As many of you know, Google Analytics, the cornerstone of modern marketing and data tracking, has shuttered its popular Universal Analytics (UA), and shifted into their new product: Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
For those outside the industry, Google Analytics is your organization’s one-stop resource to understand how users interact with your website. By housing all of your websites user info like age, demographics and location alongside tracking info like which pages they visited, how long they stayed, and what actions they took, Google Analytics gives teams key insights to better understand the effectiveness of an online strategy.
Stauffer prides itself on being insightful strategists, and we also want our clients to be in control of their online experience and have access and ability to use all the tools at their disposal. Let’s look at how Google Analytics has changed and how you can adapt.
Google Analytics 4 keeps you in line with new privacy laws
In keeping with new international laws and privacy protection policies, Google Analytics 4 helps keep your website up-to-date with the passing of both GDPR and CCPA guidelines. Now that ad-blockers and disabling cookies has become a more-common-than-not policy among the public, GA4 is learning how to live in a world without cookies. To do so means that, GA4 now gathers data in a new, more powerful way:
Google Analytics 4 unleashes the power of machine learning
The backbone of modern data collection and artificial intelligence, machine learning, is now packed into GA4. In the “Insights” tab, Google Analytics extrapolates and builds models based on already-existing data assumptions that pertain to site traffic and user behaviors. These insights will now provide even more useful information for the account owner to consider in their marketing and design approach.
Google Analytics 4 has a new user interface
Just like with every other software interface update, there is a lot of outrage and comments about GA4’s new dashboard. Most of this has to do with Google getting rid of the “Views” tracking dashboard. While that seems annoying at first, GA4 replaces those traditional metrics with a more comprehensive analysis with “event tracking.”
Event tracking is best described by Google:
An event allows you to measure a specific interaction or occurrence on your website or app. For example, you can use an event to measure when someone loads a page, clicks a link, or completes a purchase, or to measure system behavior, such as when an app crashes or an impression is served.
While confusing at first, this new way is actually a more accurate view of how people interact with your site. In the old UA method, only one conversion would be counted per session, while in GA4, multiple conversions can be counted in one session – or event. By getting rid of the individual hits once sorted across 3 pages of views and compiling all these different events into one continuous set of data, one can better understand not only the habits of visitors but analyze the actual UX and structure of a website.
Google Analytics 4 now supports data imports from CRM, PoS, and other outside sources
Additional data from apps like Salesforce and Square can now be integrated into Google Analytics to provide powerful new insights and focus on sales and metrics occurring outside of just traditional web traffic and analytics.
These new features, alongside other tweaks to reporting, search, and a comprehensive landscape of customization make Google Analytics a welcome and refined step toward bringing a more educated and purposeful thought process to how Stauffer and its clients interact with users. By understanding these metrics, we can refine, edit, and ideate new sales funnels and better interactive experiences that will drive engagement beyond what was once thought possible.