Web and digital analytics are primary drivers for successful digital marketing campaigns. Without numbers behind your creative execution, you may never know how well it performed—or capture valuable information about your intended audience.
Google frequently updates its algorithm and platform to meet the needs of its users. As a marketer, it’s vital to be on top of upcoming changes and pivot your strategy to take advantage of them. The newest of these updates is a shift to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next evolution of data-tracking. Here are three things you need to know:
1. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) vs. Universal Analytics
Universal Analytics, now called “GA3,” has historically been the standard tool for gathering analytics. Initially developed in 2012, this platform has simply become outdated. Think about it: 10 years ago, we didn’t have robust mobile devices, hundreds of thousands of apps, and today’s expansive internet. So, to gather more accurate data from all digital avenues, Google updated its system.
2. The Main Benefits of GA4
GA4 will not only offer more accurate and timely data, but the features are getting an upgrade. Here are four benefits you can expect after making the switch:
Finally, you don’t have to hunt down data from multiple environments. GA4 will gather and synthesize data from both web and mobile analytics. With all your data under one roof, you’ll be able to paint a better picture of your campaign’s success (or where it needs to improve).
Enhanced Privacy Features
To gain the respect of your potential audience, you have to earn their trust. Mobile and desktop users are more cautious of how businesses can view, access, or store their data. GA4’s new privacy features take the essential steps for you ahead of time, like protecting IP addresses as anonymous in your system.
One of the most impactful changes is Google’s effort to improve event-based data. Events represent any kind of user interaction or engagement, like clicking a button or filling out a form. The experts at Google put it this way: “the data you see in your reports comes from events that trigger as users interact with your website and app. For example, a ‘page_view’ event triggers when a user views a page on your site.”
GA4 helps marketers create a more robust set of metrics to measure user behavior. With this new platform, you can categorize data into four buckets:
- Enhanced measurement events: events collected automatically through the “enhanced measurement” feature (i.e., page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, site search, video engagement, file downloads)
- Automatically collected events: events automatically collected upon set-up
- Recommended events: events that require additional context during set-up
- Custom events: fully-custom events that do not fit into the above categories
GA4 makes it easy to set up any number of events that can help you collect more meaningful information about your digital content. The best campaigns start with a meticulous setup; if you’re unsure where to get started, consider reaching out to our expert team at 10x digital for support.
Improved Machine Learning
Not sure what audience you need to target? No worries. GA4 now offers improved machine learning suggestions. This feature will provide several recommendations, but the most valuable may be the predictive audiences. GA4 will synthesize your data over time to recommend the audience most likely to engage with your content.
3. Your Next Steps
Google recommends implementing GA4 as soon as possible in parallel with your existing Universal Analytics deployment. To set up the new property alongside its older counterpart, follow this instruction guide from the Google team. It’s critical that you do it sooner than later: once UA phases out, it’ll be gone forever!
Need Extra Help?
Okay, so you want to use GA4, but you’re still confused about how to get started. That’s where our team of experts comes in. Reach out to us today to get your analytics up and ready to run. You won’t want to launch your next campaign without it!