All the way back in 2020, Google announced that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) would replace Universal Analytics. The deadline to make the switch was July 1, 2023. So, now that we’re all using GA4, let’s take a look at the benefits.
Out with the old and in with the new. As we say goodbye to Universal Analytics and hello to GA4, it’s time to take an in-depth look at the differences and benefits of Google Analytics 4.
Expanded User Journey
What’s the main reason we use Google Analytics? If you answered “to get data about how people use our site,” we’d agree with you. The good news is that a major benefit of Google Analytics 4 is it no longer measures fragmented sessions across different devices and platforms. Instead, GA4 focuses on users and their interactions.
This new, user-centric approach means that you can track a user’s journey across multiple touchpoints. Imagine someone visits your website on their smartphone, and then later returns to your site on their desktop. With GA4, you’ll have the tools necessary to piece the user journey together for a full picture.
These changes not only enhance the depth of insights you can gain but also provide a holistic view of user behavior, regardless of the device or platform they use. It’s all about understanding the complete user experience and leveraging this knowledge to improve your website and app performance. Google Analytics 4 opens up a whole new world of possibilities for analyzing user engagement and optimizing your digital presence.
Streamlined Event Setup and Goal Tracking
With the introduction of Google’s new feature, “Event Editing and Synthesis,” it’s easier than ever to track your website goals and view detailed data without the need for extensive code editing. Because while we love our developers here at Infomedia, no one wants to have to call a developer every time they need to set up tracking for a new event or edit existing events. This is especially beneficial when dealing with transactional functions like application forms or checkouts.
With GA4, a range of actions and events are automatically pre-created, eliminating the manual setup required in the past. Default options now include clicks, scroll behavior, transactions, file downloads, and a user’s first visit. Although some form submissions and e-commerce goals may not be tracked automatically, the setup process has been significantly streamlined, requiring less time and effort compared to previous versions of Google Analytics.
Enhanced User Privacy
One of the remarkable benefits of Google Analytics 4 is its ability to provide both you and your users with enhanced control over the collection of personal data. Not only does this mean your business will be in compliance with existing privacy regulations, but it’ll also fit with future regulations. It does this by allowing you to exclude specific events and user properties from ad personalization, giving you more control over data handling.
Google’s new analytics approach is designed with a future in mind — where cookies will become less prevalent, and user privacy concerns will take center stage for both individuals and regulatory bodies. GA4 was built with flexibility in mind so it can evolve with the changing privacy landscape. GA4 even plans to incorporate modeling techniques to bridge gaps in data and develop a complete understanding of user behavior, all while still respecting privacy guidelines. This proactive approach positions GA4 as a powerful tool in navigating the privacy-focused digital landscape.
Another major benefit of Google Analytics 4 is the improved reporting interface, with renamed or replaced reports. GA4’s ‘Reports’ section focuses on key stages of the customer lifecycle: Acquisition, Engagement, Monetization, and Retention. While some Universal Analytics features didn’t make it to GA4, the “Explore” section offers upgraded analysis methods. This includes segment overlap and enhanced funnel analysis, providing users with more robust insights. Monetization is also well-supported in GA4, meaning you can track conversions and sales with revenue reports.
So, How Do You Feel About the Benefits of Google Analytics 4?
We’re pretty excited about it! The biggest changes are intended to make analytics more accessible and easier to understand, which is always a win in our book. Not to mention that it has a more modern focus with the ability to adapt for the future.
Like learning any new platform or program, it’ll take some time to get the hang of it. Luckily, we know some experts that’ll be happy to help you out with that. In the meantime, this is the perfect time to refresh and reset your website goals.