12 May What is Google Analytics 4 and Why You Should Upgrade Now
As Google announced its plans to sunset its long-standing Universal Analytics (UA) platform in July 2023, its successor, the Google Analytics 4 (GA4) was fully released in October 2020.
Whether you’re already in digital commerce attempting to grow with its resources or you’re just planning to start delving into it, we all wonder—what is Google Analytics 4, what are the key changes, and should you upgrade to it?
Three Major Shifts in Google Analytics 4
There are some major differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics. Here are three fundamental changes and benefits of shifting to GA4.
1. A More Unified Data Model
Google Analytics 4’s core places emphasis on providing a more centralized role to activate insights across devices and audiences. Digital marketers and users utilize various platforms and devices for their businesses. And as mobile and web data are produced differently, the GA4 introduced an event-based model to unify all these along with the data collection.
GA4 scrapped the pages specifically dedicated to transactions, social interactions, and views, among others, and these were unified under one concept called “events.” Instead, users can name these events into anything they’d want them to be such as app view, screen view, or page view. In addition, GA4 promotes building a detailed and consistent narrative through binding common metrics together even if a user takes multiple actions on your site or app across different platforms.
2. Predictive Analytics
The new version of Google Analytics has improved auto insights and machine learning, providing marketers with predictive analytics on consumer behavior. There are tools available only to GA360 customers before, which are now accessible for free in the Analysis Hub within GA4. Some of these tools include funnel customization, path analysis, visualization techniques, segment overlap, user explorer, and export analysis data in a variety of formats.
GA4 also provides AI-generated trend alerts to spot, for instance, a rising product demand. Understanding data is and will always be essential for marketers to improve consumer databases, and focus on marketing initiatives that actually work. You can tailor fit campaigns to your audience or produce content based on the market’s interest. And implementing GA4 that is
backed by predictive metrics such as purchase probability, churn probability, and revenue prediction can be a game-changer to your advanced analytics.
Privacy has become more and more essential to everyone’s daily digital experience. That said, Google states that the GA4 utilizes a privacy-centric approach. While privacy features available in UA are still in the GA4, there are also certain upgrades in the new version on respecting user privacy.
As GA4 is privacy-centric by design, marketers and business owners can utilize the analytics with or without cookies, and amidst industry changes such as restrictions in privacy regulations. Unlike UA, GA4 also has a “consent mode” that comes with a separate consent opt-in to allow the user of the visitor’s data for ads and analytics. As a way to not waste the hard-earned traffic, the GA4 system tracks the activity of users who agree to analytics and utilizes machine learning to predict the behavior of those who don’t.
Should You Upgrade to Google Analytics 4?
Now that we understand the gist of what is Google Analytics 4 and its main key changes, the next question is whether you should move into it for your business. The three points stated above are just a summary of the benefits of shifting to GA4. If you’re up for a seamless omnichannel digital experience and being able to adequately collect, analyze and activate data, if you want to have advanced auto insights for your market, and you place importance on user privacy while you’re still able to understand their behavior, then Google Analytics 4 is for you.
GA4 is the most robust and advanced Google Analytics version yet, which provides various features that can contribute to improving your marketing efforts and performance. As it is dubbed the “future of analytics,” you have to get ready for the developments ahead. Implement your GA4 properties as soon as possible and don’t let yourself be left in the dark once Universal Analytics is in sunset next year.
If you need help in setting up your GA4, feel free to contact us.