If you use data from Google Analytics to learn about your website’s performance, how users find you and what they look at, then it’s important you set up Google Analytics 4.
From 1st July 2023, Google’s standard Universal Analytics (UA) will no longer process data, so you must have Google Analytics 4 set up.
We recommend setting up a GA4 property as soon as possible so you have plenty of rich data collected prior to losing access to Universal Analytics. Ideally, you’d like to collect at least three months’ worth of data before 1st July 2023. If you don’t set up GA4 before July, Google will automatically set one up for you, but this will need to be customised to your business’s needs.
What’s new about Google Analytics 4?
The main difference is how data is collected. In UA, data is based on sessions and page views, with sessions being a group of user interactions (hits) that take place in each timeframe.
Data in GA4 is based on events and parameters, meaning activity from users is now measured as an event, and this can provide more detailed insights.
This new way of tracking is more simplistic and intuitive as Google automatically tracks basic events in more detail with the option of adding parameters that give a better view of the user’s journey.
There are 3 different types of events in GA4 – automatic, custom and recommended.
Automatic events are basic interactions with your app or website. This includes actions such as submitting a form, viewing a page, scrolling and playing videos.
Recommended events are events that you have the option to implement. These events have predefined names and parameters, and they unlock existing and future reporting capabilities. This includes logging in, sign ups, searching, adding items to cart, viewing items and more.
Custom events are events that you define and are only required when there are no relevant automatic or recommended events. Situations when you may require a custom event include specific button clicks like ‘donate now’, or tracking when a user sees certain content on your page. Google recommends reviewing their list of recommended events before implementing a custom event.
This way of tracking is more reliable and better reflects the behaviours of consumers and how users behave across devices, better connecting those sessions.
If you’d like a specific event tracking, our team can advise on the best way forward.
The reports in GA4 are more focused on user engagement, which helps you to make better informed marketing decisions as you’re able to dive deeper into the user information that’s collected. The reports are also easier to understand and more user friendly.
Bounce rate will be replaced by a set of new engagement metrics, such as engaged sessions, engagement rate, engaged session per user, average engagement etc. This provides you with richer insights into how people interact with your site.
GA4 has new predictive analytic capabilities that share insights derived from AI algorithms, measuring conversion progress, and identifying users’ actions on your website that would likely lead to a purchase or conversion. This feature could be useful for campaigns and to help improve engagements. We believe this will be a feature Google will continually be improving, so it’s one to keep an eye on!
We love how Google is making their analytics tool more user friendly and to better represent and measure how your users interact with your websites and apps.
Although the measurement model is changing and the layout may look different, using the report tool will mimic just about all the reports you find in UA. We’ll still be able to separate your data based on channels, or sources, and identify your best performing pages, or what you set your key performance indicators to measure.
We can help set up your Google Analytics 4
We’re able to set up your account in GA4 and set up all appropriate events, conversions and relevant tracking to measure, track and analyse users’ behaviour, where they come from and how your websites perform.
If you would like to have an informal discussion with our digital team, who can show you a live demo review of how this could work for you, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re happy to help.