July 1, 2023, served as a historic day for digital marketing. That’s because on that day Google officially replaced Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
What makes this change so important to you and any data-minded business is that it’s not an evolution, it’s a wholesale change. They didn’t just remodel the house; they kicked everyone out and told them where to find a new one.
(Keep in mind that although you will be able to see the historical data from your old Google Analytics reports until July 1, 2024, new data will now only flow into GA4 properties.)
Developed to cater to businesses of all sizes, GA4 is a free and essential digital marketing tool that tracks and reports your website traffic. It creates a platform that provides comprehensive reporting capabilities and extensive customization options.
(If all is well, you have already made a successful GA4 transition. If not, you miss out on valuable data every single day. This places you at a distinct disadvantage among your competitors.)
Here are 3 big changes with the arrival of GA4 that will positively impact your digital marketing strategy:
1. Deeper Data Analysis: GA4 provides better data analysis and insights than UA, allowing you to make more informed decisions and optimize your online advertising campaigns effectively.
According to Fast Company, “GA4 is fundamentally different from UA because it uses an event-based model rather than a page and session-based one. Every action is tracked as a distinct event.” This event-based model gives you the ability to accurately track complex buyer journeys across multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers.
With GA4’s enhanced event tracking capabilities, businesses can gain deeper insights into user interactions, conversions and customer journeys.
In addition, GA4 provides the ability to track website and mobile app data in one single property.
According to Entrepreneur, “With the way GA4 will focus on interactions on websites across different platforms, it becomes easier for businesses to see the events and analyze data for a better and more accurate understanding of customer journeys.”
2. Simplified Definitions and Terminology: With GA4, you’ll quickly notice that the names of various metrics, dimensions and reports in GA4 differ significantly from the previous Google Analytics.
For example, while “Users” (AKA “Total Users”) were the focus in UA, “Active Users” are the focus in GA4. In addition, “Goals” from UA are referred to as “Conversions” in GA4.
Significantly, you will no longer see any sign of “Bounce Rate.” It has been replaced by a new metric found in GA4 called “Engagement Rate.” Engaged sessions are defined in GA4 as the number of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, or had a conversion event, or had 2 or more screen or page views.
In fact, most of the engagement metrics go by different names (and occasionally different definitions) in GA4. For instance, “Pages/Sessions” in UA becomes “Views Per User” in GA4. Instead of “Session Duration” in UA, you’ll see “Average Engagement Time” in GA4.
3. Highly Customizable Reports: Although UA offered limited customization options, the majority of users were confined to viewing data in a uniform manner. However, the arrival of GA4 gives you the power to delve into much deeper analysis through extensively customizable reports.
In addition, GA4’s enhanced features and completely redesigned, simpler user interface offer you the ability to create and customize your own reports to analyze the data that is most meaningful to your business.
According to Forbes, “Google is really aiming to give every user the ability to use GA4 in whatever way works best for them, meaning that insights, reports, events—pretty much everything—can be customized.”
Partner with ROAR! To Get the Most of Your GA4 Data
As with any new digital marketing tool, GA4 has a significant learning curve. ROAR! Internet Marketing has been using GA4 since it was first introduced, so our team is familiar with the ins and outs of this amazing tool, and how it works for reporting and data analysis.
Having a digital marketing agency help you understand the new data is just like using a CPA to help understand your financials.
To get help making the most of your GA4 data, simply schedule a zero-obligation GA4 consultation with ROAR! today. We’ll ensure a smooth, stress-free GA4 transition for your business.