For businesses that are keen to scale up vis-a-vis better marketing decisions, adopting GA4 Google Analytics can be a wise move. This is a powerful analytical tool helping you detect problems on your app and site and identify services and products that work best for your business. It prioritizes user privacy and gives you easy access to tracking data and advanced metrics to get deeper insights into user behavior.
Know what the GA4 is all about:
GA4 is a new offering from Google that is all set to take over the reins from Universal Analytics. It was recently announced by Google that Universal Analytics would stop collecting data from June 2023; in that case, if you are yet to migrate to GA4, you are already late.
GA4 involves a complete restructuring of Google Analytics and you should be prepared for a somewhat steep learning curve. This new Google tool will help you to measure traffic and analyze user engagement across sites and apps.
A lot has changed in UA to GA4 migration. That’s because GA4 makes use of a different data collection logic and a distinct structure. Everything is going to be built around events and users, and not sessions, like earlier. The session-based model was used to group user interactions within a specified timeframe but this new switch to events will be more advantageous for marketers. In this sense, GA4 is found to be more flexible. It can predict user behavior more accurately.
Now, the question is, when should you be migrating to GA4? To do this, you must first install the GA4 and run it alongside Universal Analytics.
A lot of people are still hesitant to make this transition, but this decision is likely to pay off in the end. Not only will you be able to access more data than before but also find it easy to customize this. So, you can track what matters to your business and not things that Google thinks are important for you.
For this switch to happen seamlessly, it is better to use a GA4 migration guide. It will offer you step-by-step instructions about how you can make the switch and how to start off on the new platform.
Since GA4 is the new Google Analytics version, it is expected to provide marketers with more resources to analyze key customer behavior metrics, not simply track the web traffic. In doing so, this tool will track the whole customer journey across different platforms. It will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to offer businesses detailed insights into ways in which users are communicating with your app and website.
Universal Analytics vs GA4:
- One of the highlights of the GA4 is its user-friendly interface. It’s far easier to navigate compared to the earlier version of Google Analytics because it’s properly categorized and labeled. The focus is on what is important for a business, how users are engaging with a brand or an app, how much money is being generated through a campaign, etc. All this data was available even in the old version, but in the new one, the sidebar tabs are more distinct and easy to navigate.
- If you consider GA4 vs Universal Analytics, you will see that the former focuses more on customer privacy. This is in keeping with the most recent privacy laws like CCPA and GDPR. It also lets you report on user activities on both apps and websites.
- Another difference that shows up in a discussion on Universal Analytics vs GA4 is that the new Google offering has a brand new dashboard which is far more streamlined. The navigation bar is user-friendly with buttons for reports, home, configure, explore, and library.
- In Universal Analytics, the page views were regarded as the most significant metric but with Google Analytics 4 migration, measurements are on events. Rather than viewing generic data, you get to see a complete picture of how users are interacting with your site or app. You can still see the session reports, but now you can break this down into easy-to-understand insights and in-depth reports.
- The new Google Analytics 4 offers a wide range of new metrics like engaged sessions, engagement time, and engagement rate. Acquisition reports help in tracking conversions across platforms, like social media, ads, and organic search. The reports continue to look the same in the new GA4, but there are some minor changes. They are now divided into user acquisition, overview, and traffic acquisition. Besides, GA4 introduces 3 new metrics, namely, conversions, events, and page and screens. These have been added under “Engagement” while you can view the buyer behavior and earnings under “Monetization”.
- In GA4, you can create 3 segments. The User segment refers to a subset of users engaging with an app or website. The Session segment refers to all sessions from particular traffic sources, like specific ad campaigns. The Event segment helps you analyze GA data from a subset of users/sessions based on particular events.
- GA4 offers a more improved cross-domain tracking feature. In UA, cross-domain tracking was tedious because you had to configure this either at the code level or with GTM (Google Tag Manager). Following this, you had to create a custom configuration in the GA account. This wasn’t too hard for someone who had coding experience. However, for small business owners and marketers with zero coding experience, setting it up could be stressful. Thankfully, the new GA4 has streamlined this process making it much simpler to retain the same user data across different domains. There’s no need to do a complicated setup and you get access to far more accurate data.
Google Analytics Universal vs GA4 may mean a big change but it’s going to be far simpler for you to track your customers from now on. The new metrics will probably involve a short learning curve for you, but one that’s completely worth it.
Why should you make the switch to GA4?
- GA4 migration services will help you get access to more predictive insights. Seeing the past behaviors of users can be advantageous but you cannot take proactive decisions based on this input. These new metrics that GA4 provides will help you make data-driven decisions. This is likely to have a big impact on retargeting marketing campaigns.
- Using metrics like churn probability, purchase probability, and revenue prediction, you will have the power to build audiences according to their predicted behaviors. You can see users that are more likely to make a big purchase from you or users that are more likely to buy from you over the next few days. Using this data, you can target them better on social media or through your Google Ads campaigns.
- Advanced metrics provided by this new tool will also upgrade your site’s performance. It will enable you to create customized sales funnels for different types of customers, depending on their needs and behavior.
- In the earlier version of Google Analytics, tracking users over multiple platforms was not possible. However, migration to GA4 allows cross-platform tracking. This means you will be able to view the entire buyer journey, including engagement, acquisition, retention, etc. All this is possible because of unique user IDs that are assigned when users log into the site or app. Data from every logged-in session is then transferred from the app or website to GA4. So, even if the user logs in on another platform the next time, the report connects the user data to his unique ID, and you get to see the entire history. For marketers, this can be a huge benefit as it lets them figure out cross-platform user behavior. They can then use this data to extract information for a particular demographic. This helps them to build accurate customer models.
- When you migrate to GA4, you can get more control over marketing matters. You have the flexibility to customize the dashboard and view reports which are likely to make a difference to your business. You can also create customized visualizations using Google Data Studio and custom segments for tracking customer interactions more accurately.
- Google Analytics 4, like its predecessor Universal Analytics, is free of cost and you won’t have to pay even if you use more than one GA4 property on your account.
- It’s also possible to run both UA and GA4 simultaneously. Since Universal Analytics isn’t going to continue data collection after June 2023, it’s advisable to install GA4 right away.
- Installation isn’t tough when you follow a migration guide and conform to the GA4 migration checklist. It takes less than 10 minutes to do the set-up. So, you really have no reason to stall the transition.
Google Analytics 4 may seem hard to use in the beginning because it’s customizable. However, you can maneuver it well once you have the basic knowledge about its features and functionalities. You can leverage its features to get deeper insights into user behavior and use this data to make better marketing decisions in the future.
This makes Google Analytics 4 a much-needed powerful analytics tool offering key insights into your target audience. Whether it’s greater control over data, cross-platform tracking, or AI-driven insights, GA4 is only going to make it easier for you to scale up your business.
Analytics tools are typically the most impactful marketing weapons. They enable you to have a proper understanding of the site traffic and how users act once they are on your site or app. When you have access to more accurate analytical insights, you are in a position to make better and more meaningful marketing decisions.
In this sense, GA4 is an upgrade that all businesses can benefit from. Without compromising user privacy, it can give marketers a high degree of customizability and flexibility which allows them to correctly predict customer behavior.