You already know that Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your website and get more insights into your customers.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest release of Google’s powerful analytics platform.
This guide covers everything you need to know about the new features in GA4, including how to use Custom Tags and Segments, create Custom Reports, and more.
We’ll also show you how to can take advantage of the new features and get more insights into your website traffic.
What Is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s popular analytics tool.
It’s a complete redesign of the previous version, Universal Analytics (UA), and it comes with a host of new features and improvements.
GA4 is focused on customer privacy and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to provide more detailed insights into how users interact with websites and apps.
It’s capable of tracking the entire customer path across multiple platforms and is equipped with cross-channel data measurement and AI-driven predictive analytics.
GA4 is the new default version of Google Analytics and should be adopted as soon as possible to ensure no loss of productivity.
Should You Use Both GA4 and Universal Analytics?
To start, your business will benefit from using both UA and GA4 to ensure a smooth transition from the existing data model to the new one.
By setting up a new GA4 property and running it in parallel with UA, you’ll save historical data and learn about the new data model at the same time.
This preserves the invaluable insights from their existing UA profile, while also helping them become familiar with the new data model in Google Analytics 4.
Below we’ll answer a few more questions in comparing UA to GA4.
What Data Is Collected in the EU by GA?
GA4 collects a variety of data in the EU, including visitor information such as location, language, device type, operating system, and browser.
It also collects visitor activities such as page views, visit duration, clicks, bounce rates, conversion tracking, referrals, and more.
Does Google Signals Regionality Affect UA?
Google Signals Regionality can have a significant effect on UA.
By allowing you to control the collection, retention, and sharing of data, Google Signals enables you to choose whether to use the data for ad personalization and delete analytics data by submitting a request.
This provides you with a heightened level of control over user data, ensuring that data is collected in compliance with regional laws and regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
Furthermore, Google Signals allows you to specify which data points you wish to collect by region. This lets you be more precise with your data collection while also reducing compliance risk.
Lastly, the new AI-powered modeling feature in Google Analytics 4 can fill in the data gaps caused by cookie-consent laws, allowing you to gain a more accurate understanding of your customers.
Google Analytics 4 Highlights
Now for the fun stuff. GA4 Highlights include:
- Smarter marketing insights using machine learning
- Deeper integration with Google Ads
- Customer-centric measurements and a better understanding of the customer life cycle
- New data controls
GA4 can track the entire customer path across multiple platforms, and it offers predictive analytics with AI-powered insights.
Below we’ll cover 10 improved capabilities that GA4 has to offer.
1. Enhanced Data Collection and Analysis Tools
Enhanced data collection and analysis tools allow you to gain deeper insights into your customers’ journey and better predict audiences that are more likely to convert.
These features include:
- Predictive analytics: Advanced analytics that can help businesses predict future outcomes.
- Custom reporting tools: Reorganized web and app reporting tools for better custom and ad hoc reporting.
- Enhanced Measurement: Automatically tracks a wide range of parameters with just one activation.
- Data Import: Ability to import data from a number of non-website sources.
- Cross-domain tracking: Easily track user data between the app and website without code adjustments.
- Life Cycle Report: Get a more holistic view of the customer life cycle.
- Ecommerce funnel templates: Visualize data with templated reports.
- Audience Segments: Easily create custom audience segments.
- Anomaly detection: Identify anomalies in user behavior.
- Data & Recovery: Granular control over collecting, retaining, and analyzing user data.
2. Customized Reporting and Dashboards
Customized reporting and dashboards help you better understand your user behavior in 2023.
With UA, you have access to custom dashboards, which are limited in their capabilities.
GA4 provides access to Explorations (formerly Analysis Hub), enabling you to create custom reports and tables or visualizations for cohorts, paths, funnels, and segments.
Additionally, GA4 allows you to create up to 300 events and 30 conversions and use predictive analytics, anomaly detection, and audience segments.
Through customized dashboards, you can customize the report’s snapshot so you can focus on the data that matters most to your business.
3. New Attribution Models
GA4 introduces a number of new attribution models designed to better track user activity and conversions.
- Data-driven models distribute credit for the conversion based on channel data for each conversion event.
- Cross-channel rules-based models, such as Last-click, First-click, Linear, Position-based, Time delay, and Ads-preferred models.
Additionally, GA4 has metrics such as Active Users, Engaged Sessions, Engagement Rate, Average Engagement Time, and Event Count to better measure user activity.
4. Enhanced Website and App Analytics
Enhanced website and app analytics provided by GA4 will be the leading tool to empower your ability to effectively track, analyze, and understand consumer behavior.
GA4 is a complete redesign from the previous version of Google Analytics.
It provides flexible, event-based tracking with new opportunities for ad-hoc reporting and analysis, and it also offers privacy-first tracking.
Additionally, GA4 enables businesses to tailor their marketing channels and product experiences to improve user retention and attract more customers.
