Google Analytics 4 (GA4) what is it? Why are people talking about it? Why do you need it right now? You might have seen and possibly (quite possibly) ignored the warnings from your google analytics tool, that you need to change over. Now is the time to acknowledge those reminders. Let us break it down for you.
GA4 is the latest version of Google’s analytics platform, that provides businesses with valuable insights into their website and/or their app’s performance. It was officially launched in October 2020, and since then, it has had a number of improvements made to it. It may still have some way to go but the count down timer is on. As of the 1st of July 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data altogether.
Here, we will explain what GA4 is and why it is an important tool for businesses of all sizes and industries to have set up properly and running today.
What is Google Analytics 4?
GA4 is the fourth iteration of Google’s analytics platform, which provides businesses with real-time data on how their users interact with their website and/or app. Unlike its predecessor, Universal Analytics, which was based on a session-based model, GA4 is based on an event-based model.
In plain English, this means that instead of focusing on pageviews and sessions, GA4 is designed to capture events such as clicks, form submissions, video plays and other conversions. In other words, GA4 cuts through all the fluff, and focuses only on the key metrics and data, to provide actionable insights that drive REAL meaningful results for business owners.
The event-based model of GA4 is more in line now with how users are interacting with websites and apps today. With the rise of single-page applications and progressive web apps, users are no longer limited to the traditional pageview-based model. Instead, they can interact with different elements of a website or app without leaving the page. GA4’s event-based model captures all these interactions, and uses the data to provide businesses with a more comprehensive view of their users’ behaviour, and journey through their website or app.
Why does GA4 need to be implemented for businesses today?
GA4 has several benefits for small business owners, making it THE essential tool for any business in today’s online world, regardless of industry. Here are some reasons why GA4 needs to be implemented for your businesses today:
Better Cross-Device Tracking
One of the biggest benefits of GA4, is its ability to track users across devices. With the rise of mobile devices and the increasing use of multiple devices to complete a single task, cross-device tracking has become more critical than ever. GA4 uses Google’s advanced machine learning algorithms to identify users across devices, providing businesses with a more comprehensive view of their users’ behaviour.
Improved Data Privacy
Privacy has become a significant concern for users and for business owners too. With the amount of time we spend online, businesses that operate online need to take the necessary steps to protect their users’ data and information. GA4 solves this issue by providing businesses with much more control over their data than was possible in Universal Analytics. With GA4, businesses can choose which data they want to collect and how long to retain it in their systems. Additionally, GA4 provides users with more control over their data by allowing them to opt-out of data collection if they feel it is necessary.
Complete Integration with Google Ads
If you advertise on Google, GA4 is no longer an option, it is a necessity. GA4 is set up and designed to have better integration with Google Ads, with the aim of making it easier for businesses to measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns against key metrics. With GA4, businesses can track conversions across a number of devices, for all their users, to make measuring the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns across different platforms as easy as possible.
Deeper Insights into User Behaviour
GA4’s event-based model provides businesses with deeper insights into user behaviour. With GA4, businesses can track specific events such as clicks, form submissions, and video plays, providing them with a more comprehensive view of how users interact with their website or app. This information can be used by business owners at any time to optimise the user experience, improve on conversion rates and other key metrics.
Better Predictive Analytics
GA4 advanced machine learning algorithms, using real-time data collection, to provide businesses with better predictive analytics. With GA4, machine learning uses all the data at its disposal, to make accurate predictions on how users can better be reached and interacted with, allowing business owners to take immediate action and make data-driven decisions that will improve the performance of their online channels. Whether to maximise conversions, improve user engagement and retention or reach new audiences, GA4’s machine learning is the leg up all small businesses need in their corner.
All these benefits start the moment you switch from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4. With the looming deadline it is best to make the switch to GA4 as soon as possible. We also recommend that you consider involving your developer in the process so it is set up correctly. The basic switch missed a number of fundamental pieces to the right set up.
The verdict is …
The latest version of Google’s analytics has been built to ultimately improve the features of Universal Analytics and ensures that business owners do not miss out on any valuable insights, user actions or any data regarding their website or app’s performance.
GA4’s event-based model captures user behaviour more comprehensively than its predecessor, providing businesses with a more comprehensive view of their users’ behaviour, and where performance could be improved. GA4’s better cross-device tracking, improved data privacy, better integration with Google Ads, machine learning algorithms, and better predictive analytics, make it a necessary tool for any business looking to survive the online domain.
If you need help making the switch, reach out to the team here at The Brand Architect. For a small fee we can make this happen.