What to Know About GA4
When Google speaks, everyone in the digital world listens.
When Google acts, everyone ought to pay attention.
Let's set aside the monopoly arguments for a moment and consider the reality of search data. If you want to know the who, what, when, where and why of your website traffic, you need to follow Google's lead on analytics. If you want visitors to become customers or to at least make a phone call to your company or organization, you need to track their journey on your site.
That's why Google Analytics has been such a valuable tool in digital marketing for many years. Administrators can see in real time how people use their site. That information is valuable when making strategic content or navigation changes.
Google last year announced the next generation of their analytics platform (GA4) - and it's set to roll out next month. The news has some companies and nonprofits nervous because, well, change is always uncertain. There's not much reason to be concerned. They have made it easy to install the proper tracking codes; and the performance data seems straight forward.
Here are other answers to frequently asked questions about GA4:
What is GA4, and how is it different from Universal Analytics?
GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics. It offers an event-based data model, allowing for more flexible tracking and analysis of user interactions across multiple devices and platforms. Unlike Universal Analytics, which relies heavily on page views and sessions, GA4 focuses on events and user properties.
How do I set up GA4?
If you have a website managed by Clever Dogs Media, don't worry. We have already taken care of it. To set up GA4, you need to create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. You can either create a new property or upgrade an existing Universal Analytics property to GA4. Google provides detailed documentation and step-by-step guides to assist you in the setup process. Since we have done the work for you, you can either have us send you a traffic report or we can invite you to be an administrator.
What are the key features of GA4?
GA4 introduces several new features, including:
a. Event-based tracking: GA4 emphasizes event tracking, providing more granular insights into user interactions.
b. Enhanced measurement capabilities: It offers improved tracking for cross-platform and cross-device experiences, including mobile apps and websites.
c. AI-powered insights: GA4 leverages machine learning to provide more accurate and actionable insights, such as predicting user churn and revenue forecasting.
d. User-centric reporting: GA4 focuses on individual users' journeys, allowing you to analyze user behavior across multiple sessions and devices.
e. Streamlined integration with Google Ads: GA4 simplifies the integration process with Google Ads, making it easier to track and optimize your advertising campaigns.
f. Privacy-centric data controls: GA4 places greater emphasis on user privacy, providing features like data deletion on demand and restricted data retention periods.
Can I migrate my existing Universal Analytics data to GA4?
While GA4 doesn't provide an automated migration process for historical data, you can send data to both Universal Analytics and GA4 simultaneously. This allows you to collect data in GA4 over time while still relying on Universal Analytics for historical analysis.
Will GA4 affect my existing reports and dashboards?
Yes, GA4 has a different reporting interface compared to Universal Analytics. The predefined reports and dashboards from Universal Analytics won't be directly compatible with GA4. However, GA4 offers a variety of reporting options, and you can create custom reports and dashboards tailored to your specific needs.
Are there any additional costs associated with GA4?
No, GA4 is free to use, just like Universal Analytics. However, additional features like Google Analytics 360 (premium version) may come with associated costs. Clever Dogs Media does not charge additionally for having a GA4 account or to provide a report.
What are the key takeaways about GA4?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) brings exciting new features and changes to the world of web analytics. By transitioning to GA4, you can gain deeper insights into user behavior, leverage AI-powered insight, and track user interactions across various platforms and devices. While the shift may require some adjustments, GA4 offers valuable opportunities for businesses to better understand their customers and optimize their digital strategies.
If you have questions about GA4 and your website, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.