What you need to know about Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Google Analytics has become an industry-standard in tracking website traffic, bounce rates, and behavior. But now there’s something even better to track web performance and we want to introduce you to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next best thing in Google Analytics designed for event-based tracking to give a more holistic view of desktop and mobile web performances.
Is my current Google Analytics reporting going away?
The answer is yes, and no. We know that is confusing so let’s take a brief history lesson on Google Analytics.
The first Google Analytics was introduced to our digital world in 2005. Over the years, several changes have emerged along with lots of improvements and enhancements. GA4, released in October 2020, is just one of those enhancements and has been created to give more in-depth insight into website performance, creating better website efficiency and helping site owners develop more user-friendly platforms.
As of July 1, 2022, the standard Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) will be sunsetted and will be going away. Websites that do not implement Google’s new analytics property type (GA4) will be left with no new data on their website performance.
So what exactly is GA4?
Think of it as a tool with superpowers to give better insight into what goes on behind the scenes of your website. It’s the latest evolution of Google Analytics with client-facing improvements that can give website owners a huge advantage over their competition. When utilizing all that GA4 has to offer, site owners will begin to see some unique data metrics including:
- Page View / Event-based: This tracks button clicks, video plays, and more advanced features based on events, not sessions like the current Universal Analytics.
- Multiple Device Tracking: GA4 provides enhanced visibility into the customer journey across all website pages, mobile platforms, and even apps. Standard Google Analytics does not provide such in-depth performance data.
- Predictive Metrics: GA4 identifies users and user behaviors on your website or app that would likely lead to a purchase or conversion. The three predictive metrics of GA4 are purchase probability, churn probability, and revenue prediction.
And it only gets better from there. While these are just a few of the highlights, Google Analytics 4 also gives you improved user engagement analysis, more audience insights for ad campaigns, and enhanced visualizations and reporting. Plus (not to overwhelm you) there are more than 20 advantages to using GA4 on your website that give you specialized information to create a better user experience. Oh, and this doesn’t include additional enhancements in the works and soon to be released.
Don’t Worry, Upgrading to Google Analytics 4 is Easy
The good news is if your site was created after October 16, 2020, GA4 is the default analytics tool, so there is likely nothing you need to do.
For sites created before October 16, 2020, the steps to convert to GA4 are simple with on-screen instructions.
Bottom line: If you are unsure, we can help you check your existing Google Analytics setup and implement GA4 for you as needed.
GA4 Reporting and Analytics
Google Analytics 4 is the intelligence website owners have been wanting for years. GA4 reporting can help you make site improvements when it comes to how you want to interact with your website visitors. And if customized reporting is more your style, Google Analytics 4 encourages site owners to create custom reports specific to the data they need. Customized GA4 reporting helps you access the data more quickly, enabling you to modify the efficiency and effectiveness of your website.
Google Analytics 4 is on track to be more powerful than Universal Analytics and provides more insight into why users are on your site and what they are doing. It is more accurate in tracking users across multiple devices and we encourage website owners and managers to implement GA4 as soon as possible for enhanced web performance.
If you need help implementing GA4 for your website connect with one of our team members about your Google Analytics strategy today. The Cazarin team can also recommend and execute website enhancements to improve your customer journey and ultimately increase website conversions.