Causing much stir in marketing circles over the past few months, Google is replacing the well-known third iteration of Google Analytics (a.k.a., Universal Analytics) with Google Analytics 4. As of July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics properties will cease to process any data.
This means your marketing team should implement Google Analytics 4 ASAP (ideally by July 1, 2022) to allow for 12+ months of historical data tracking, before your Universal account becomes obsolete.
Is your marketing team ready to implement, learn and manage a new analytics interface so that you can measure all of your efforts accurately? Sound like a tall task?
It may sound a little scary, but it’s very doable, especially with the right agency analytics partner at your side. Let’s ease some of the most common concerns we’re hearing by talking about the main analytics and business outcomes your organization will achieve through successful implementation:
More Effective Tracking Across Business Units
If your organization has multiple digital properties, including different websites and apps, roll-up reporting, or the process of aggregating all of this cross property data into one analytic view, just got a whole lot easier.
In Universal Analytics, to aggregate data across your digital properties, you’d either need to invest hours in additional coding for analytics purposes, or invest up to $150K in GA360 to obtain this reporting capability.
Now, with GA4, you can add multiple data streams into one property for smooth, aggregated tracking in a matter of minutes.
In addition, this will help take your cross-device and cross-platform tracking to the next level.
Enhanced Site Engagement Tracking
Gone are the days of bounce rate as a measurement of site engagement as you embark on your GA4 journey. And we couldn’t be happier about this.
Bounce rate is not the most effective measurement of engagement as it does not account for time on page, rather, only the fact that a user did not proceed past the first page they viewed. A user leaving the site after only viewing one page could actually be a good thing – it could imply that they found the info they needed and will likely come back later.
So now, with GA4, enter the new metrics of engaged sessions and engagement rate. An engaged session is defined as a session that lasted longer than 10 seconds, had a conversion event, or had 2+ page views. Engagement rate equals total engaged sessions divided by total sessions to show how effective your site is at engaging visitors as a percentage.
This new measurement of on-site engagement is much more impactful than bounce rate and is automatically tracked in GA4.
Better Data Visualizations, More Report Templates & Predictive Analytics
Finally, this version of Google Analytics is going to enhance your team’s reporting and analytics capabilities through 3 major updates:
- Visuals: To say the new UX for GA4 is sexier than UA would be an understatement. Not only is the data laid out much more neatly, it’s also dynamic and lets your analytic guru interact with the charts and tables.
- Exploration Report Templates: This is another feature only currently available to GA360 users if you’re using Universal Analytics. For GA4, this feature is free to everybody and has 7 preset templates you can use for deep data analysis to refine your marketing campaigns and digital property experience.
- Machine Learning: This is a feature in its early stages of usage and is likely to expand. Currently, GA4 is providing predictive metrics for purchase probability, churn probability and revenue. These metrics can help your organization decide how to leverage marketing efforts based on anticipated audience trends.
Hopefully, your GA4 fears have subsided and your excitement has piqued as you’ve read about the true benefits of this new version of Google Analytics.