounce rates. However, it added data on engagement time and sessions.
There will be a steep learning curve for marketers and data analysts unfamiliar with events, pivots, and tables. However, understanding user activity offers unmatched advantages in the decision-making process.
Analysis tools can inadvertently store and access personally identifiable information (PII). However, GA4 creators created this program with new laws like GDPR and PECR in mind, helping organizations stay compliant.
Achieve Your Digital Marketing Goals With GA4
As with any new software, GA4 requires some adjustment time. However, once you get the hang of it, you can use its ML capabilities to target, capture, and engage ideal audiences.
At 7ten, we have the team, knowledge, and experience to drive high-quality leads to your business. GA’s new version can only enhance our abilities.
Call us at (443) 470-8081 to book a free evaluation. We can help you create a custom plan to grow your business exponentially.