If you have a website, you are aware of how important Google Analytics is to track website traffic, engagement, performance and more. This is a tool that enables you to monitor various aspects of your website to ensure its overall health. Google Analytics has recently added a new update called Google Analytic 4, that includes some new features to help you gain better insights.
Google Analytics is used by millions of businesses to measure website or app performance. To get the most of this platform you need to get better acquainted with this new version of Google Analytics.
In this article, we will discuss Google Analytics 4 so that you can use it efficiently to make better decisions for your business.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is an updated version of Google Analytics with some new features to help business owners efficiently measure traffic and performance on their website or apps.
If you are already using Google Analytics you can upgrade to the new version to access the new features and start collecting data.
Let’s look at some of the new features that are available with this new update:
Key features in Google Analytics 4
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
Google has incorporated more of the machine learning and artificial intelligence features in Google Analytics 4. Machine learning and AI is always used by Google and this update is more focused on using predictive analysis to gain more relevant insights. Google Analytics 4 helps you automatically identify trends in your data and provides you with predictive analysis.
The new AI predictions can enable you to predict outcomes like potential revenue from customer groups, churn rates, user behavior and more. You can use these predictive insights to make better business decisions. Through these predictive insights you can also analyze which customers are more likely to convert.
More integration with Google Ads
The new Google Analytics 4 property can enable you to link your Google Ads to gain useful insights on your pay-per click campaigns. This will help you manage your advertising budget efficiently. Once you have linked your Google Ads account you can track your audiences to see which countries they come from, and what devices, apps or platforms they used. You can build custom audiences to see which factors were responsible for bringing in more conversions. This can ensure that you invest money in the right places.
Create Custom Reports
Universal Analytics enables you to create custom dashboards, which contain widgets that give an overview of the dimensions and metrics that are relevant to you. In Google Analytics 4 you have access to Explorations. This enables you to create custom reports. In Explorations you
Explorations enables you to organize your data using tables, visualizations for cohorts, funnels, segments, and paths. Organizing your data can help you better analyze and understand it. After you create exploration reports you can share it with other team members, download it as an Excel workbook and print it as pdf.
One fundamental data collection difference between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 is Events. Universal Analytics hit types consist of event, ecommerce, page views or social hits. On the other hand, in Google Analytics 4 any and every interaction is captured as an event. Each hit type in the Universal Analytics property is an event in Google Analytics 4.
A Universal Analytics event consists of Category, Action, Label, and its own hit type. Whereas, in Google Analytics 4 every hit type is an event. According to Google, this is a better way to reassess your data collection in this new model instead of porting your existing event structure in Google Analytics 4.
In Google Analytics 4, basic events are automatically tracked for you when you start collecting data. If there is any specific event you want to track and it is not on the list, you can create a new event. Create new events or modify existing ones by setting relevant conditions.
Assign IDs to users
In Google Analytics 4 the User-ID feature enables you to identify with individual users so you can link their behavior across various platforms, sessions, or devices. The User-ID presents a view of how users interact with your app or website across various platforms and devices. To use this feature, generate your own unique IDs and assign it to your users. Send the IDs along with your data to Analytics.
Analytics interprets each unique ID as a separate user and creates a single user journey based on the data relevant with the same user ID. In Google Analytics 4 User-ID is inherent across all analysis and reporting and does not require a separate User-ID reporting view. This can help you gather more detailed insights on your users and use them to make important marketing decisions.
Why switch to Google Analytics 4?
As seen above there are many changes in the new version that can enhance data collection and reporting. For anyone who uses Google Analytics or planning to use Analytics it is recommended to try the update platform. You can use both Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 together.
Google knows that it will take time for everyone to familiarize themselves with Google Analytics 4, hence you can continue using the old version along with the new one. However, in the future Google will invest in Google Analytics 4 and continue making improvements to it. There are not going to be any further improvements for the old version. From July 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop collecting data. You will be able to see Universal Analytics report for a period of time after July 2023, but new data will only be collected by Google Analytics 4 properties. Hence, it is important to start getting used to Google Analytics 4 as this is the future of Analytics.
Need help migrating to GA4? We can help you make the switch seamlessly, and get hands on with GA4 to use it to its best potential. Learn More.
Setting up Google Analytics 4
For new website
To set up Google Analytics 4 for a new website you will need to do the following:
- Create a Google Analytics Account
- Create a Property
- Set up data stream
For existing website
If you are already using Google Analytics you will just need to create a new Google Analytics 4 property to start data collection. Under property you will see the option Upgrade to GA4. If you are using the gtag.js tag on your website, you can enable data collection using the existing tag. In this case you don’t have to add a new tag to your website.
If you use Google Tag Manager, go to your Google Tag Manager account, and create a new tag. Select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration and enter your measurement ID. Then set the trigger to All pages, publish, and save the changes.
The new Google Analytics 4 capabilities can enhance the way you collect and report your website or app data. This is a great tool to help you in your marketing efforts as you can easily identify trends, track user journey, manage budget and gain insights to make better decisions. After you upgrade to GA4, start experimenting with different features to get familiar with all the tools available. The best part is you can use this new version along with the old one. It is important to note that after July 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop collecting new data. Hence, it is better to familiarise yourself with Google Analytics 4.
In the future there will be new updates and better tools to help you track user behavior, conversions, engagement and more. Hence, it is recommended to start using this new version so that you can make the most of all the features available to track your data efficiently.
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