Whether you embrace change, or hate it, Google’s New GA4 is officially taking over as of July 1st. So what is the big deal, and how is it changing Analytics and website tracking? We’ve summarized some of the major changes, things to look out for, and a few resources to help with the transition.
WHAT IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4 (GA4)
GA4 is replacing the traditional Google Analytics tracking and reporting of website and app activity with new metrics, new reporting, and a new way of interpreting data that aims to provide enhanced insights for businesses.
Google has stated that it will create a GA4 property for you, if you haven’t already, which will be based on your existing settings. Just keep in mind, all metrics, filters, and settings do not translate 100% to the new GA4 data model, so it’s important to have someone familiar review the setup so your data can be as accurate as possible.
WHAT IS STAYING THE SAME?
Analytics data such as page views and sessions will still carry over to GA4 reporting. These tried and true metrics still matter and still give insight into user behavior and website performance, so they are sticking around.
Tracking Code and Tagging:
GA4 will use the data differently, but the back end collection and setup remains relatively the same. You still need Google tracking code on your site, and specific events and interactions assigned within it.
WHAT IS CHANGING?
Google GA4 uses event-driven data that is more focused on user actions. The main goal is to better understand user behavior more clearly across platforms and devices, giving you insights into how users interact with your business.
Better Cross-Platform Tracking:
To gain a comprehensive perspective of the customer journey, GA4 provides cross-platform tracking that enables you to collect information from various online sources, including websites, mobile apps, and even offline engagements. These enhancements provide businesses with more precise targeting and users with a more customized experience wherever they interact with your business.
GA4 combines AI and machine learning skills to provide more meaningful insights from the data it collects. Taking advantage of Google’s algorithms, it will deliver automatic insights, perform predictive analytics, and detect outliers in the data, enabling businesses to make more informed decisions.
Simplified Data Collection:
GA4 combines all tracking for both websites and apps into one view and is set to automatically collect the most basic data points. It reduces the need to set up extensive tracking, and customized parameters, but they are still available, though in slightly different formats.
GA4 has updated its interface with customizable dashboards and different reporting features. They focus more on user behavior, engagement, and identifying customer types and their similarities so you can identify your most profitable audiences.