Google Analytics 4 – What is Happening and What do you Need to Know?

Google Analytics 4 – What is Happening and What do you Need to Know?

How many people view your website every day? How long do they spend, and did they view more than one page? These are just a couple of questions that are asked when gauging how well your website performs. To answer these questions, we turn to Google Analytics or Universal Analytics (UA). This system allows the owners and admins of websites to view a range of data, such as:

  • Which pages of your website were visited?
  • How long each user viewed each page?
  • Did the user view your site via desktop or mobile device?
  • What browser was used to view the website?
  • How many forms were submitted?
  • How many people were on the website?
  • What website the user was on when they clicked onto your site?

Google Analytics can also track your ROI for your online marketing. By looking at how people found your website and how they use it, you can track the performance data of pages and posts, therefore allowing you to make decisions based on these interactions.

However, Google Analytics will cease to be used from July 2023 and will be replaced with Google Analytics 4 or GA4. Websites are now no longer viewed solely on desktop computers; mobile devices such as, phones and tablets make up a large percentage of how people access the internet, and this new system has been designed to accommodate these viewing changes. With more website users moving away from using cookies, this new system has adapted by using AI for data extraction.

So, what are the benefits to using GA4:

  • PREDICTION
    GA4 can now accurately predict new trends, allowing business to react quicker and get ahead.
  • CROSS-COMPATABILITY
    more people are accessing websites via mobile devices, unlike UA, GA4 can now provide data for app views as well as website views.
  • LONG-TERM USE
    With the ever-changing landscape of technology; the increase of online business (especially after COVID), GA4 has been built with the future in mind and allow businesses to remain competitive. Along with the use of AI, the system will be able to adapt to any future changes to rules and regulations.
  • JOURNEY AND ENGAGEMENT TRACKING
    Businesses will now be able to view their customers complete journey, leading to more conversion and event tracking.
  • NO COOKIES REQUIRED
    More people are being aware about their online privacy and not wanting to share their data, they are switching off cookies. GA4 has accommodated this with the use of AI to fill in these gaps while maintaining the privacy.
  • BOUNCE RATE REPLACEMENT
    Switching from bounce rate to engagement rate will become more helpful in tracking a user’s journey, as bounce rate data can often be misinterpreted.

As always there are some negative points:

  • HISTORICAL DATA
    Unfortunately when changing from UA to GA4 historical data cannot be migrated. Although there are methods to export your data before changing.
  • MENU STRUCTURE CHANGE
    This is completely different to UA, therefore it may take the user a bit longer to find their way around.
  • TRAINING GAP
    With the new system being drastically different to UA, businesses will need to take the time to re-train or upskill their workforce. Without training, the benefits of using GA4 will be lost.

You can run BOTH versions of Analytics together for a time before UA ceases altogether, so you start the game with as much data as possible. Changing from UA to GA4 may take some time to adjust, however the change is more than worth the adjustment period; better analytics leads to better decisions.

If your team needs GA4 Training – get in touch with Kuka Studios today.

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