It has been a whirlwind of a month since the launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest and most advanced iteration of the analytics platform. For businesses everywhere, GA4 presents a significant opportunity to gain valuable insights into their online presence and customer journeys – but what if many brands are finding out it’s not working as the powerhouse platform it should be?
With new updates come new challenges, and we’ve been keeping a track of reactions in response to the new analytics system. So how can we solve these and utilise GA4 for the ultimate tracking platform it was created to be?
We’re going to review the top three challenges we’ve seen for businesses and reveal our solution to not only getting your data back on track, but creating the ultimate dashboard to bring more ROMI than ever before…
So what are we waiting for?
We’re getting started with a few reactions to Search Engine Land’s ‘GA4 readiness’ poll, with some extracts from the top 10 things users hate about GA4.
The user interface is the biggest issue.
GA4’s user interface has been a prominent issue highlighted by respondents, and they didn’t hold back in terms of expressing their frustrations. Adjectives like “slow” and other less publishable terms were used to describe the UI.
Navigating through segments and dimensions in GA4 is a bit more lengthy compared to the simplicity of Universal Analytics. In GA4, the process involves opening customisation or adding comparison, clicking “add filter,” selecting a dimension from a beefy dropdown, followed by selecting a dimension value from another dropdown, and finally applying the filter. This process seems to have become frustrating for users when analysing multiple patterns on a daily basis, especially for those who may have been familiar with a faster workflow.
How to tackle this:
Utilising custom dimensions is an essential component for maximising the benefits of Google Analytics 4. While there are a variety of predefined and auto-tracked events available, these predefined events might not offer the specific data you require. With custom dimensions and event parameters, you can track everything that’s relevant to your business including user based data, event based data and purchase data. There is even a handy guide to set these up on Google’s website here.
It’s proving to be pretty hard to use.
Numerous marketers from diverse backgrounds have expressed their concerns regarding the usability of GA4. Even experienced advertisers are encountering difficulties while trying to familiarise themselves with the intricacies of the new platform.
There have been quite a few changes, including the introduction of new and improved data streams. Data streams are a key feature of GA4 and allow you to separate the data that enters your GA4 property for example from your web and app.
If you didn’t add all your streams and additional figuration before the big switch, your UA data could have disappeared.
How to tackle this:
Make sure you’re updating your tracking code and reporting dashboards. Each data stream has a different measurement ID and you’ll need to use this where appropriate when setting up tracking across your website. Doing so will give you access to incredible tracking abilities. GA4 now tracks a user’s session longer than the previous UA parameters, e.g cutting off after midnight as well as also having the capability for cross device and channel reporting, meaning there is more data available to help inform your strategy.
There isn’t a basic option.
Advertisers have emphasised that marketing strategies cannot be confined to a “one size fits all” approach. While certain intricate settings may be suitable for specific users, such as advanced marketers, others, like bloggers, simply want access to fundamental tools within GA4.
For them, navigating through complex features they don’t require becomes a time-consuming process. But even advanced marketers are finding it difficult too. We’d recommend employing help from a marketing agency that knows their stuff to optimise your tracking capabilities.
We happen to know a good one if you need one…
How to tackle this:
GA4 can be a little daunting to explore, so training your team on how to use it efficiently is a must. If you’re looking for expert training in GA4, we’ve got you covered. Our Google-partnered team is ready to help you transfer, set up and train your team in everything GA4. So make sure you get in touch with us now.
But why is utilising GA4 important?
Google Analytics 4 comes with a host of innovative features that offer a more comprehensive view of user interactions. With the focus shifting from sessions to events, businesses can now track individual actions taken by users, such as clicks, video views, and downloads, providing deeper insights into user behaviour – making strategies more data informed than ever before.
You can even read more on the benefits of GA4 here.
But what if we told you there was the possibility to integrate GA4 into your existing data touchpoints? To have a perfectly seamless data visualisation dashboard that you could use to inform your strategies and unify all your data in one place.
You’d probably jump at the chance right?
Well start jumping.
Do you know at which points your customers are dropping off and where you need to be advertising to re-engage them?
We can bring all your information touchpoints together and with all data working in unison, you will have the ability to create a seamless predictive model to use in your consumer mapping to enhance ROI and ROAS all year long. Tracking your customers’ level of engagement and planning early for interventions, you will always be one step ahead of the curve.
At Arke, we can paint a picture of your entire ecosystem of consumer touch points to allow you to make real, actionable data driven decisions – and take away the challenges of the new GA4 platform.
For example, for educational institutions, we can collate all the various ID’s assigned to students from CRM’s like Microsoft Dynamic or Hubspot and GA4 into one ID and in one place – making tracking easier than ever before.
If you are ready to level up your tracking, get in touch with an Arkenaut and we can begin your journey to your own seamless data dashboard, taking your marketing strategies to new heights.