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Are You Ready? Google Analytics is getting an upgrade

Brands currently gather data from more consumer interactions than ever before, including apps, websites, and linked devices, as well as marketing campaigns from email, social media, and digital advertisements. Google Analytics is the most popular tool for helping users acquire meaningful insights from all of the data collected via websites. According to BuiltWith, over 28 million sites utilise the tool to understand customer preferences and create better experiences for them. Recently, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) is being phased out and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is its next-generation measurement solution which will replace it. This means that everyone will have to switch over to GA4 before July 1, 2023, in order for the data captured to remain meaningful and relevant to website owners, as UA will stop analysing data. This blog will explore the benefits of transitioning to GA4 and why it’s becoming increasingly important for today’s marketers.

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Why Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that delivers real-time data on a user’s website and online business performance. Users can only assess the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and strategies if they have a strong understanding of the digital data collected from their websites. Google Analytics now comes in two forms. The first one is Universal Analytics (UA), which is the free version. The second one is Google Analytics 360 (GA360), which is the premium version.

As more businesses move online, digital analytics insights have never been more important. Many marketers have developed their brand’s operational processes on UA and are curious as to why this switch is taking place. However, GA4 is not so much an upgrade – it is a completely new way of conducting analytics, built to scale for the future. They are designed to function in a cookie-less era, and are much more focused on privacy.

After the upgrade, new data will only flow into GA4 properties, thus establishing it as the industry standard for analytics. As a result, the new GA4 property will only collect data from the moment of the switch. Past data from UA properties will not be imported. This is why current users of UA are highly encouraged to implement GA4 sooner rather than later in order to have more data ready at their disposal.

The impact of Google Analytics 4

GA4 is a brand-new generation of web analytics that will allow marketers to analyse key consumer usage parameters rather than merely measure traffic. It monitors a customer’s entire journey across various platforms and uses AI and machine learning to deliver more detailed insights on how they engage with a brand’s website and/or app.

 

GA4 has a number of advantages over its predecessor, which include the following:
  • More intelligent user privacy and tracking feature
    With the introduction of GDPR, websites now require users to consent to cookies for tracking website performance. Therefore, GA4 will start reducing its reliance on cookies to record certain events across platforms and/or devices by using machine learning to fill in the gaps, thereby making it more consistent during industry changes and preventing future gaps in its data collection.
    GA4 is built with the future in mind, so scalability and growth have been factored into its new design, with a wider focus on tracking the complete user journey. This means that brands can rely on Google Analytics to help them assess their marketing strategies and address their customer needs with greater ease.
  • A more developed customer journey
    GA4 offers businesses the tools needed to better track and link user experiences. With a less cluttered dashboard, they can access important and relevant information faster, enabling users to make informed decisions quicker.
    There’s a new section in GA4 called Life Cycle, where Acquisition, Engagement, Monetisation, and Retention reports can be found. It’s now easier to zoom in on customer behaviour along their journey and gain insights on where marketers should direct more attention to.
  • Use predictive metrics to create more powerful campaigns for your audiences
    GA4 allows users to predict which website visitor is more likely to purchase within a given time along with the revenue associated with the conversion. You can use these metrics to craft predictive audiences to create highly targeted campaigns or observe conversion likelihood during critical periods.

CASE STUDY: THE GOLDEN ARCHES

Google highlighted how McDonald’s in Hong Kong used GA4 to grow mobile orders by using a predictive audience of “likely seven-day purchasers” and exporting it to Google Ads. This resulted in increasing app orders by more than six times.

How ADA can help?

Making the switch to GA4 is necessary to respect user data privacy and get actionable insights in a cookie-less world. When a company is ready to upgrade to the latest version, it’s critical to give them enough time to learn about all of the changes.

However, because it is a completely revamped analytics tool that was created from the ground up, it may take some time for brands to become acquainted with it and explore new reports as well as capabilities.

ADA has the technical resources to lead and implement GA4 for clients and can help brands understand and make the most of these essential tools. Our MarTech services can complement and provide extra value when paired with GA4.

Google Analytics 4: The Future of Analytics

GA4 is essentially a revamp of the analytics tool that we have come to know and love, and that provides users with a plethora of data about their intended audience. The revamped version comes with a slew of new features and advantages, including cross-platform monitoring, increased data management, and AI-driven insights. The use of Google Analytics for data collection and analysis always opens up new possibilities, allowing brands to learn more about their businesses and generate innovative ideas that they previously may not have considered.

Get in touch with us if you want to discover how to use GA4 to successfully grow your business and stay ahead of the competition.

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Yih Cheng Yak

Head of Consulting, Marketing Technology

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