Google Analytics 4 Rolls Out Next Year. Here's What You Need to Know Now and How It Can Help Your Marketing Efforts in the Future. GA4 is an entirely new data model that will measure data next July, and businesses need to prepare their marketing strategy in advance. Here's how and why.
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A few months ago, Google announced that starting July 1, 2023, it will no longer process data using standard Universal Analytics properties. Instead, data will flow through Google Analytics 4.
So now, all eyes are turned to GA4.
What is it, and how will this change impact your business?
What is Google Analytics 4?
According to Google, GA4 is an entirely new data model that will measure data next July. However, like other analytics properties before it, GA4 will be based upon the components of the Google ecosystem to help improve today's marketing efforts.
Here's a sneak peek of what's new with Google Analytics 4.
- At its core is machine learning, allowing it to provide reliable reports and make predictive analyses.
- It will collect data from websites and apps using signed-in data, leading to a better understanding of customer experience across different channels.
- It will prioritize customer privacy and will work with or without cookies.
- It will be event-based rather than session-based data.
- It will feature enhanced measurements of user actions, such as downloads, video views, scrolling, site search, outbound clicks and page views, minus website tag updates.
- Custom channel groupings will no longer work in GA4, so marketers need to have a disciplined strategy for measuring channel performance.
With these details, it's safe to say that GA4 is not merely an update but an entirely new data collection, storage and filtering model. And businesses need to be ready for the changes.
How will GA4 affect your business?
Because GA4 is an entirely new model, businesses need to start preserving historical data before Google implements the shift in analytics properties in 2023.
Thankfully, there is enough time to study the new analytics properties and collect data. And businesses can easily do this by setting up a new GA4 property and running it in parallel with Universal Analytics — a step that involves dual tagging. It's worth noting that this action won't hurt any data.
Hence, through this process, companies can save historical data and learn about the new data model at the same time. It will also help make a smooth transition from Universal Analytics to GA4, so businesses can readily use it to improve their marketing strategies and transform customer journeys into something better.
What are the benefits of GA4?
Being one step ahead of the GA4 implementation next year will surely help marketers become more comfortable when the time comes for Google to make it the default option.
With all the new things it comes with, here are the specific benefits that businesses can gain:
It offers more privacy for customers.
If there's one thing consumers want to protect more, it's their privacy. And GA4 lets them have it. So, when businesses shift to this new model, customers will find it safer and believe a company is compliant with privacy rules. However, it does not mean businesses will lack the data for better marketing strategies since GA4 has intelligent tracking features.
It provides better visualization of the customer journey.
With the way GA4 will focus on interactions on websites across different platforms, it becomes easier for businesses to see the events and analyze data for a better and more accurate understanding of customer journeys.
It allows marketers to see user-centric reports.
Because GA4 will focus on user engagement and provide new sections "Lifecycle" and" User," businesses can dig deeper into the customer journey and analyze data according to their acquisition, engagement, monetization and retention, as well as demographics and technology.
Additionally, there will no longer be a concern about bounce rate as it is replaced with user-based metrics that will help predict customer action more accurately.
It will lead to more relevant audiences for marketing campaigns.
The new set of analytics properties features robust measurements, leading to relevant audiences in front of businesses' ad campaigns. It is important to cite that data collection across different platforms can complete a customer journey, which results in better yields, especially regarding a company's return on investment.
On a different note, GA4 reports the potential revenue that businesses can gain from a group of customers through predictive metrics. Thus, they can easily optimize for that group and achieve better results.
It is easy to set up and use.
It won't take businesses long to set it up and become comfortable with the new metrics because of the lack of complex code requirements. This feature helps companies that are using third-party sites for transactional purposes by making the process more manageable. Setting up for tracking is also a lot easier with GA4.
Ultimately, companies will benefit significantly from the new analytics properties of GA4 to improve marketing performance and optimize the customer experience. So, being ready and used to it before it comes into full play is the best business decision today.