What Is Google Analytics 4 and Is It Right For Your Business?
In October 2020, Google launched Google Analytics 4, an upgrade to the previous Google analytics tool, Google Universal Analytics. Google introduced the Google Analytics 4 tool in response to the continually changing digital and online landscape as part of its vision for the future of analytics.
Digital analytics have become a lot more essential in today’s business ecosystem, so there’s a need for Google to introduce a new and better Google Analytics 4 (GA4) analytics tool. Nowadays, most businesses conduct their operations online, and marketers seek insights from digital analytics to ensure they spend their marketing funds properly.
Google Analytics 4 is a new analytic product with more holistic features to serve the digital marketing needs of today better than Google Universal Analytics (GA3). GA4 was built based on the App and Web system introduced in 2019, and unlike any other analytics tool, GA4 offers more insightful, intuitive, and intelligent analytics.
What is Google Analytics 4? Simply put, Google Analytics 4 is a Google analytics tool that enables you to monitor your app and website analytics simultaneously. It also allows you to keep up with the continually changing standards for using cookies to track the activities of your users on your app or/and website. This way, you can easily create a smart, better, and more data-driven marketing strategy for your business.
Is Google Analytics 4 Right For Your Business?
Google analytics tools are a must-have in this digital age that we are. Businesses use Google Universal Analytics to monitor and track customer interaction across their web, app platforms, and even offline APIs. Businesses use Google analytics tools to track web traffic and determine their main KPIs by monitoring major marketing channels.
But now, Google has offered a more effective and efficient analytics tool, different from the traditional Universal Analytics. Google Analytics 4 offers even more reliable insights that businesses and marketers can rely on to make the best marketing decisions.
What is different about Google Analytics 4 compared to the Google Universal Analytics tool?
Google Analytics 4 uses machine learning to generate accurate insights from the data it collects. Google Analytics 4 uses a different data structure and data collection method from the Google Universal Analytics tool. GA4 generates insights based on the activities of individual users on your web and app. Simply put, each user activity is treated and processed as a standalone event instead of being grouped with other users within a given time frame.
GA4 moves from the traditional session-based model to the more efficient and effective event-based model. The event-based GA4 offers higher flexibility and makes it easier to predict user behavior. GA4 offers customer-centric measurements. Universal Analytics will count one customer as multiple customers if they visit your web or app with different devices. That will wrongly inflate your user count and distort other insights like your sessions per user or revenue generated per user. GA4 unifies and measures individual user interaction across your web and app platforms on their different devices.
Benefits Of Google Analytics 4
Here are some of the main benefits of GA4 that make it a must-have for your business:
Improves your user journey tracking capabilities
Remember that Google Analytics 4 foundation is App and Web-based. We also stated earlier that GA4 is customer-centric. GA4 allows you to monitor user interaction across your app and web platforms accurately. It does not matter if a user visits your website with their computer and revisits it on their mobile phone. The same user may end up making a purchase or registering for your service on your app. Google Analytics 4 allows you to combine these interactions and monitor the user journey accurately.
GA4 offers a more streamlined interface that allows you to track user journeys more closely. You can monitor the user journey from Acquisition to Engagement to Monetization to Retention. The GA4 interface is a perfect fit for marketers, allowing them to examine opportunities throughout the marketing funnel.
Google Analytics 4 is more focused on user engagement
The new and improved Google Analytics 4 allows marketers and analysts to access more reliable user-centric reports. Looking at the interface of GA4, you will see that audience, acquisition, behavior, and conversion menus have been taken out and replaced with a Lifecycle section. The Lifecycle section shows the analysis for acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention. GA4 also uses AI to predict customer actions and value.
Google also replaced the bounce rate with more powerful and useful engagement metrics on GA4. The engagement metrics combine with new event metrics like the pre-configured scroll, video, outbound clicks, and file download. These reports will give you a better idea of how well your users engaged with your content.
Improved user privacy and tracking
GA4 gives you and your customers more control over how much personal data is collected while you track their interaction across your platforms. GA4 is part of the vision of Google to help you keep up and comply with current and future privacy regulations. With GA4, businesses can do cookieless tracking. This feature is imperative as we move to a world that is not reliant on cookies for tracking user activities.
GA4 makes it easier for you to integrate and track your user journeys across your different platforms. GA4 offers effective measurement, integration, and analytics features which translates to a more active audience for your marketing campaigns. GA4 allows you to accurately track your user journeys across your app and web platforms even if the user visited on multiple devices. That enables you to optimize your ad spend and prevent wasting your ad spend.
Google has also said it would continue to add useful predictive metrics like the potential revenue you could get from a set of users. With this metric, you can determine who your high-value customers are and know why some customers are likely to spend higher than others.
When Should You Switch To GA4?
Now is the best time for you to start your switch to Google Analytics 4.
Google has announced the end of Universal Analytics or GA3. In March 2022, Google announced that it would retire GA3 and replace it with GA4. Effective from January 2024, historical marketing insights or data on the Google Universal Analytics tool will no longer be accessible to marketers, analysts, and businesses.