30 Nov Google Analytics 4 Helps Optimize Your Online Marketing Efforts
New Google Analytics 4 Can Optimize Your Online Marketing Dollars
Data analytics is the “cool nerd” of marketing – and tracking and optimizing your customers’ online experience is vital to your ROI and customer satisfaction. The new Google Analytics version 4 (GA4), released this fall, offers valuable insights that analyze user trends from start to finish – across multiple devices and platforms.
“The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform,” Google executive Vidhya Srinivasan writes.
Whether your customers are clicking from a Google ad to your e-commerce page or going from your YouTube channel to an app, GA4 can provide a comprehensive look at where to focus your marketing resources.
What’s the difference between the previous Universal Analytics and GA4?
- User journey: The new GA4 reports are focused on the user experience from their initial visit to final conversion, offering a big-picture customer experience no matter the device or platform.
- Events based: Previous analytics focused mainly on URL-based “page views,” but GA4 counts user interactions like button clicks, page views, video plays, or completed forms as events (previously named “goals”) – and it no longer requires a customized code to track those, like the previous Universal Google Analytics.
- Privacy driven: One of the biggest upgrades with GA4, hailed for its “privacy-based” tracking, is the use of AI to create a more comprehensive data picture. Previous analytics could have unintended data gaps due to privacy restrictions like GDPR, CCPA, and cookie-consent rules (where people opt out), but GA4’s cookie-less model is a move toward a future. Now info gathering, thanks to AI and machine learning, can happen across devices that may or may not require cookie identifiers, still in an information-safe environment.
- Dashboard differences: Under the main admin function, Universal Analytics featured three columns (Account, Property, View) while Google Analytics 4 (formerly known as Web + App property) features just two – Account and Property. This simplified and reorganized structure places customer insights right at the forefront of your reports.
- Flexibility and customization: GA4 is user friendly and offers greater flexibility. For example, you can customize user data without numerous codes (such as segmenting audiences with the Comparisons tool) and obtain a better picture of how users are landing on your site (Google ads, web searches, or social media clicks, for example). Certain events are automatically measured (like first visit or file download), and you can add more events with Enhanced Measurement. Plus, Analytics 4 also offers Recommended Events that you can further customize – login tracking, for example, if users can use Facebook, email, or Google to log in.
- Reporting differences: Because GA4 is event based and not session based, there’s no need to be concerned if the numbers don’t completely match up to Universal Analytics. GA4 numbers may appear smaller because it’s based on the user, not the page view. Just watch both, says bounteous.com, to double-check data consistency and quality.
Advantages of Google Analytics 4
Automatic alerts of significant trends are at the forefront of the new analytics. Business owners and marketers are notified of important events, like a surge of traffic to a certain page or an uptick of sales, and can respond accordingly with marketing efforts. Analytics 4 also offers smart predictive metrics that will help inform you on where to invest future marketing campaigns.
The AI-powered “Insights” highlights valuable information for marketers such as potential revenue from specific customer segments, conversion probability, and other outcomes. This will lead to a more targeted, efficient marketing.
Funnels provide the mother lode of information for businesses tracking specific marketing campaigns to revenue conversions. Formerly available to only those with the paid version of analytics, funnels are now available to all GA4 users. Funnel Visualization reports help businesses to follow the path a user takes to complete an action on your website, such as purchasing a product.
Privacy-centric data and less code mean that analytics will not have to be at the mercy of information gaps, multi-device interactions by the same user, and high-level tech savvy codes needed to track events.
Valuable user reports in GA4 offer more robust information in both acquisitions (Where did they find you online?) and new retention metrics (How long do they stay? Do they return?). You can track engaged sessions, sessions per user, engagement rate, and time.
Demographic visualizations provide age, gender, and location demographics like previous analytics versions, but GA4 offers optimized visualizations with graphic snapshots of the data. You can cross reference user interests (aka pages viewed) with other data points to make comparisons more easily via visual evidence, not just number comparisons.
Embrace Dual Tracking
In order to maintain your previous trends and data, you can run Google Analytics 4 simultaneously with Universal Analytics. Experts recommend keeping both analytics properties for at least a year so you can utilize previous data while learning the new features of GA4. Both offer free versions, so while they continue to roll out new features with GA4, it’s wise to keep your previous data-gathering platform while they (and you) perfect the new system.
Making Google Analytics 4 Work for You
“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful,” writes Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick and Switch.
Information is power – which leads to purposeful communication and service to your customers. Your marketing efforts can be informed by the numbers, and you in turn can more efficiently and effectively target your campaigns.
If you need help setting up Google Analytics 4 and customizing your reports, contact the Threadgill Agency. Our team can help you track and measure the most valuable data for your business so you can optimize your digital marketing dollars as you capture new customers’ attention and serve current clients with purpose.
You really want to nerd out with Google Analytics 4? Check out these resources.
Get the Most Out of Your Reporting with Google Analytics 4 Properties
Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics 4
Introducing the new Google Analytics
What is the New Google Analytics 4?
Loves Data YouTube Channel – Google Analytics Tutorials