Anyone working with websites or in online marketing probably received a remainder or e-mail to avoid forgetting what was about to happen on July 1st, 2023. Does that ring a bell? It is the day Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics) was officially substituted by Google Analytics 4 after years of activity.
Therefore, goodbye to Google Analytics 3 and welcome to Google Analytics 4!
Google Analytics 4: What is it?
The new Google platform for web analytics is a free tool that helps you understand and analyze how users interact with your website.
Far from a simple update or improvement, GA4 represents an actual evolution of the service. What does it offer? A more comprehensive picture of the customer journey, in addition to data customization, increased privacy protection, and the chance to integrate other digital marketing platforms.
Google Analytics 3: Is this a farewell?
Many people have been wondering whether the arrival of Google Analytics 4 marks the end of its precursor, and that is the case as Universal Analytics stopped elaborating new data on July 1st, taken over by the version released at the beginning of 2023.
The only action Google Analytics 3 still performs is exporting the information gathered in the last years. Nothing more. It is not possible—not yet at least—to import them on GA4 or analyze other data. The old version was indeed withdrawn from the scene.
Even though changing might be scary, the new Google Analytics comes with fresh novelties in line with the times. For instance, it has shifted from cookie tracking to event tracking, which is more respectful of personal data.
Google Analytics 4: five novelties.
Knowing that Universal Analytics is not available anymore is not enough to motivate the decision to choose the latest GA4, at least in our opinion.
That is why we want to present five improvements introduced by Google Analytics 4 that make it a better tool and an excellent aid for those who need to examine their website.
- Detailed customer journey reconstruction thanks to event tracking
First, you need to know what an event is. An event consists of a single action performed on a website, no matter where it started or ended: it might have originated on the website and ended on its dedicated app, for example. Opening a webpage, reproducing a video, or adding a product to an online shopping cart are all events.
Compared to the fragmented data gathered on Google Analytics 3 that differentiated devices and platforms, this process displays a complete and more detailed overview of how people choose to interact with the company. No matter where an action starts or ends, the event counts.
Therefore, the customer journey reconstruction becomes more transparent and accurate.
- Higher integration with Google ADS
The improved Google ADS integration allows a more precise analysis of advertising campaign effectiveness and measures the interactions registered on websites and applications. That results in the possibility of selecting more specific and customized audience segments to address with your campaigns and, conversely, creating content in line with your target.
- Data coming from separate sources
Event analysis and channel integration let you gather data from several sources, such as websites and apps. Then, customer behavior is examined in its entirety.
- AI and advanced machine learning functions
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems with Google Analytics was data loss due to the refusal to consent to cookies. It was essential to find an alternative solution to help marketers plan and decide. Fortunately, AI and some new machine learning functionalities have proved advantageous in creating audience segments and remarketing campaigns. Thanks to AI, it is possible to derive the potential interactions of untracked users starting from the little information gained and the behaviors of similar users who consented to cookies.
- New and straightforward layout
As with many updates or re-editions, Google Analytics 4 comes with a new layout, completely different from its precursor. What changes?
It is intuitive and easier to navigate and examine and has a significantly neater design.
Since it focuses on the customer journey, the layout allows rapid and easy reading of the data, recording and displaying them in terms of acquisition, engagement, conversions, and more.
Lastly, you can customize the dashboards so as to adapt them to your needs, increasing its effectiveness.
A thorough website analysis allows you to identify what is working correctly and what needs your attention. This way, you can make things right and improve customer experience while raising your conversion rate.
Do you feel lost? Nitage is here for you: let us guide you!