Just in case you haven’t heard the big news, Google launched its new analytics platform, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in October 2022. We all know analytics platforms are notoriously complicated and Google’s most recent version, GA4, is about as easy to understand as a set of flat-pack furniture instructions. One of the best things about GA4 is the fact it is highly customizable. This can make it more difficult to master GA4 but Alley Kat Web Consulting would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that it is possible to master GA4. Be aware though, it doesn’t matter where you find yourself in the multi-verse, you can’t conquer GA4 without a ton of reading and even more trial and error.
Before we get into a few basics about GA4, we feel it’s imperative to note that Google’s previous platform, Universal Analytics (UA), will stop processing existing data on July 1st, 2023. If you use Universal Analytics 360, you will have a further three months of data processing, until October 1st, 2023 before you will be forced to make the switch. If you want to ensure you have access to your historical data, you need to migrate existing UA data to GA4 before that date.
What is GA4 Anyway?
GA4 is an entirely different kind of property that comes with a couple of distinct features and advantages that are not available in UA. If you are a newcomer to analytics, a property is simply the place your online data is sent to be processed into actionable insights. Essentially, GA4 is a hybrid platform of UA and Firebase, Google’s platform for mobile developers but it offers a lot more functionality than UA. If you're a little rusty when it comes to Google Analytics, then don't fret! You can read some of the basics in our Google Analytics recap article as we dive into the deeper parts of the platform.
What GA4 Means
GA4 uses Google machine-learning and progressive technologies to help you identify relevant trends and patterns in your website or app’s data. While UA was set up to measure insights from both cookies and metadata, GA4 was created with an eye to user privacy. It provides a better digital experience for advertisers and audiences alike. Data is collected from consenting users while allowing you to stay in line with ever-evolving digital privacy laws. Importantly, GA4 is a privacy-centric tool that works with or without cookies. The savvy internet user of today always has security and privacy top of mind while using the internet, making this a tremendous benefit for your future tracking needs.
Why GA4 Matters
At its core, GA4 is brilliant in that it provides website owners and digital marketers with more data over the entire lifecycle of the end user's or customer’s journey. Notice the keywords in the preceding sentence – more data and the entire lifecycle of the customer journey. Just like it sounds, this means you have access to more data after you have acquired a customer. Not only do you have all this advantageous data, but you also get other practical information like the end user's or customer’s level of engagement, monetization and retention. When it comes to keeping customers happy and purchasing, it really is a case of the more you know.
The Future of Analytics
At the end of the day, an analytics tool is one of your most powerful marketing weapons. It will allow you to develop a better understanding of your website’s traffic and how users behave while using your site. When it comes to analytics, it helps to always remember the golden rule: better analytics insights = better marketing decisions. GA4 is the analytics upgrade everyone needs and with a little patience and effort, you will be able to master it quicker than you think. With GA4, website owners and digital marketers can have a deeper understanding of their consumers' needs and tailor their efforts to attract and retain customers.
While this article only touches on GA4 and the power of this marketing tool, we are in the process of creating a series of in-depth articles on all things GA4. Remember to check our blog often for insightful tips, advice and expert knowledge from the team at Alley Kat Web Consulting. Contact us today for assistance setting up GA4 and migrating your data. If you aren’t sure what services you need, contact us today for your free needs assessment and let Alley Kat’s team of professionals get your business where it deserves to be. Get your business started on the path to success.
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