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A Complete Guide About Switching to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Business, Online Marketing Tips, Technology

A Complete Guide About Switching to GA 4
Much awaited Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is finally here! Announced by Google, GA4 will substitute Google Universal Analytics (UA). In addition, UA will cease to handle new hits from July 2023.

GA4 migration is a mandate and not an option anymore. Even while you still have time to make the change officially, you need to start prepping now, more so if you already utilize the service and work with historical data. Fortunately, you can still save your data, gurus from SPINX Digital will also explain how and help if needed.

Get started with Google Analytics 4 with this complete guide:

  • What’s Modified?
  • Transitioning to GA4
  • Pros and Cons of Changing to Google Analytics 4
  • Using Google Analytics 4?

GA4: What’s New?

Well, a lot.

Data collection logic and data structure in GA4 are very different. As against sessions in the past, everything is designed keeping users and events in mind. This shift is critical because we traditionally relied on a session-based model that categorized user activities over a specific period.

Marketing and website design companies significantly gain from shifting the focus from sessions to events, including improved pathing analysis capabilities and cross-platform analysis. By switching to an event-based model, GA4 becomes more adaptable and has improved user behavior prediction.

Tracking App Activity on Mobile

The key GA4 feature is that you can now track both online and app activity, providing a more comprehensive and integrated view of the consumer journey. Consumers are increasingly using mobile apps predicted to produce $935 billion by 20231. As a result, GA4 will close the gap between app traffic and activity, significantly improving the accuracy of your marketing data, a piece of great news for SEO agencies.

Reduced dependence on Cookies

The privacy issues of today and the future were considered when GA4 was being developed. It no longer stores IP addresses and doesn’t depend exclusively on cookies. This feature benefits global data privacy laws and responds to the rising consumer and brand need for data security and management.

Powered by Data Attribution

Using data-driven attribution, you can allocate credit along the customer journey while tracking and analyzing the overall effect of your marketing efforts. These details enable you to comprehend how your marketing affects your conversions entirely. For the purpose of maximizing campaigns, you may also extract the reports to Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform media tools.

Unless you are explicitly opting out, Google has switched the last-click attribution mechanism for new conversion activities in Google Ads to attribution powered by data.

Do I Need To Upgrade To GA4?

Is it urgent for you to upgrade to Google Analytics 4? One word answer, yes.

Create a GA4 property and set it up to work alongside Universal Analytics. Even though you don’t intend to use it immediately, gathering data and improving your machine learning (ML) models will enhance the significance of your future investigations.

Better data gathering results in more intelligent marketing techniques

Pros and Cons of Changing to Google Analytics 4

Although moving to GA4 may seem like a chore, there are several advantages:

Optimizing AI – Using AI, GA4 analyzes the current data, can forecast the future, and offer insights unique to your company. By doing so, you’ll be able to elude problems and seize trends earlier. There are many new metrics in GA4 that include engagement measurements, such as engaging session rate, and engagement time. Other tracked dimensions include attribution, demographics, and events.

Although this is a substantial change, it will make it simpler to follow clients as they travel. Page views were once thought to be the most effective measure by GA; however, that is no longer the case. Although there may be a learning curve for the new parameters, you will have greater access to information.

Better reporting and insights – By employing a single User ID, GA4 offers foresights, reports across various platforms, and tracks device. Additionally, having a single User ID through all channels and devices enables improved attribution.

Predictive analytics may have a significant effect on repositioning strategies for a majority of corporations. AI metrics consist of: Likelihood of purchase, churn possibilities, and revenue prediction. You can leverage these metrics to develop audiences based on their anticipated behaviors. Websites can enhance their performances using these indicators. You may design unique funnels for a diverse group of audiences appertaining to their prerequisites and behaviors. As more information is gathered, the recommendations will keep becoming better.

Cross-Platform Monitoring – An integrated tracking and reporting capability is provided using a single User ID across all platforms and devices. You will save time, money, resources, and frustration by not having to patch the user’s journey across platforms or devices.

There’s always a possibility that anything new will have problems, especially while it’s in the teething phase. Here’s a heads up:

Greet the new kid on the block- GA4 is still in its early stages. Thus there could be bugs, missing capabilities, and version adjustments. Be flexible, patient, and prepared for any setbacks while anticipating growing pains.

Loss of Historical Data- Beginning of July 2023, Google will discontinue gathering data (October 1 for 360 users). The content cannot be moved from UA/360 to GA4 in any way. You must manually export historical data—data from before you adopted GA4—if you wish to keep it; else, you may lose it.

Using Google Analytics 4?

To begin, be adventurous. Go about experiencing the platform. You will learn the fundamentals and how to use the new platform.

Experience the Search Bar and Dashboard

More than ever, GA4’s search function gives you immediate answers to specific questions (such as ‘how many people this month vs. previous year’), access to detailed statistics, property settings, or the help materials.

To explore what is available, try a few searches, such as, how to generate a report or ‘top visitors by location. The search board will be pretty helpful as you become familiar with the new dashboard.

Personalize Your Reports Quick View

Customizing the report snapshot so you can quickly view the info that matters to you is a great feature. You will also better understand GA4, making it easier for you to operate.

View Recommended Audiences

New audiences are now suggested by Google Analytics 4. This information can be crucial if you’re trying to grow your user base or enter new markets. When you build a GA4 asset, you provide Google with information about your company and industry category. Google makes use of the data to create new audiences that might be suitable for your company.

Is Google Analytics 4 cost-free?

The Google Analytics 4 property type is also free, just like Universal Analytics. No costs are involved when you use one (or more) GA4 properties.

Is using Google Analytics 4 challenging?

GA4 is completely customizable, which might make learning it tricky. Once you get the knack of it, though, you’ll discover that you have availability to additional insights that you can utilize to expand your company.

Summary

Google Analytics 4 is a powerful analytics tool that offers priceless information about your audience. Furthermore, it provides many advantages, such as cross-platform tracking, increased data control, and AI-driven insights. While creating a GA4 property on your website or application is simple, the initial setup can be intimidating. For more information on the new Google Analytics 4 features or how you use data for a successful digital marketing plan, get in touch with SPINX Digital.

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    Stephen Moyers

    4 thoughts on “A Complete Guide About Switching to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)”

    1. John Denar says:

      Due to GA4’s extensive customizability, learning it may be challenging. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that you have access to more information that you can use to grow your business.

      1. Stephen Moyers says:

        That’s correct John, I agree!

      1. Stephen Moyers says:

        You’re welcome.

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