Getting on board with GA4, the next level of web analytics

By 20th May 2022June 16th, 2022Digital Marketing, Web Analytics & Reporting

Google Analytics (GA) is the not-so-secret weapon of businesses all over the world who want to know their customers inside out and create better experiences for them.  

Back in 2020, Google announced that they were creating a new, more intelligent version of the web tracking tool, Google Analytics 4. Now the clock is ticking to switch over to GA4 before July 2023 when Universal Analytics (the old version of Google Analytics) will stop collecting data and no longer be supported by Google. 

The July 2023 deadline was only announced a couple of months ago and we know it can be daunting moving to a new version of something but worry not. There’s lots to love about the next generation of Google Analytics. We’re already well versed in GA4 and can help you get to grips with it and maximise its potential in no time.

But first, here are just some of the features of Google Analytics 4 that put it a cut above Universal Analytics, and in our view, make it future proof: 

GA4 gives you a more complete picture 

For starters, it combines website and mobile app usage data for unified reporting and analysis. Not being fragmented by platform or device makes GA4 much more customer centric and gives you a more accurate, holistic picture of how your business is performing. 

You’ll also find GA4 a step up from UA in that it allows you to track the cross device user journey. GA4 looks at the user on all the devices they use and merges their sessions when creating the specific user profile. Again, this gives you a more complete view and is something UA doesn’t offer. 

Offers superior reporting 

In terms of reporting, there’s new and improved flexibility to create custom reports in GA4 so you don’t have to rely on the default options. And even if you do use the standard reports, they can be customised to fit better with your business’ needs (we can support you with this during the transition process). 

It can also automatically alert you to notable trends in your data. Like if certain products are becoming more in demand because of new customer needs. 

Helps you engage higher value customers 

Another added bonus? It can predict the future. Well, not quite, but it can do things like calculate churn probability and predict the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. With this knowledge, you can then create audiences to engage higher value customers and run tests to figure out why some of your customers are likely to spend more than others. 

Better integrated across the Google suite 

When it comes to its relationship with other Google products, GA4 is much better integrated than UA. For example, its deeper integration with Google Ads means you can serve your customers far more relevant and helpful content when they come across your business.  

Privacy first 

Finally, it’s privacy centric by design. Handily, it can work with cookies (using first-party cookies) or without cookies (using machine learning to plug the gaps), and even if privacy restrictions change in the future, GA4 will make sure you’re complying with current regulations. 

There are plenty of other perks that come with GA4, but these are just a few to whet your appetite.  

The data migration question 

As UA is going to stop collecting data from July 2023 you may be wondering if you can transfer or migrate UA data into GA4. The answer is sadly no, you can’t. And because the two versions use completely different data models this isn’t something we’re likely to see in the future either. All the more reason to get cracking with the switch over sooner. However, if you’d like to preserve your historical data, this is possible. There are a few options for how you can go about doing this and it’s something we’d be happy to talk you through. 

So how can we help you switch over to GA4? 

We recommend starting the process as soon as possible so you can start benefiting from smarter insights well ahead of that looming 2023 deadline. The first thing we’ll do is take a look at your current tracking set up and resolve any questions or concerns you have about moving to GA4. The second stage will deal with the migration itself. We’ll make sure any potential risks have been taken into consideration, the migration has been thoroughly planned, and of course, training provided. It needn’t be a stressful process – our goal is to leave you feeling confident in the capabilities of GA4 and well prepared before UA is put out to pasture. 

Businesses may not have a choice after July 2023 but by having the right conversations now and getting ahead on training, the move to GA4 is one to be excited about. 

Get in touch with us today and we’ll have you GA4 ready before you know it.