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The importance of planning for Google Analytics 4 and making the switch

Google is making some big changes in 2023 with their newest iteration of Analytics and this, of course, will cause many marketing professionals and businesses to feel worried about the implications for their campaigns. Indaru can help you plan for the transition and Google Analytics 4 implementation so you will be ready before it happens.

Google Analytics 4 Deadline: What It Means For Your Business

When the sunsetting of Universal Analytics and the impending introduction of Google Analytics 4 was announced, it felt to many like there was plenty of time to make the switch. However, with the official migration date of June 2023 drawing closer by the day, it is best to make the switch sooner rather than later.

Why You Should Migrate To GA4 Right Away

GA4 is a huge update with a much more powerful and accurate interface to provide you with much clearer insights going forward. If you wait until June 2023 to switch to GA4, you will be left with no data in your UA property which can make it very difficult to create year on year comparisons or projections based on historical data. The sooner you move, the more historical data you will have to work with once UA is laid to rest.

The sooner you migrate, the more you can get comfortable with using all the features that GA4 has to offer. They have promised a period of continuous improvement and learning which you will be able to use to your advantage before the official deadline.

Finally, should you make the switch near the deadline, it is quite possible there will be far too many companies making the switch at the same time leading to high demand and server issues. You will also be rushing the setup of your GA4 account and could make mistakes with your settings that impact the accuracy of your data insights.

Indaru can help and assist you with Google Analytics 4 implementation to have a smooth transition.

Key Differences Between GA4 and Universal Analytics

There are several key differences between Universal Analytics (UA) and GA4.

1. Data models

The biggest difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is that GA4 uses a “event-based” approach, whereas Universal Analytics uses a “hits-based” approach. With GA4, you specify the type of event you want to track before you collect any data (e.g. page views, add to cart, checkout, sign-ups etc). This helps ensure that all the data you collect is useful and relevant to your business goals. Universal Analytics, on the other hand, starts with hits collection and then tries to infer meaning from the collected data.

2. Machine Learning

GA4 provides a new machine learning-powered feature which automatically surfaces insights from your data and shows you recommended actions to take to improve your campaign and website performance. You can analyze metrics like the probability of people making a purchase, audience churn and projected revenue. You can use these predictions to target new audiences with your retargeting campaigns. This is a new technology and while it is robust it is still in development so will continue to improve its predictions over time.

3. Reporting

GA4 offers more personalized report templates as opposed to relying on standard templates. You can also link your GA4 account to BigQuery for access to raw data and to run SQL commands, as well as to Looker Studio, for greater insights into your data.

4. Metrics

GA4 allows you to create custom dimensions and metrics through event parameters and track more useful data through enhanced measurement events. This is a shift from session-based data to event-based data. Instead of seeing page views or sessions only, you can now narrow down your analysis to specific interactions (i.e. events). For example, you will be able to track scrolling, searches on your site, outbound clicks, video engagement rates and demographics for in-depth reporting.

While UA requires your conversion tags to be created via the Google Ads interface, events and conversions can be created in the GA4 interface so you can get a quick overview of important metrics without having to pull parameter reports. You can configure your event, test it in real time and then mark the event as a conversion for a more user-friendly, seamless integration.

Overall, GA4 provides a more holistic and accurate view of your website visitors than Universal Analytics. It’s important to note that switching to GA4 will require some planning and effort, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Google Analytics 4 implementation

New GA4 features

GA4 has a number of new features that will help businesses can clear insights into their audiences and campaigns.

1. Dashboard

The new GA4 Dashboard is much more streamlined and has quick links to key reports and popular features to make it easier to engage with.

2. Cross-platform tracking

Cross-Platform Tracking allows you to track users across devices and platforms, including websites and apps. This can help you understand how your customers interact with your business across every touch-point and ensures you’re delivering a consistent experience. This is achieved by assigning each user a unique ID that GA4 is able to track as the user moves from platform to platform.

3. Enhanced audience segmentation

Audience Segmentation allows you to create custom audiences based on user behavior. For example, you can create an audience based on people in a geographic location who took a specific action when they visited your website. This can help you target your marketing campaigns more effectively.

4. Suggested audiences

Through its advanced machine-learning capabilities, GA4 can recommend audiences to you based on the information you provide about your business. This can help you tap into new markets or expand your reach.

5. Greater tracking capabilities

GA4 enables you to track up to 300 events per property and 30 conversions which gives you enormous flexibility and scalability in terms of the data you’re collecting.

How Indaru can help you prepare for GA4

When it comes to your Google Analytics 4 implementation, you want to be sure that you are ready for the upcoming GA4 update. As experts in digital marketing, we have experience with more than 100 GA4 implementations and know how to properly set up GA4 accounts.

With enhanced customisation abilities, GA4 has quite a learning curve, however we will provide ongoing support after the switch to GA4 as opposed to trying to get to grips with the system on your own.