Some marketers will be terrified by this countdown hitting them in the face every time they open up their data sanctuary, Google Analytics Universal.
However, other marketers (hint: us) are super keen for these changes. Here’s why:
Google Analytics 4, or GA4, offers a range of exciting new features and capabilities that can help you to achieve your digital marketing goals, and more effectively too. In this guide, we'll explore:
Key benefits and features of GA4
Why you should be excited about it
And, a quick guide to get you all set up on your own GA4 account
GA4 is designed to be more flexible and versatile than its predecessor (Google Analytics Universal), allowing you to collect more granular data and insights about your website or app visitors. See? We told you this was going to be exciting.
Here are just a few of the key benefits that we're looking forward to:
1. Improved cross-device tracking: One of the biggest challenges affecting marketing teams today is the growing complexity of customer journeys. It’s the Wild West out there, and frankly, a nightmare for attribution. GA4 is now the best, free and widely adopted web analytics tool for wrangling multi-device customer journeys together.
2. Enhanced data privacy features: The other seismic change making its way across the industry is moving control of user data from third-parties, to the consumer. Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, GA4 provides enhanced data controls that allow you to manage user data more effectively. This includes features like IP anonymisation, user deletion, and data retention controls. Although consumer data privacy laws are not as stringent as the EU or the US, it’s important to plan for the future in Australia, as higher regulation around consumer data is most likely around the corner.
3. Deeper insights into user behaviour: GA4 offers more granular data collection and analysis capabilities, allowing you to get deeper insights into user behaviour and preferences. This can help you to create more targeted and personalised marketing campaigns. See? There’s a paragraph stuffed with every possible buzzword—you’re welcome.
4. Better integration with Google Ads: GA4 offers improved integration with Google Ads, allowing you to create more targeted and effective ad campaigns. You can use GA4 data to identify high-performing audiences and create more relevant ad content. Simple as that.
5. Streamlined reporting and analysis: GA4 offers a more intuitive and user-friendly interface for reporting and analysis, making it easier to extract insights and take action on your data. These reports do seem complicated at first, but after 6 months we’ll wonder how we ever operated without them.
Ready to set up your GA4? We can help with that. Is your GA4 setup yet? We can help! Our team of analytics experts can connect you and get you on your way to best-practice tracking and settings from the start.
Otherwise, here’s our quick start GA4 guide that will cover businesses with simple Google Analytics Universal accounts i.e. you have 5 (non-event based) Goals setup and that’s it.
Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started:
Step 1: Set up a GA4 property
If you already have an existing Google Analytics Universal property and have not already set up a GA4 account, we recommend logging into your Google Analytics Universal account (as normal) and follow the prompts to set up your GA4 account. This will help leverage Google’s migration guide which will be handy in moving across your simple goals (i.e. not Goals set up by a Tag Manager like Google Tag Manager, or hardcoded into your CMS or website’s code).
Step 2: Install the GA4 tracking code
Once you've set up your GA4 property, you'll need to install the GA4 tracking code on your website or app. This code is different from the tracking code used in previous versions of Google Analytics, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Step 3: Configure your data streams
GA4 allows you to collect data from multiple sources, including websites, apps, and offline data. You'll need to configure your data streams to ensure that all relevant data is being parsed from your data source whether that be web or mobile.
Google Analytics is an essential tool for digital marketers, and GA4 represents the latest and most advanced version of this powerful analytics platform. With its improved data collection and analysis capabilities, enhanced privacy features, and better integration with Google Ads, GA4 is non-negotiable for any and all businesses. Because if you’re not using it, your competitor definitely will be.
Ready to get started? Explore the possibilities of GA4 today and take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.