Google Analytics 4: What’s New In GA4

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The new and improved Google Analytics 4 is here to improve granular control of data and ROI for marketers.

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools in any marketer’s toolbox. It provides businesses of all types and sizes deeper insights into how users interact with a site, and what customer preferences are to provide a better user experience.

As industries make the move to digital, it is even more critical that these insights give you an accurate picture of consumer behaviour. While Google Analytics has been updated many times throughout the years, it still seems that digital analytics tools haven’t been keeping up the pace.

A recent study showed that more than half of marketing decision-makers say their digital analytics solution lacks machine learning and automation capabilities that are key to marketing success.

With the announcement of their latest update, dubbed “Google Analytics 4”, they’re hoping to close this gap with expanded predictive insights, customer lifecycle reporting, deeper integration with Google Ads, and even more capabilities to keep up with consumer behaviour and new data regulations.

The Key Features of Google Analytics 4 That You Should Know About Are:

  1. Smarter AI-powered Insights and Predictions.
  2. Deeper Integration with Google Ads.
  3. Customer-Centric Measurements and Customer Life Cycle Reports
  4. More Granular Data Control

Read on to discover more about each of these analytics features.

Smarter AI-Powered Insights and Predictions.

Machine learning has been a part of Google Analytics for some time, however, Google Analytics 4 will go even further, and detect changes in trends related to your offerings, such as surges in demand, and automatically alert you to them.

The new AI insights will also be used to predict outcomes, such as potential revenue from customer segments, or churn rates. These insights can help decision-makers anticipate consumer actions and take steps to reflect these insights into their online campaigns. It also will allow you to run analyses on specific groups of visitors, and even target high-value audiences.

Deeper Integration with Google Ads

Google Analytics 4 features new integrations with a range of Google’s marketing platforms so you can use these insights across all your channels, and learn to improve the ROI of your campaigns.

The new integration with Google Ads allows you to create and maintain custom audiences from visitors across your website and app and automatically will remove them or add them to new lists as they perform actions on your site.

You can also view conversions from YouTube, both on the app and the web, alongside other channels such as paid search, organic, social, email and more. This feature allows marketers to have a better view of their combined impact of marketing efforts.

Customer-Centric Measurements and Customer Life Cycle Reports

Google Analytics 4 provides marketers with a better understanding of their customers’ full life cycle. Instead of usual customer measurements fragmented by devices or platforms, the new analytics provides a customer-centric measurement to give you a complete view of customer interactions.

It uses multiple identity spaces, such as marketer-provided user IDs and Google signals from users who opted into ads personalisation.

You’ll be able to get a complete view of how customers interact with your business throughout the customer journey. For example, you can see if a visitor found you from your website, and then click on a Facebook ad to revisit and convert.

Updated engagement and retention reports can help understand whether customers stick around after converting, or what actions they took that made them stay.

More Granular Data Control

Updates to how data is controlled means you can better manage the collection, retention, and usage of your Analytics data. This means you can choose when to use your data for ads optimisation, or when to limit it to purely measurement.

The update also allows for more user control of data and is designed to adapt to future updates to limited cookies and identifiers. In the future, the approach to data control will include conversion modelling, to help fill the gaps in customer journeys.

Why You Should Get Started With Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is just the first step in a new era of digital analytics for Google. With improved predictions and customer insights from AI, and better integrations with marketing platforms, such as Google Ads, Google Analytics 4 will provide marketers with a more complete cross-channel view of your customer journey and future customer behaviours.

If you’re still using the previous GA, we highly recommend making getting started with GA4! Google knows that this new update will take some time to get used to, so you can use Google Analytics 4’s new dashboard alongside the old one, and start immediately enjoying the benefits of the new features.

Any new Google Analytics account will be set up on Google Analytics by default, and new users won’t be able to set up in the old Analytics dashboard. Since Google’s focus moving forward will be on improvements to Google Analytics 4, there will be no more improvements to the previous one.

Michael Rippon, Co-Founder of Raindrop Digital, says of the update:

It’s still early days to give a comprehensive viewpoint, as Google Analytics 4 only landed mid-October. The promise of machine learning to provide better reporting in times of increased privacy from the likes of GDPR and cookie policies is great to see. This comes in addition to a variety of other improvements and data controls that will continue to roll out in the future.

We are still getting to grips with the implementation ourselves, but from what we’ve seen so far, we would recommend any super users of Universal Analytics to keep their setup as is and run a dual implementation. As we’ve said, features are still coming out and until then, we don’t think it’s quite ready to take its place as your primary platform.

How TSCA Can Help

We know the importance of Google Analytics to businesses and their marketing success. Without proper implementation and knowledge of advanced features, you could be missing out on invaluable customer insights or reporting skewed data sets.

We offer full Google Analytics support, from initial dashboard and channel set up to ongoing support and advanced targeting. Find out more about our Google Analytics services, or get in touch to learn how we can support your next project.

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