Google Analytics 4 – What’s all the Fuss?

We all know that what gets measured, gets done. Whether you are employing staff, or your website to do some of your work for you, measuring the results is an important step to good business management.

Google Analytics has a whole new version out – Google Analytics 4. The promise of this new version of the old Google Analytics is much more in-depth analysis and data about what visitors are doing on your site and will help you measure things in a whole new way.

Google Analytics 4 - Events Based Tracking

Sitting behind the scenes is a whole new architecture, which as a business owner probably doesn’t mean much. However the way it tracks and reports data is very different and that should interest you if your website is a key part of your online marketing strategy.

GA4 (the new one) builds data around events – that is anything from pageviews, clicks, form submissions and you can even define custom events for Google to measure. The old Universal Analytics was more concerned with sessions, which are basically a series of page views. So GA4 will provide increased granularity on what your website visitors are viewing and doing while on your site.

GA 4 also gives you the ability to track users across devices and platforms. So with some savvy configuration, you can see how users are interacting with your brand across their various devices, and if you have an app you can measure their activity there too.

You can see where traffic is coming from and you can track the entire customer journey and learn at which point they convert to a contact, a sale or an enquiry.

For example, let’s say you have a search feature somewhere on your website. With (the old version) Universal Analytics, you would track pageviews for the search results pages and see which pages the visitors looked and for how long. You’d also learn about where they were exiting the site. 

With GA4, you can track actual searches as they happen, regardless of what page the user is on – so you are tracking the event and its outcome, rather than just the outcome (pageviews).

Why is this a good thing?

This event-based model also makes it possible to track user interactions that don’t necessarily happen on a web page, such as offline conversions.

In short, GA4’s improved data model provides a more complete picture of how users are interacting with your website or app.

GA4 also now has the ability to predict how likely it is that a visitor will purchase from your online store and how likely it is that they won’t. Using AI, GA4 learns to predict behaviour for each user.

So for returning visitors there will be some predictability calculated as to how likely they are to purchase again from your online shop. This way you can build marketing campaigns around those that are most likely to purchase again from your site – making the most of a limited marketing budget.

Improved Reporting with Google Analytics

GA4 also provides better reporting, and reports can be customised to meet your specific needs. You can add your data to external query tools and undertake even more analysis.

If all of this data makes your head spin and you just want simple analytics of who is visiting your site you can still do this too.
The important thing to note though is that Universal Analytics is going away from 1 July and you will need to have GA4 installed on your website before then if you want to have continuity in your analytics.

The sooner you can get it loaded, the sooner you can start the new data capture method and gather more data if that’s your thing.

Is there an alternative to Google Analytics?

If you are not interested in feeding the Google beast, then there are also alternative tracking and reporting tools out there to put on your website and some of these will provide your website visitors with more privacy and less trackability (and potentially less ads popping up). While you do pay a little for these tools, you are not contributing to the marketing beast that is Google.

Whichever approach you take it makes sense to find out who is visiting your site, what they are doing and where they are interacting. This can help you build the best content for your ideal target audience and ultimately turn those visitors into bookings, quotes or sales.

If you’d like to make sure GA4 is installed on your site or if you’d like to explore other options for tracking site activity, use the big orange button below and Let’s Do This!

P.S.

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