What's New in Google Analytics 4
Why you should pay attention to migrating to GA4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's web analytics service and is a powerful tool that offers a wide range of improved features to help businesses better understand and optimize their online presence. Let’s explore some of the key features and benefits of GA4 in this post I consider to be the most beneficial to any online marketing strategy.
1. Data-driven insights
One of the most significant benefits of GA4 is its ability to provide data-driven insights into your website's performance. It offers a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior, which helps businesses make informed decisions about how to improve their online presence.
GA4's new interface allows you to view data on a single dashboard, providing an overview of your website's performance, user behavior, and conversion rates. You can also create custom reports and dashboards to track specific metrics that are important to your business.
2. Measurement of Lead Generation
Lead generation is a critical aspect of any business. GA4 offers a new feature that allows businesses to track lead generation more effectively. The feature is called “enhanced measurement” and it automatically tracks certain events that are related to your lead generation event.
For example, if a user fills out a form on your website, GA4 will automatically track that as a lead generation event. This makes it easier for businesses to track the effectiveness of their lead-generation campaigns and optimize their efforts accordingly.
I personally set up our analytics in layers for greater UX insight. Take this scenario as a common event we find when onboarding clients with GA and GA4. Layer 1 is tracking UX paths to conversion pages. Layer 2 is when a form is submitted.
Layer 3 is the “Thank You” page. Layer 4 is any action taken within the “Thank You” page such as a downloadable takeaway or invitation to subscribe to a newsletter or to book an appointment via a scheduling system directly to your calendar.
The mistake we see most is as a result is missing out on the abonnement of form submittals which can be improved with a round or two of CRO. The ratio of form visits to submittals to thank you page is critical in the structure of UX from the perspective of entry to exit.
3. Enhanced cross-device tracking
With GA4, businesses can now track user behavior across multiple devices, which is essential in today's mobile-first world. With the new cross-device tracking feature, businesses can understand how users interact with their websites on different devices, allowing them to optimize their websites for a better user experience.
4. Deeper integration with Google Ads
GA4 offers deeper integration with Google Ads, allowing businesses to track and measure their ad campaigns' effectiveness more accurately. With GA4, you can measure how your ad campaigns drive website traffic and conversions, giving you a better understanding of your return on investment, including the benefit of any Search Engine Optimization effort.
5. Machine learning-powered insights
GA4 is powered by machine learning algorithms that can provide businesses with predictive insights into user behavior. It offers insights into user acquisition, engagement, retention, and monetization. This feature allows businesses to make data-driven decisions that can help them optimize their online presence.
6. Advanced tracking capabilities
GA4 offers advanced tracking capabilities that allow businesses to track specific user actions on their website. With event tracking, businesses can track specific user interactions such as clicks on buttons, form submissions, and video views. This feature helps businesses better understand user behavior and optimize their website for a better user experience.
7. Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager makes it easy to deploy and manage tags for your website or mobile app. With Tag Manager, you can quickly add or modify tags as needed, without having to involve your IT department or make changes to your website's code.
Tag Manager provides support for all types of tags, including those from third-party vendors, and offers templates for easy implementation. These turnkey templates cover a wide range of Google and third-party tags for web and mobile apps, making it easy to get started with Tag Manager. If you need to add a custom tag, you can easily create a template for it.
Managing tags with Tag Manager also allows you to control how they behave based on user consent for cookies. (I am referring to US standards in this article) This can help you stay compliant with data privacy regulations, while still allowing you to collect the data you need to improve your website's performance.
Collaboration is also made easy with Tag Manager. Workspaces and granular access controls allow your team to work together efficiently, while multi-environment testing lets you publish tags to different environments to ensure everything is working as expected.
If you're an enterprise with Tag Manager 360, you can give more users access to tagging, with defined levels of access to certain pages. This can help your organization work more efficiently and streamline your tagging process.
8. Data privacy and security
Data privacy and security are becoming increasingly important for businesses across the globe. Advanced data privacy features that comply with GDPR and other data privacy regulations are provided with GA4. It also provides a more secure data collection and storage process, ensuring that your data is safe and secure.
9. Improved user interface
Improved user interface that makes it easier for businesses to navigate and analyze data. The new interface is intelligently designed to be more intuitive, allowing businesses to access critical data quickly and easily in a simple format.
Google Analytics 4 offers a range of new features and benefits that can help businesses gain greater insights into user behavior and make data-driven decisions. From customized events and streamlined conversions to enhanced lead generation measurement and improved data privacy features, GA4 is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
If you haven't already, it's time to switch to GA4 and start taking advantage of these new features. It may take some time to get used to the new platform, but the benefits are worth it.
Be sure to migrate over to GA4 before the sun setting of Google Analytics on July 1, 2023