5. Integration With Other Google Tools
Integrating with other tools allows for a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior and can help you tailor your marketing channels and product experiences to retain and attract more users.
Here is our step-by-step instruction for integrating GA with other tools:
- Link Google Ads & YouTube Ads: Linking Google Ads and YouTube Ads with Google Analytics allows you to see in-app and web conversions for both Google Ads and YouTube Ads.
- Build Custom Audiences: Google Analytics 4 has a deeper integration with Google Ads which allows you to build custom audiences that are more relevant and helpful to your customers.
- Track YouTube Conversions: A feature was added to Google Analytics 4 that addresses longtime advertiser requests. You can now track conversions from YouTube.
- Import Data into BigQuery: Use the Google Ads reporting tool to streamline your paid campaign analytics. Import your data into BigQuery to have that raw data available for linking and integrating into whichever platform you want.
- Configure Settings: Configure the settings for Google Analytics to measure app and web integrations together. This will give you an overall impact on all your marketing investments, regardless of the acquisition channel.
- Monitor in Real-Time: Monitor the performance of your campaigns in real time and adjust if necessary. This will help you keep up with the latest trends and changes in consumer behavior.
6. Expanded Mobile App Analytics
According to Grand View Research, The mobile app industry was valued at 206.85 billion USD in 2022 and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8%.
With this growth comes an increased need for reliable analytics tools that can help provide a comprehensive view of user interactions.
The expanded mobile app analytics offered by GA4 such as in-app and web conversions for Google Ads, YouTube Ads, other non-Google paid channels such as Facebook, and organic channels will be invaluable in 2023 for companies looking to measure their marketing investments.
7. Increased User Data Controls
Increased user data controls are policies and regulations that give users more control over how their data is collected, retained, and shared.
In 2023, these controls are more important than ever as privacy regulations become more stringent and the public is more aware than ever of the need to protect their data.
GA4 has built-in tools to help businesses comply with these controls, including granular privacy controls that allow users to choose how their data is collected and shared.
Additionally, GA4 provides tools to comply with customer requests to amend or redact their personal information.
8. Improved Search and Content Analytics
In 2023, improved search and content analytics will have a significant impact on Google Analytics.
With the introduction of the new GA4 search bar, users now have access to a powerful tool that provides them with real-time insights into their data.
Furthermore, with the machine learning-based approach of GA4, you’ll be able to gain better insights into their customers’ behaviors, including predictive metrics such as user churn and revenue estimates from audience groups.
9. Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence
The increased usage of AI in 2023 will have a significant impact on data analysis and customer insights.
Through the use of machine learning, analytics will be able to surface helpful insights automatically for marketers, as well as provide more accurate predictions about customer behavior and trends.
In addition, AI-based solutions can be used to build audience segments and perform data explorations to extract patterns that may be difficult to detect with traditional data analysis methods.
10. Increased Trend Toward Personalization
The trend for personalization is expected to increase as customers become more aware of their data privacy and look for companies that are compliant with privacy rules.
As a result, GA4 will use multiple identity spaces, such as marketer-provided user IDs and unique Google signals from users who opted into ads personalization, to give you a complete view of how their customers interact with your business.
How to Migrate to Google Analytics 4 From UA
GA4 properties can be migrated from websites, mobile apps, and even businesses that use a combination of the two.
Migrating your mobile application to GA4 is a great way to unlock a wealth of insights about your customers and optimize your digital marketing efforts.
Here’s our guide on how to migrate your mobile application to Google Analytics 4:
- Set up a new GA4 property. You can create a new property by logging into your Google Analytics account, clicking ‘Admin’ in the left-hand menu, and then selecting ‘Create Property’.
- Connect your mobile app to Firebase. To use Google Analytics 4, you will need to connect your mobile app to the Firebase platform. Firebase is Google’s mobile development platform and provides tools for developers to build, test and manage apps.
- Set up tracking for your app. After you have connected your app to Firebase, you will need to add a tracking code to your app. This code will allow you to capture data from your mobile app and send it to Google Analytics 4.
- Install the Global Site Tag (gtag.js). In addition to connecting your app to Firebase and setting up tracking for your app, you will need to install the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) on your website. This code will allow you to capture data from your website and send it to Google Analytics 4.
- Configure events and parameters. Once you have connected your app to Firebase and installed the Global Site Tag on your website, you will need to configure events and parameters. Events and parameters will allow you to track key actions and metrics within your app and website.
- Create custom reports. Finally, you can use the data you have collected to create custom reports in Google Analytics 4. You can use these custom reports to gain insights into user behavior, analyze conversions and optimize your digital marketing efforts.
Overall, Google Analytics 4 is a powerful upgrade to Google’s analytics platform that offers many new features and improvements.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your data, then GA 4 is definitely worth checking out.
And if you need help getting started, be sure to schedule a free strategy call with us today.