With the decision by Google to delay the crumble of third-party cookies until 2024, now is the perfect time to understand, integrate and utilise Google Analytics 4. So, what do you need to know about GA4, and how can your business make the most of it?
What can GA4 do for you?
GA4 is an analytics service that enables your business to measure traffic and engagement across your website or branded apps.
You may already be familiar with Google Universal Analytics which is GA4’s old, soon-to-be outdated version.
GA4 became a hot topic across the web last year as Google announced their plans to remove third-party cookies across Chrome in the near future, making it harder for businesses to gather metrics on audiences.
However, you’ve been given some breathing room, with cookies now likely staying online until 2024. But they won’t be around forever – for SEO and authority urgency – Google recommends businesses to prepare their practices on GA4 sooner than later.
GA4 is a home-runner for businesses looking for accurate, real-time data and want access to AI-powered insights. Here at Arke, we’ve been using it for the past year, living by its improved reporting and campaign measurements.
There’s plenty of analytical software and tools around; what makes GA4 the optimal choice for you?
The benefits of GA4:
1. Optimised user journey analysis
GA4 is entirely user-focused and event-driven. Its approach to data means businesses can view a single set of metrics and dimensions to pinpoint and map out the journey a customer goes through.
For example, if a user becomes aware of your brand through their mobile but decides to register or make a purchase in your app, GA4 will keep you posted. These tools will help your business track and piece together the user’s journey accurately and efficiently.
2. Improved privacy options and tracking
In an increasingly ad-heavy environment like the web, privacy is a big concern for audiences. We’ve seen companies, such as Apple, make massive changes to user monitoring – such as the iOS 14.5 update prompting iPhone and iPad users to opt out of tracking in apps.
GA4 gives you and users control over what personal data is collected, meaning your ads will always comply with any further changes to privacy regulations – as long as businesses keep managing the settings correctly.
But don’t panic about missing data due to this! GA4 uses a flexible approach to measurement and will include AI-powered modelling that fills in data gaps that may be incomplete due to a user’s privacy settings.
3. Simple goals and easy event set-up
Go on, add a little laziness to your objectives. We won’t judge, and neither will GA4. From the second you begin using GA4, it will pre-create several actions and events that require little-to-no editing of code or goal set up.
What was once complex is now extremely straightforward. For businesses investing in eCommerce, this is particularly useful when transactional functions, such as application forms and checkouts, are hosted on a sub-domain or third-party site. It’s now very easy and intuitive to “mark” any event as a conversion.
A quick heads up – some form submission and e-commerce goals may not automatically track, but the set-up for these is now much easier and less time-consuming.
Those are just the highlights of what GA4 can offer you. For even more examples of its top-notch benefits – click here.
Why should I be using GA4 now?
For those businesses who may have put off setting up GA4 – you’ve just been given a second chance! Google announced it will officially remove Universal Analytics from service on July 1st 2023.
That may seem like a while away, but consider the insane amount of data and metrics your business may have within it. You can’t migrate across your existing audiences within Universal Analytics – once it’s gone, it’s gone.
However, if you get a head start and set up GA4 whilst using UA, you’ll already have historical data and AI models trained with your data and your user behaviours – so it’s a win-win getting ready now!
How do I implement GA4?
To get the most out of GA4’s metrics and measurements – Google recommends a few of the following:
- If you’re adding GA4 to a site already utilising Universal Analytics, you can use Google’s Setup Assistant to help. This will create a new GA4 property that will collect data alongside the Universal Analytics property and eventually replace it.
- Map Universal Analytics custom events to GA4 – you can access the guide for event migration here. From there, you can migrate your goals and conversions.
- Make sure you leave your UA implementation unchanged. Instead, create duplicate events for your property. Use the new event names and parameters required for Google Analytics properties.
- Have fun testing and exploring the new reports and tools. Our personal favourite is the conversion funnel report.
Those are only a few steps to ensuring a fine-tuned GA4 for your ads or business. If Google’s guide leaves you a little blurry-eyed – we have one more recommendation.
Analytics and data science are Akre’s bread and butter. Not to brag, but we are Google Analytics Certified Partners – helping businesses build their online branding is what we love to do.
Arke design and implement custom end-to-end industry-specific solutions, so you can transparently track and measure every touchpoint of your customer’s journey; whilst using your data to improve marketing decision-making.
Like to see our work in action? Explore our case study Chesterfield College Group, in which we carried out a data and technology audit for the college, identifying areas of data breaks and sources of erroneous data. This developed into bespoke on-site training sessions, focusing on the activities the college could conduct to enrich the data further.
If you’d like help implementing Google Analytics into your campaign strategy or looking for best practice recommendations regarding your data – contact our team now.