Google Analytics is the most important tool for many companies to assess how well their own search engine optimization is working, which campaigns need to be improved and how their own site is performing. Since October 2020, with Google Analytics 4 now a new generation of Google Analytics livebut the older versions are not completely obsolete. Nevertheless, your marketing should now work more specifically with the new functions, because new properties are automatically created under GA4. So it is worth to get familiar with the new look and take a look under the hood. Also because the many new functions of your Offer marketing department new opportunities.
Google Analytics 4 - what's really new now
- User-centered workIn the previous version, called Universal Analytics, everything revolved around page views and sessions. With GA4, the focus shifts more to users and events.
- Filter instead of data view: The data view is one of the older tools that got an update with the filter view in GA4. This requires some getting used to, but is comparable to working with metadata in Explorer.
- Cross Device Tracking: Extremely important for functioning Omnichannel marketing offers cross-device tracking analysis tools across different devices. This facilitates cross-platform data reconciliation.
- Funnel analysesThe funnel analysis is already known from Google Analytics 360, now it is also found in GA4. In general, Google Analytics 4 offers more space for detailed analyses.
- Web and app combinedProbably the most important change is the elimination of the separation between websites and apps. All Google Analytics properties are now summarized on request and can lead to a single analysis can be combined. Here, too, it becomes clear how important omnichannel marketing is for this new version of Google Analytics.
- Data modeling : Google Analytics 4 can now predictively compensate for incomplete data and missing records. This means that the software completes incomplete data records. Such gaps already occur when users do not consent to tracking. GA4 now models estimates from Google's large data archive specifically for this purpose.
DSGVO and tracking - how elegantly Google Analytics 4 works for you
With the General Data Protection Regulation, users have many more options for protecting their data from being accessed. Accordingly, completely rejecting cookies is also an option, but one that makes marketing analyses more difficult in practice.
This is precisely why it is so important that Google Analytics 4 is a new consent model uses to continue to offer you specific targeting to enable
Voices users Cookies If visitors agree, everything continues as before and you have extensive tracking options at your disposal. If, on the other hand, visitors to a website refuse, non-personal data may still be collected and analyzed. In addition, the new data modeling is used. This modeling is based on machine learning and is also a direct response to browsers like Safari and Firefox. Both block trackers as a default option.
Understanding events - the new center of GA4
Since Google Analytics 4 is all about events, you should understand what Google means by events. By events in apps or on websites, Google means different actions like the click of a button or even a page view.
The main difference is mainly that now you don't need to copy any special Analytics tracking code into your site's code. Many of the new events will collected and analyzed by Google Analytics 4 quite automatically. So if you set up a new property under GA4, you will have significantly less customization work on your side.
What you need to do to switch to Google Analytics 4
How much conversion is necessary for you and your company depends on your current networking with Google Analytics. If you already work with (at least) one property in Universal Analytics, you can create a new property in GA4 for the current project. For existing properties, continue working with both Analytics versions. Why is this important?
Google is already warning users that the metrics in GA4 have changed. Due to the different way of collecting data, the analytics in GA4 and Universal Analytics look fundamentally different. So you can't necessarily compare the data with each other, so for existing Properties parallel use the best approach.
The better your understanding of Google Analytics 4 becomes, the more targeted you can then adjust your campaigns as well.
Of course, you also have the option to upgrade an existing property to GA4 in the admin section of your account. If, on the other hand, you want to create a new property or you do not use Google Analytics at all yet, the Property automatically in Google Analytics 4 created. Get used to the new interface, even if Google (currently) does not yet put pressure on marketing departments. Both versions are still running, but you are future-proof with a property in GA4 - Google will probably discontinue support for Universal Analytics at the end of the year.
If you are already using Google Analytics for app tracking, Google makes your work as easy as can be. In this case, the system automatically switches to GA4 Property for you. This holistic approach is not entirely new for many companies. In the Web + App Property updates, many marketers have already been able to test how well the combined data harmonizes with each other.
For example, if users discover a brand via a Google Ad on the web and then download the app, this metric is now easily captured.
Don't be afraid of switching - GA4 offers you new functionality
Properties in Google Analytics 4 take a more comprehensive look at ads and activities. This allows you to match conversions from customers across different channels. Whether it's through paid channels, organic search, or video views on YouTube. GA4 really looks in all directions. Even after conversion, the new analytics tools now provide comprehensive data sets, such as retention and customer loyalty.