Google Analytics 4, more commonly known as GA4, has dominated real estate on our social media platforms over the past 12 months as information [and speculation] surrounding Google’s latest analytics platform evolves.
From GA4 migration advice to the best ways to manage your GA4 reporting, it’s caused quite a stir in the digital marketing industry because it’s just… a bit different. And while some parts of GA4 can take a bit of getting used to, it’s a strong analytical platform that’s here to stay. Mastering its power will give you increased visibility, deeper insights and cross-platform tracking.
Let’s break it down.
How do I migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4?
Before we dive deep into understanding how to use Google Analytics 4, we first need to migrate from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4. This task has been quite the undertaking for many companies because, unlike previous versions of UA, GA4 has completely different metrics, so it’s not the simple lift and shift we were all hoping for!
Most businesses will require a GA4 expert to manage the transition so that no data is lost during the process. A critical factor to note is that UA will stop reporting as of 1 July 2023, so if you haven’t got GA4 set up, you risk losing your data. If you’re unsure about your GA4 migration set-up, reach out to us and we’ll put you in touch with an expert.
Once you complete your GA4 migration, you’ll notice a new dashboard with a whole lotta new metrics! Try not to feel overwhelmed. GA4 is a new and improved version of your existing Google Analytics, and you’ll find your GA4 training wheels will be off in no time.
GA4 brings some fantastic features to the table. One of the biggest improvements is its ability to provide more comprehensive cross-platform tracking. These days people access websites and apps through various devices, like smartphones, tablets and desktops. GA4 helps you understand user behaviour across these platforms, giving you a more holistic view of how your audience interacts with your content.
To better understand your data, let’s start with a few key points:
GA4 Data Collection
Ensure that your GA4 tracking code is implemented correctly on your website or app. Double-check if the necessary events and parameters are being sent to GA4. This step is crucial for accurate data collection.
GA4 Data Discrepancies
There might be discrepancies between your previous version of Google Analytics (UA) and GA4. Different tracking methodologies and data models can lead to variations in the reported numbers. Don’t panic if you see some differences; it’s normal.
GA4 Data Exploration
Take advantage of GA4’s exploration feature to navigate through your data. It allows you to dig deeper into specific dimensions and metrics, helping you uncover valuable insights. Play around with different segments, filters and date ranges to get a comprehensive view.
GA4 Comparison with Goals
If you had specific goals set up in Universal Analytics, be sure to recreate them in GA4. This way, you can compare your performance against those goals and track your progress effectively.
Remember, data analysis is a continuous process. It’s essential to monitor and review your data regularly to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Over time, as you become more familiar with GA4, you’ll gain confidence in interpreting and leveraging your data effectively.
What are the benefits of GA4?
- Cross-platform tracking: GA4 works as your personal detective, tracking your website and app interactions across different platforms. You’ll get a 360-degree view of how users engage with your brand, no matter where they are.
- Enhanced event tracking: Define custom events that match your unique business goals so you can track and measure various user interactions and actions on your website or app.
- Machine learning-powered insights: Hello artificial intelligence! Take the guesswork out of your data by using GA4 to analyse patterns and trends, offering recommendations to help you optimise your website’s performance and improve user experiences.
- Simplified reporting and exploration: The new user interface is easier to navigate and explore. Creating an intuitive experience, you’ll be able to set up custom reports, visualise your data and extract actionable insights.
- Real-time data and insights: Life’s too short to wait around for data. GA4 lets you monitor user behaviour as it happens! With such immediate feedback, you’ll be able to further optimise your site and help improve conversion rates.
- Deeper integration with Google Ads: You’ll be happy to know that GA4 plays nicely with Google Ads, working together to measure the performance of your campaigns and allowing you to optimise your ad spend based on data-driven metrics.
- Audience and user-centric analysis: Last but not least, GA4 brings audience and user-centric analysis to the party. GA4 introduces the concept of “User ID” allowing you to track and analyse user behaviour across different devices and platforms. Stalker much? But also, we’re here for it!
These awesome features of GA4 are designed to supercharge your understanding of your website’s performance and user behaviour. With GA4 by your side, you’ll be a marketing mastermind, optimising your strategies and creating a seamless user experience.
Unlock your GA4 reporting potential
Reporting is our love language, so naturally, GA4 has us thrilled to bits! The information we provide our clients in our monthly reporting now includes GA4 metrics and we’re keen to help clients analyse and make the most of new opportunities, including SEO strategy, video marketing and content amplification.
Need help with your GA4 migration or want to talk GA4 content strategy? Drop us a line today.