For years, marketers have used Google Analytics to monitor and measure performance of their websites. Universal Analytics (UA) provided insight into web traffic, demographics, user behaviour - just about everything businesses wanted to know.
If you’ve been living in a Barbenheimer haze for the past few months, you may not be aware that the 1st July saw the closing down of the old Universal Analytics. However, if you are still wondering what this switch has meant for you, your data and your business, we have you covered.
Google describes GA4 as ‘the next generation of Analytics which collects event-based data from both websites and apps’. The platform has a stronger focus on the user journey and on-page user behaviour than UA as well as offering other benefits such as additional privacy controls.
So why was this switch good for your website?
What are the advantages of GA4?
GA4 brought a host of benefits that enhanced the world of analytics such as:
- Increased Accuracy on Tracked Metrics:
Under the old Universal Analytics (UA), data was pulled at the end of a user's session, but GA4 pulls data as it occurs in real-time, resulting in more data points for significantly improved accuracy.
- Clearer Understanding of User Behavior:
With GA4's event-based approach (in contrast to UA's session-based system), businesses can now gain access to more detailed information about user activities on their websites. This new perspective not only enhances measurements but also entirely new metrics. The platform offers valuable insights into video engagement, scrolling behaviour, outbound clicks, and more.
GA4 adopts a user-focused model, enabling marketers to track users across multiple platforms seamlessly. Whether a user first visited the site on their laptop and then later on their phone, GA4 provides greater visibility into the user's complete journey across different devices.
Challenges of the migration to GA4
Unfortunately, this migration did pose a few challenges, but for every hurdle you may still be facing, we have an answer.
The biggest challenge we faced with the migration was that many metrics we had been reporting on for years disappeared. More accurately, they were replaced or reimagined as something new. Initially, this seemed like an issue, but we understood that the metrics GA4 prioritises are the most relevant for a site's growth and continued performance. Moreover, we realised that many of the metrics set to be phased out could still be calculated due to the immense customization available on the new platform.
- Change of Standard Reporting:
For many biddable campaigns (or other campaigns spread across multiple channels), many acquisition reports like source/medium and channel no longer operate in the same way. However, there are workarounds involving custom reports that allow us to extract the exact data we wanted to see.
A knock-on effect of these changes is that our way of reporting on web performance has changed. Along with the migration, we are rolling out new-look SEO reports that focus on the data that matters most to your business.
Already seeing benefits
GA4 is already bringing about tangible benefits for our clients. One noteworthy improvement is the heightened accuracy of user data through the enhanced tracking of goals and events. This valuable data allows deeper insights into user engagement, identifying areas that are performing well and others that require optimisation, ultimately creating more successful website strategies and campaigns.
We are here to help!
We’ve successfully migrated all of our clients over to GA4, and we have spent months gleaning insights and data. If you’d like us to help you set up tracking with GA4, get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help.