Discover the main advantages of the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and why you should consider it for your online business.
Google Web and the app are finally out of beta and reborn as Google Analytics 4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest iteration of Google Analytics and differs fundamentally from Universal Analytics, the web service currently used by most sites. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the new standard solution, offered by Google Analytics for anyone with a website and/or app.
To better understand how Google Analytics 4 (GA4) differs from the other services offered by Google Analytics, and including its 4 key advantages, we provide an overview of how the new web service works. In the lines below you’ll learn how your business can adapt to fully benefit from using Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Access more information about the virtual user experience
Google Analytics is indeed proposing a change, and not just in the way it structures its reports in the user interface. The change has been made entirely from the structure of the system. The service no longer focuses on metrics, which are easily fragmented by device or platform, such as sessions, but focuses on the user and their interactions, currently captured only as events.
Why is Google proposing this change?
The new event-driven data model now offers the ability to use a single set of values and dimensions to look at both web and application data. This results in cohesion of web and app data using the new data streaming service. For example, a user can find a brand on their mobile device, review the same site on desktop, and then download the products offered and purchase through the company’s commerce app electronically. Google Analytics 4 gives analysts the tools to monitor and enrich the user’s shopping experience.
Note that while this service has a huge capacity, to take full advantage of what Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has to offer, you will need so-called developers to create and capture a custom user ID in your company’s app and web experience.
Analysis tools focus on user engagement
The user interface is rendered in a much clearer and more concrete way
In addition to the ability to collect and aggregate more data, Google makes researching user-centric reports almost intuitive for marketers and analysts. This is made possible by aligning sections of the report’s menu with the user experience.
Gone are the Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour, and Conversion menus. These are merged into a new Lifecycle section, which divides analytics into Acquisition, Engagement, Cash Generation, and Retention. This new classification lends itself to the typical marketer’s experience and goals. There is now a separate User section that focuses on user demographics and technology.
New predictive values
Google Analytics 4 has given us new metrics and dimensions, with a more powerful capability, and a focus on user behaviour. The service uses AI to predict customer actions and value. At the moment these include Churn Rate and Likelihood to Buy, but many more data are in the pipeline.
To use these metrics, you will need to ensure that the relevant events are installed and configured in GA4. The GA4 setup period lasts at least 28 days, during which time these models are processed properly. At least 1000 positive and 1000 negative examples are needed for the models to provide predictions.
Once the data starts flowing, you can access predictive values through the new Audience builder and Analysis Hub. All of this will be discussed in detail in another post.
Much higher capacity engagement indicators
Fortunately, Google has eliminated the Bounce Rate. For me, this is great news, as there has always been an incomplete index, which blocks the generation of a large amount of information. Ken Williams wrote an excellent post on the topic of the percentage of users, who immediately after viewing the home page of a website, navigate to another site. As Ken mentions, Google now provides a number of detailed user engagement metrics that are far superior to Bounce Rate.
These new metrics, related to user engagement, combined with the new scrolls, videos, exit clicks, and pre-configured file downloads, give marketers a clear impression of web page content or predict user engagement. If you want to track similar metrics using previous iterations of Google Analytics, a lot of custom coding is required. Fortunately, this is much more accessible, becoming standard in GA4.
More advanced analytics tools
Google provides analysts with tools that examine the user experience in detail when performing data queries and getting insights. Many of these tools, such as the Segment Overlap method, Path analysis or Funnel analysis (which allows you to understand the steps involved in getting a result, and indicates how many users are involved in each step) could previously only be found in GA360. If you are currently using BigQuery or GA4, all of these are integrated for free.
Each of these new capabilities will be covered in some detail in future articles, but I hope you’ve already formed a general idea of how the ability to combine multiple dimensions, values, filters, segments, and comparisons into a single table (including the new predictive values) gives marketers and analysts new analytical tools to infer consumer behavior.
Create key audience segments for your advertising campaigns
Improved ROI for marketing spends
New empowered metrics, analytics tools with advanced examination capabilities and key integrations result in key audiences for your marketing campaigns.
Let me give you an example.
Imagine investing in an advertising campaign to run on both mobile and desktop devices, apps or other web platforms. A user enters your website through a browser on a mobile device and fills out a contact form. They then access your ad campaign again from their desktop using a different browser and add something to their shopping cart. Finally, they buy using your app for Android or Ios.
So far, it would be a challenge to reduce the ad spend that arises from the need to provide your audience with as rich a shopping experience as possible, in terms of your relationship with your company, by operating with an older version of Google Analytics. On top of all this, it would be a pain to switch different devices to reduce the multiple experience to a single platform. No brand wants to display ads on a customer’s desktop, urging them to buy a product they already bought a week ago via the mobile app.
Once your website and apps are set up in the right way, you can merge the shopping experience offered by all these devices, and avoid wasting money on expensive advertising spend.
Public value becomes predictive
As Google has stated below, other new predictive indexes set for release will help you optimize your advertising in a faster and smarter way:
“We continue to add new predictive metrics, such as potential revenue, that can be inferred about a specific customer group. This enables the creation of key audience segments and provides access to customer niches with high buying potential. At the same time, the new predictive values are used to perform market analysis. These allow a better understanding of why some customers are likely to spend more than others. So, you can take action to improve your results. ”
Vice President, Measurement, Analytics and Buying Platforms, Google
Smarter privacy and user tracking features
Discreet privacy control
Google Analytics 4 gives both web and app owners and users more precise control over their data. In the near future, this will help companies comply with regulations on privacy terms. This topic is a vast one and stretches beyond the scope of this post. But now, it is much easier for both website administrators and so-called developers to specify the type of data they intend to collect through various UI interfaces or programming. For example, certain events and user properties can be excluded from ad customisation.
Monitoring in a smart and more detailed way
Google’s new approach is fundamentally designed to be much more adaptable to a future where cookies will be less common and privacy will be a key concern for users, governments and regulators.
Vidhya Srinavasan – Google’s vice president, measurement, analytics and buying platforms mentions:
“Google Analytics 4 uses a flexible measurement approach and in the future will include the modeling needed to fill in the information gaps. This means Google Analytics can be used to measure marketing results, and will help you meet customer needs as you navigate recovery or face uncertainty.”
Is it worth upgrading to Google Analytics 4?
After going through the major pros – here are some of the minuses of upgrading to the new Google Analytics 4. First, for users, analysts, and developers, it will take some time to get used to this web service. Some people may be annoyed that some standard reports no longer exist and that some values have been removed. Secondly, for companies with a significant degree of tagging, used on their own website, rework and re-implementation will be necessary.
Implementing Google Analytics 4
With all this in mind, there are a few things recommended for better use of Google Analytics4:
- Install Google Analytics 4 in parallel with your implementation. Google Analytics 4 alongside your existing Google Analytics and start working with the new version. Even if, GA4 is not set up in a correct way, using it for data collection will bring you major benefits in the medium and long term.
- GA4 will not be replaceable by any update of various web services, GA4 remains GA4, and will provide your business with a significant benefit. Start thinking about how GA4 and its free integrations with Google Ads and BigQuery could improve your companies marketing strategy in 2021, and beyond!
- Get expert advice and plan your upgrade! While it’s not a very simple process and will take some time to get used to, GA4 is the product that Google is investing in for web service improvements. GA4 currently offers the most powerful analytics and marketing functionality. Basically, with GA4, you have the tools to generate more ROI.