What is GA4 – And Why Is It Important?
On July 1st, 2023, Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) will phase out and stop processing data. That means your website properties must have the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking installed and running correctly by June 30th – at the very latest. Time is quickly running out to migrate to GA4 and take advantage of its new tracking features and capabilities.
Why do I need to update my Universal Analytics to GA4?
According to Google, UA will stop recording data on July 1, 2023. If your business relies on website analytics to make data-driven decisions, the sooner you migrate to GA4, the more historical data you’ll have.
After July 1st, you can only access your previously processed data for approximately six months. Google strongly encourages you to export your historical reports during this time.
What’s the difference between UA and GA4?
Like most tech upgrades, there are more (and better) features to take advantage of. Here are some of the differences and benefits
Tracks Interactions Across Devices and Platforms
Tracking across devices is one of the biggest challenges of growing a business in a digital landscape. With mobile devices, social media, and all the other digital platforms available now, it’s difficult to accurately track user interactions on your website so you can serve your customers better. GA4 addresses this challenge by offering a new measurement model for better tracking cross-device and cross-platform interactions. With GA4, you can collect and combine all the data you’re tracking from your website and apps in one place. The data is more reliable and reflective of real users’ journeys across devices and channels. This ability is one of the main reasons behind Google’s transition to GA4.
Improves Event Tracking and Analysis
GA4 allows you to understand your customer's behaviors better and use that information to improve your marketing strategies, results, and ROI. Unlike UA, GA4 is event-based instead of session-based. This means you can track events like clicks, video views, and downloads without setting up specific codes for each one. The event-driven data model also gives you more flexibility when analyzing data because you can create custom events to track – which means you can use metrics specific to the data your business needs.
Enhances Privacy + Compliance
Businesses must now take extra precautions to ensure that they’re collecting and using data in a transparent and compliant way. GA4 helps protect user privacy while still providing your business with the data you need to make informed decisions.
Provides AI Predictions and Preferences
Using AI to analyze customer preferences and interests, GA4 can identify trends and patterns you might notice otherwise. This allows you to tailor marketing strategies to what your customers need and want from your business. GA4 can also use machine learning algorithms to predict future user behavior, which helps you anticipate trends and adjust your strategies.
Integrates With Other Google Products
GA4 is designed to seamlessly integrate with other Google products, including Google Ads, Google Optimize, and Google Tag Manager. This makes it easier to manage your digital marketing campaigns and gain a complete picture of your customer’s journeys. For example, by integrating GA4 with Google Ads, you get insights into the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and can adjust your targeting and messaging accordingly.
How Impact Group Marketing Can Help
With just two months until UA stops recording, the sooner you activate your GA4 account, the more historical data you’ll have. GA4 can run parallel with UA for website traffic so that you can update now.
If you’re overwhelmed and unsure about switching to GA4, IGM can help you make the transition. We’re a Google Partner and have worked closely with Google to ensure we are fully prepared to help you implement GA4. Contact us today and let our expert team get you set up.
Read More: How to Prepare for Google Analytics 4 – and Why You Need To Make the Change Now