In a world where most of our daily activities and tasks are online, how you collect, track and implement data is undeniably the most crucial tool for any webmaster or business owner. The most significant marketing challenge these days is to generate traffic and leads that trace progress in SEO strategies and that doesn’t come along without some challenges. Google Analytics and its newest release GA4 are here to help you change the way you measure your marketing. This so-called “freemium” analytics tool gives you an extreme in-depth look at your website/app performance and if it’s used correctly it can assist you in predicting your next best move. Here’s what you, as a marketer, need to know about Google Analytics 4.
The continuous changes in the virtual world make it somewhat challenging to keep up with the trends. In the past, it was easier to trace user data; analytics platforms were built to track visits. The new and main challenges of data collection nowadays are cross-device behaviors and data privacy. Users today have multiple device access, which means that it’s hard to track user’s transition between platforms. The key is to follow the user flow, where everything is built around events, rather than user sessions. The new GA4 goes by these obstacles and combines all analytics around events which allows collecting the same standardized data from all devices and platforms with improved quality and a single report that goes along the user path. The second challenge to overcome was the rising concerns of the public for data privacy. New laws restrict and prevent easy access to user information, making it almost impossible to harness. We’ve seen companies and platforms move away from third-party cookies allowing users to have more control of their data. The new Google Analytics 4 and its key features are implementing a next generation approach to privacy-first tracking using a powerful AI engine. This is how it works.
The version of this analytics platform that most marketers are familiar with is Universal Analytics which focused on session or visit measuring rather than the user. After many updates and improvements, ID measuring was added and also the promise of App + Web release back in 2019. All of the aforementioned problems of the ever-changing analytics market were surpassed by this machine learning approach and the fulfilled promise of the App + Web release later titled as Google Analytics 4. After understanding the new trends, Google decided to take what can be measured in the form of data, then feed it to its algorithms and build detailed reports that are modeled after actual users. Then, marketers can use and implement this forecast into their strategies, which shows us what the data might be if all of the user data is gathered. Marketers should not be forced to make important decisions based on limited data access. The most important thing to focus on is the journey of the user and marketers can rely on the new GA4 to track audiences and make more accurate predictions in assessing their game plan. Up until now, statistics show that 20-30% of Universal Analytics is GA4, which means that you will still need to use UA for at least a year, but should implement the GA4 as soon as possible, since it won’t be available retroactively. Also, machine learning won’t be able to do its magnificent job if more people don’t start using it and by doing so making it better and smarter. So, to sum up, GA4 isn’t capable of taking over for Universal Analytics just yet; it might take a year or so, but these two combined can get the job done, for now. The sooner you start using Google Analytics 4, the sooner it starts working its inescapable magic.
If we know that statistics show that 50% of the 1 million top websites use Google Analytics as their data collecting service, we can conclude that it’s a highly rated analyzing tool and should be used alongside Universal Analytics. GA4 will provide a deep dive into the cross-channel view of the customer journey, put that information to use via predictive machine learning features and in turn provide marketers with more information about how users might interact with their content. It could seem hard to tap into, but if used properly and with a correct structure it can sequentially give you the answers you were looking for to take further action. Google Analytics 4 leaves us with a promise of drawing conclusions that lead to more accurate predictions and all that without hiring a data scientist. The only thing left to see is, exactly how much data GA4 will need to carry out those helpful insights.