If you’ve got a website, you might have heard rumblings of GA4, the latest version of Google Analytics. GA4 is causing quite a buzz in the digital marketing world, and for good reason: it introduces new features and capabilities that enable deeper insights into website performance and audience behavior.
With its advanced tracking methods and machine learning capabilities, GA4 is designed to help you make smarter decisions about your website and marketing strategy. Trust us — in this era of data-driven decision making, GA4 is the tool you need to take your business to the next level. And to be honest, we don’t have much choice but to get onboard; as of July 1st of this year, the current version of Google Analytics, called Universal Analytics, will stop processing new data. Time’s ticking!
Below, we’ll walk you through an overview of GA4 and its key benefits, along with recommended next steps. Ready? Let’s get to it!
You’ll Love It, We Promise: Reasons to Embrace GA4
We know, we know . . . nobody likes change. But we promise you’ll appreciate all the good things that come with GA4. Overall, this tool will help you make smarter decisions about your website and marketing strategy — and who doesn’t like that?!
Need some more convincing? Here are a few key benefits of Google’s latest brainchild.
- Advanced tracking capabilities – GA4 uses advanced tracking methods to gather more accurate and comprehensive data about your website visitors, their behavior, and their interactions with your site.
- Deeper insights into user behavior – GA4’s machine learning capabilities help you gain a better understanding of your audience’s behavior and preferences, allowing you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
- Enhanced cross-device tracking – With GA4, you can track user interactions across multiple devices and platforms, giving you a more complete picture of your audience’s behavior.
- More customizable reports – GA4’s new reporting interface is more flexible and customizable than ever before, allowing you to create reports that are tailored to your specific needs.
- Better integration with Google’s marketing tools – GA4 integrates seamlessly with other Google marketing tools like Google Ads, making it easier to measure the impact of your advertising campaigns and optimize your marketing efforts.
And last but not least . . .
- Access to accurate, updated data — To reiterate, the current version of Google Analytics will stop processing new data after July 1st of this year. As much as it pains us to admit — our friends at Google have got us in a chokehold on this one.
The list goes on, but we’ll stop here before your eyes glaze over. (Still with us?!) If we have you convinced that switching to GA4 is a good idea, let’s move on to the fun stuff. (If you’re still not convinced, get in touch and we’ll do our best to make you see the light.)
The “Fun Stuff”: An Overview of GA4 (With Pictures!)
New to Google Analytics? This overview is for you.
Experienced with Google Analytics? Don’t worry — this overview is also for you.
GA4 looks a bit different than it’s soon-to-be-essentially-deceased predecessor, so even those proficient in Universal Analytics (current GA) will benefit from at least skimming the below.
Like Universal Analytics, GA4 is divided into different sections. We’ll start with the most important.
First things first — the Main Menu, located on the left side of the screen. Here, you’ll find all your reports: real-time data, audience, acquisition, behavior, and conversions. From the Main Menu, you can also access settings like user management, data streams, and data settings.
Next up is the Main Dashboard, your home base for all things GA4. Here you’ll find all your key metrics, like pageviews, sessions, bounce rate, and more. The best part? You can customize the dashboard to show the data that matters most to you.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty with the Report View. This is where you can drill down into specific metrics and dimensions to get more detailed insights into your website’s performance. You can even create custom reports to get the exact data you need to improve your website’s performance. The Report View has a ton of data visualizations like tables, charts, and graphs (which is way more exciting than reading a spreadsheet!).
Now, let’s talk about the Event Builder. This powerful tool allows you to track custom events on your website. We’re talking button clicks, form submissions, video views, and more. The Event Builder lets you define custom parameters for your events, segment your data, and gain deeper insights into user behavior.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Explorations. This is a new feature in GA4 designed for all the data wizards out there. Use pre-built templates or create your own custom analysis to answer specific questions or find growth opportunities. Customize it, visualize the data in different ways, and share your findings with your team!
And . . . You Made It! Well Done. Here’s What to Do Next.
So — that’s GA4. The basics, at least. Now that you’ve got a handle of what GA4 is, how to use it, and why you should make the switch, the only thing left is . . . actually making the switch.
And while “switch” implies an easy process, it’s more involved than you might think. Moving to GA4 takes extensive planning, because the KPIs you’ll likely want to monitor – things like users, pageviews, and bounce rate – aren’t automatically tracked. They need to be set up in the new platform.
We’re something of digital marketing pros here at The Digital Ring, and we’ve already completed successful GA4 migrations for many of our clients. Plus, we offer a few different migration packages so you can pick the one that works best for you. If you’re interested in learning more, shoot us a quick note and we’ll be in touch soon.
Thanks for sticking with us to the end! And RIP Universal Analytics!