Introducing Google Analytics 4 – the new way Google will be reporting your data.
One of the biggest GA4 features is its use of machine learning to provide insights from the data collected. Google claims it is “privacy-centric by design” meaning it has updated certain features to allow for data to be collected in line with data privacy laws.
A connected user journey:
Google Analytics will be focusing on users and their interactions which are collected as ‘events’. This new user focus and event driven data framework means an easier single set of web and app metrics to review, resulting in a much more sophisticated aggregation.
For example, a user may visit a website on their mobile, revisit the same website on their desktop computer, and then download, purchase, or sign-up through the same company’s app. GA4 allows you to track and make the connections the user has taken on this journey. It’s clever technology and these metrics are invaluable.
Remember the menus: audience, acquisition, behaviour and conversion? These have been replaced in one swoop by a ‘lifecycle section’. The new lifecycle section organises data analysis into: Acquisition, Engagement, Monetisation and Retention, and there is now a real focus on user demographics and technology. This is where AI comes into play – Google uses this to predict customer actions and value.
Another familiar metric has also been removed – ‘Bounce Rate’ and replaced by very specific engagement metrics. These consist of deeper levels of reporting such as scroll tracking, outbound clicks, video and file download events. This data landscape will depict whether your content is firstly resonating and secondly outlining a distinct set of user actions taken. From what we’ve seen so far – GA4 is delivering a much more powerful and comprehensive data view of your end user and how they react to your content.
Personal data control:
GA4 allows for personal data control e.g what personal data is collected to comply with existing and future privacy regulations. Google is adapting itself for a cookie-free future with the plans for a complete phase out in 2024.
Next level reporting:
You will recognise some of the GA4 interface and functionality but there is a definite enhancement to a lot of the existing reporting areas. However, it’s the newly added data visuals which brings GA4 into its own.
The ‘Analysis Hub’ for instance shows a template gallery with an array of different charts which can be created. These include explorations, funnel analysis, segment overlaps, user lifetime and different user path analysis.
We’re pretty impressed with GA4 and excited about the new ways of collecting data and visualisation of metrics. If you would like us to help you get you up to speed, our digital media director can help you:
- Set up a Google Analytics 4 property
- Link your Google Analytics 4 property to Google Ads
- Create up to five audiences and import them in Google Ads
- Create up to five conversion events and import them in Google Ads
- And more importantly understand what all the new reporting metrics means to your digital strategy.
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