Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has launched — the new system promises deeper insights into user behavior, more customizable reports, and the introduction of the events-driven data model. Whether you’re a small business owner or are involved in digital marketing, this tool is a game-changer you won’t want to miss out on.
From Firebase Analytics to cross-device tracking, we’ll cover all the key features that make it a must-have tool for businesses today.
What is It?
Launched in 2005, Google Analytics is a web analytics service that forms a key pillar of Google’s Marketing Platform. Through the service, users can track website activity, including session duration, pages per session, and the bounce rate of browsers.
Moreover, users can control the information they review on the high-level dashboard by setting goals relevant to business, from sales to lead generation to downloads of a specific file.
In March 2022, Google announced the launch of Google Analytics 4, which will become the default in July 2023, replacing Universal Analytics, released a decade earlier. According to the subsequent press releases, it is set to become a milestone in online marketing — additional features focus on predictions, customizability, and privacy, including:
- AI-powered predicted metrics
- Customizable, easy-to-use homepage
- Built-in DebugView that debugs and analyzes incoming data instantly
- Anomaly detection
- Revised eCommerce reports
- Explore section — delivers custom reports related to a business’s needs
Key Features of GA4
Agencies are scrambling to learn as much as they can about GA4’s new features and capabilities. But don’t worry — we’ve covered the main aspects you need to know as a digital marketing agency.
Machine Learning Capability
Do you follow the tech news? If so, you’ve likely seen stories about AI and machine learning breaking global headlines. Little surprise then that the world’s tech giant is integrating machine learning capabilities into their insights.
These complex systems will analyze your data to help you better understand customer behavior and the consumer journey. For example, It’ll note sudden spikes or drop-offs in traffic or engagement — and, based on its analysis, advise how to improve your website or app (the latter through the Firebase analytics tool).
That’s not all — like something out of The Minority Report, it’ll even predict the probability of conversion and help identify potential big-spending customers.
As the debate around internet privacy continues, GA4 is taking extra measures to protect consumer data, making it essential for any digital marketing company. Default IP anonymization, shorter data storage duration, consent mode, restricted data transfers, and personal data deletion options will become standard features that prioritize data privacy in GA4.
Events-Driven Data Model
One major change is the event-driven data model. Doing away with the concept of hit types (social, pageview, transaction, etc.), it replaces them with events, event parameters, and user properties. In short, every action a user takes is classed as an event. Using scroll tracking, outbound clicks, site search tracking, video engagement, and more, GA4 promises to revolutionize how we approach user data.
What’s the big deal? Page views and sessions are no longer the foundational aspects they were in Google Analytics 3. You can still view them, but the emphasis is now on users and events.
Browsers no longer religiously stick to a single device. Instead, from their tablet to their laptop to their smartphone, they swap in and out of devices as they interact with your site. GA4 allows you to track this behavior across devices, forming a coherent and comprehensive view of user behavior.
Remember, in GA3, when browsers performed a single action multiple times in a session, it was tracked as if a single goal was completed. In contrast, in Google Analytics 4, conversion events are any events you’ve stated are important to your business. If a browser does that event, GA4 tracks it — it’s that simple. It could be a lead form submission, a specific element clicked, or a video being watched to completion.
Why Does GA4 Matter for Digital Marketing?
After all, it’s been almost a decade since the launch of Universal Analytics. As the new standard for web analytics, it’ll inform how we collect and analyze data for the next decade or more.
Indeed, forget the bounce rate, page/session, and average session duration being your trinity of metrics — this tool is changing how we think about user interaction and how we create and develop our websites.
Moreover, the strong stance on privacy is a message for digital marketing services to consider how and when they collect user information. Following Safari and Firefox’s footsteps, which limit how long cookies exist and eliminate cookies tracking user behavior across sites, marks a permanent shift in perspective.
That means less information available for any agency — but it’s excellent preparation and practice for further regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
From predictive insights to cross-device tracking, GA4 will be a game-changer — it’s a must-have tool for any digital marketers hoping to succeed in today’s tech landscape.
Clicta Digital — A GA4-Ready Digital Marketing Agency
At Clicta Digital, we’re well-versed in web analytics — after all, we spend hours poring over our clients’ analytics. We know the value of tracking and metrics for online success.
Using advanced analytics capabilities, we can supercharge your business, completing a comprehensive overview of user behavior to direct the future of your strategies and campaigns.
Our team of digital marketing experts is ready to help you set up your GA4 account, define business objectives, and optimize your marketing strategies using the new system’s unique metrics and predictive insights.
Whether you’re a large enterprise or just getting started with GA4, schedule a consultation with us to learn more about our services and how we can help you succeed in an evolving online landscape.