It’s time to upgrade to Google Analytics 4
August 15, 2022
Released in 2012, Google Analytics is a fairly vital tool for any business when it comes to optimizing their web content, learning more about customers, and how they engage with your marketing efforts. In 2020, Google introduced a new update to their Universal Analytics system (UA) called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). The features of this update give businesses more control over tracking important metrics such as organic site traffic, conversions, returning visitors, and more.
What can GA4 do for your business, and how do you get started?
What’s New in G4A
Google Analytics 4 can track the traffic and usage in both websites and apps, providing excellent reporting features for both. GA4 also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide more detailed measurement across the customer journey. The GA4 report data tables are also much more customizable for dimension and metrics, allowing you to personalize your reporting and gain better insights into significant trends in your data.
GA4 allows you to create audience segments, so you can monitor the behavior of custom portions of your audience. G4A also lets you create and track up to 300 different events for a single property, helping you determine the impact of your marketing campaigns. The sensitivity and learning periods of the Anomaly Detection feature will help you detect problems or discover anything that was supposed to happen, but didn’t.
Specified Goals in UA will become Specified Conversion Events in GA4, and will count every instance of the conversion event per session. UA counts only one conversion for a goal per session, meaning higher conversion counts in GA4.
GA4 does have fewer built-in reports than UA, so you will need to build some from scratch yourself. However, this does present a great opportunity for your team to reassess what data you really need to guide your marketing efforts and ensure that you’re reaching and engaging your audience.
Making the Switch
GA4 will be replacing Universal Analytics entirely in July of 2023, so I recommend that you at least start checking it out for yourself now. Google has made it simple to create a new GA4 property based on your existing Universal Analytics property, allowing you to harness all the benefits of GA4 while retaining the flexibility to switch properties at any time.
First, go into your existing Google Analytics account and select GA4 Setup Assistant to create a GA4 property. The GA4 property collects information much like a UA property, which will continue to collect data for six months after July 2023.
Even if your site builder platform requires a “UA-” ID and not a “G-” ID, you can still use GA4! But you will need to paste the gtag.js or global site tag snippet into your site builder’s custom HTML field. Instructions for each site builder may vary.
Next, use Setup Assistant to finish configuring the property. Once you’ve set your GA4 property up, you can freely explore and start building more comprehensive reports to better measure the results of your marketing campaigns.
The sooner you start, the smoother the transition will be. Let me know if our team can assist in updating your analytics reporting to G4A!