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March 16, 2022

Google Analytics 4 (GA4): What is it and should you use it?

Google Analytics has been giving companies and organizations vital information about their website users since 2005. While the world was listening to music on Apple's colorful iPod nano, Google released an innovative new tool online. It allowed marketers and business owners to see who went to their website and what they did once they got there. This tool provided insight on page views, sessions, and bounce rates. Now known as Universal Google Analytics, this powerful database gave viewers valuable information and reporting capabilities to make strategic marketing decisions. 

As technology is forever evolving, Google is now rolling out Google Analytics 4 (GA4)—a new platform that offers more tools than the already feature-packed Universal Google Analytics. In this article, we will cover what GA4 has to offer and what it can do for you and your business.

Meticulous Viewer Reporting

GA4 has changed the way Google structures and collects its data.  Previously, sessions (a group of user interactions that take place within a given period) and page views (the number of people viewing a webpage) were some of the key metrics used. Now the company has built everything around events (user interactions on your website that cannot be tracked as page views within a session) and users. This model processes each user interaction as a standalone event. The benefit of storing users’ interactions as separate events is to give you a more in-depth look at what your users are doing on your site. For example, as a business, you can track things like clicks, add to cart, file downloads, generate leads, page views, scrolls, video plays, and much more. You can still look at things on a broader session level, but also have the ability to see specific aspects of your user interactions on your website. The GA4 dashboard is now customizable and allows you to add or remove different metrics and graphs to create custom reporting.  

 

Cross-Platform Tracking

GA4 also allows you to track your users across platforms using a unique ID code. This lets you follow your user from your website or application and store all the data in one place. Another major benefit, predictive metrics, enables you to use historical data to foresee user actions such as purchase probability or revenue prediction. This will help with retargeting your audience and understanding which users are more likely to make a purchase. These changes will allow you to better track your customers’ journey and ultimately predict their future actions. Business owners will find this particularly useful as they plan and target new users. 

Should your company or organization set up Google Analytics 4?

Yes! 

Using the latest and greatest technology always has its pros and cons. Luckily, Google allows you to run both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 side by side. Your company can still use the older version while you learn and get comfortable with GA4. It is important to have GA4 set up and to collect data as soon as possible because it will not pull preexisting data to populate. GA4 is not the industry standard (yet), but using it sooner rather than later will benefit your business’s marketers as they continue to collect data. This tool will be a valuable asset in the future and provide your business a competitive advantage. Google will be sunsetting Universal Analytics starting July 1, 2023. While that may seem a ways off, making the switch now to GA4 would certainly put you and your team ahead of the process.

Have questions about GA4 or getting the most information out of your website analytics? We’re here to help.

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