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The Benefits of GA4


By Scott Palmer, Vice President of Digital Media

Google Analytics Blog

The Benefits of GA4

Google Analytics is a powerful and popular tool for tracking website and app performance. We have relied on it for over a decade to provide detailed data on how people are using websites, including where they’re coming from and what actions they’re taking once they arrive on the website. The original version of Google Analytics worked well for a long time, but it had some limitations that made it difficult to use for more complex needs. The new version – Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – offers much deeper insights into how users interact with websites and other online properties, as well as easier ways to manage data. In this post, we’ll explain some of the benefits of GA4 and why companies should look forward to the switch.

Flexible Event-Based Analytics

From pageview to purchase, everything is measured as an event. Event-based analytics affords you the ability to build detailed performance reports across the journey as users interact with your site. The data is presented in flexible and detailed modules in dashboards within the platform, making custom reporting easy and effective. Further, events can be customized for your business plan so you are tracking events that can help guide informed decisions to support your business. 

Deeper Insight into User Behavior

GA4 gives you the ability to see how users interact with several types of marketing campaigns. You can see how many people have clicked on your email campaign and what pages they’ve viewed. You also get a more in-depth look at the specific content with which each user engaged, so you know exactly what was most interesting to them. This is especially important if your goal is to send targeted emails or push out messages relevant to individual user’s interests.

GA4 brings together user data from across all platforms – online, offline and mobile – and aggregates it in one place for easy analysis and reporting. This allows you to analyze consumer behavior beyond just online interactions; for example, if a high volume of users visits an event or store but does not make any purchases or conversions (or if they visit the store frequently but never purchase anything), it could be an indication that something needs fixing in the user experience before investing more dollars into acquisition efforts. 

Single Tracking Code for all Properties

GA4 lets you use a single tracking code for all properties. You can use the same tracking code for multiple websites and apps, as well as multiple languages and mobile and desktop platforms. This is especially useful if your website has different domains, such as .com and .co​.uk or .net, or if it’s available in more than one language.

For example: If you have two websites with different domains that share a lot of content (and therefore some functions), there’s no need to create separate GA accounts – you can simply add them to one master account and use the same tracking code throughout.

Added Flexibility and Power

Whereas the old model could only track a single source of traffic, this number has been increased to six with GA4, with each source having its own unique set of dimensions and metrics. This allows you to see how different marketing platforms work together, giving you greater insight into user behavior throughout the journey from awareness of your brand through to purchase. You can also choose whether you want GA4’s new features enabled by default or not – so if you only intend on using it as an enhanced version of the old model, there’s no need for them!

Holistic View of Marketing Mix

When you have GA4, you can see how all your marketing channels work together. For example, if you’re using multiple ad networks or ad types, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, GA4 can offer insight into how different channels perform in relation to each other.

You’ll also be able to see how different campaigns performed on different ad platforms – for example, whether Facebook or Bing ads were more effective for one campaign compared to another.

Conclusion and Next Steps

There’s no doubt GA4 is a powerful tool for marketers. It allows you to track different marketing channels and understand how they affect each other, so you can optimize your campaigns more easily. You also get access to more historical data than ever before, so you can analyze trends over time and make better decisions about what works best for your business. But perhaps the biggest benefit of all is that GA4 offers greater flexibility than its predecessor – it’s easier to set up and use, while still providing deep insights into user behavior.

As we approach the transition in June, there are easy steps you can take to set yourself up for GA4 success:

  • Between now and March, set up a GA4 property using the GA4 setup assistant in your Google Analytics account
  • If you have not converted your Universal Analytics property to GA4 by March, Google will automatically configure a GA4 property with basic settings consistent with the existing Universal Analytics property, including conversion events, Google Ads links and existing website tags
  • Complete free training on GA4 via the Google LMS — Skillshop
  • Switch to reporting using GA4 reports and dashboards
  • Customize and iterate for continuous improvement
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