The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Google Analytics 4 is a web analytics solution that provides insight into user behaviour across your digital properties. The most recent version of Google Analytics, GA4, is the platform’s fourth major release overall. On July 1, 2023, GA4 will replace all previous versions of Google Analytics and be the only choice for monitoring analytics. But how does ga4 work?
How do I install Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and what does this imply? This is undoubtedly a question if you’re a marketer or business getting ready for the sunset of Universal Analytics on July 1.
As a business, if you use the updated google analytics service appropriately, it will deliver deeper and more important insights that will make it easier for you to achieve both short-term and long-term objectives. But, this will only be the case if you first feel you are beginning from square one.
Read the following post to understand what GA4 is, what it accomplishes, and important takeaways that may assist you in preparing for the future shift before you begin using the platform.
What is Google Analytics 4?
The most recent version of Google Analytics (GA), GA4, combines information from mobile applications and desktop websites. GA4 is the new name for the beta reporting platform that was formerly known as App & Web.
This change was made for clarification purposes. It is possible to “upgrade” all Universal Analytics (UA) properties to GA4, which means a new Analytics property will be established to collect the new data. Nevertheless, your existing GA account will not be impacted in any way. Suppose you previously had an account for Firebase Analytics for applications. In that case, this will automatically be updated to google analytics version 4 (GA4).
New Google Analytics accounts will automatically be upgraded to GA4 from this point forward. At the same time, older versions of GA, known as Universal Analytics, will be phased out over time. You should set up a GA4 account alongside existing GA accounts if you already have them.
This will allow you time to collect data in GA4 without losing any currently held in your GA accounts. You can set up a GA4 property if you have an app, a website, or both.
To comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), websites must now get users’ permission before using cookies to monitor website activity. Using machine learning to “fill in the gaps” when user permission is not granted for monitoring, GA4 will start lowering this dependence on cookies to record specific occurrences across platforms and devices. This will make it more resilient to changes in the industry and avoid future gaps in your data.
GA4 is developed with the future in mind. Thus, scalability and expansion have been integrated into the new architecture, emphasizing monitoring the full user experience. This contrasts Universal Analytics, which divides user interaction into sessions, devices, or platforms.
GA4 Server Side Tracking Service from NFlowTech
NFlowTech offers a GA4 server side tracking service that can help you collect more accurate and reliable data from your website or app. Their service uses machine learning to fill in the gaps when user consent is not granted for tracking, and it can also be used to track users across multiple devices and platforms.
If you’re looking for a way to improve the accuracy and reliability of your GA4 data, NFlowTech’s GA4 server side tracking service is a great option.
What is the Difference Between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics?
To gather and report on data, UA uses a session-based architecture. This means that user interactions are bundled together within a certain duration. Google Analytics 4 properties employ an event-based paradigm that is more customizable and provides more accurate reporting. Moreover, with each interaction, extra information may be provided in Google Analytics, such as the amount of the transaction, the page title, and the user’s location.
This model transmits each user interaction to GA as an independent event. This indicates that it is not bundled with other events into a session like hit events are in universal analytics property.
This implies that you can transmit up to 25 extra event parameters with each event delivered to GA4, which is much more than the current limitation of 4 UA permits.
It is possible to send GA4 up to 500 events, each with a unique name. This provides you with a significantly larger data collection to monitor the interaction.
The most noticeable change between GA4 and Universal Analytics is the ability to report on activity across several platforms. Among the many additional differences are the following:
Benefit from Google Analytics 4’s Predictive Insights
Although examining prior actions might provide light on your target demographic, it offers nothing to assist you in going forward with confidence. Predictive metrics enabled by GA4 allow for enterprise-level data-driven decision-making.
How does this appear? Predictive analytics may have a big effect on remarketing efforts for most firms. Some measures of AI are:
- Estimating Future Profits
- Possibility of a Purchase
- Turnover rate
The statistics above may be used to target certain audiences depending on their likely actions. Customers who are likely to spend more than $500 in a single transaction or customers who are likely to purchase within the next seven days are two examples.
After identifying these people, you may start advertising them on Google or social media.
The use of this data collection may boost a website’s functionality. Different audiences have distinct habits and demands, so that you may tailor your funnels accordingly. More information will lead to better recommendations.
Introducing the All-New Google Analytics 4 Dashboard
The most obvious difference is the brand-new control panel. Several reports you’re accustomed to seeing have been removed or relocated, and the interface is simpler. On the right side of the screen, you will find links to the homepage, reporting, exploration, advertisements, configuration, and the library.
Predictive insights powered by Google’s AI may be found beneath the Insights tab at the bottom. In the next paragraph, I’ll thoroughly examine the characteristics and what they signify.
GA4 Provides Marketers Greater Control
The google analytics 4 dashboard may be tailored to display the specific data sets most relevant to your company. It also plays nicely with Google Data Studio, allowing for the development of personalized data visualizations.
Trigger events, which are a subset of events that happened on your website or app, may also be used to generate custom segments. You can now keep better tabs on how often customers connect with your business.
For instance, you may make segments based on all conversions at a certain address. These features allow you to examine your users and their actions more specifically.
In GA4, All Measurements Are Considered Events.
Pageviews were the primary statistic in Universal Analytics. All metrics are events in Google Analytics 4. You may now view specific information about how people engage with your app and website rather than just aggregate statistics.
To what extent does this affect you? Although session-level data is still available, the ability to drill down by interaction allows for richer reports and insights.
New metrics are available in Google Analytics 4 as well. Metrics of participation include things like:
- Rate of Engagement
- Time of Engagement
- Engagement Session
Attribution, demographics, events, and other factors are among the many additional characteristics monitored.
This is a major shift from existing universal analytics properties. Still, it will improve our ability to follow consumers as they go through the sales funnel. Formerly, Goole Analytics 4 considered page views the most crucial measure; now, we know otherwise. A learning curve may be associated with the additional settings, but you’ll have more information.
It allows Cross channel data measurement.
What happens when people utilize several services? The prior version of Google Analytics made it very difficult to see people across devices. The latest version of Google Analytics collects information from websites and mobile apps.
Customer acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention can all be monitored in one place with cross-platform monitoring. The whole user journey across all supported platforms may be monitored with Google Analytics 4.
The login process for an app or website generates these IDs.
Each time a user logs in to a Google-hosted site or app, their unique session ID is delivered along with the data. All user metrics, including the ID, will be provided to the Google Analytics 4 property. When users switch platforms but keep the same login information, the reports will resume where they left off.
As a marketer, using this data, you may get invaluable insight into your consumers’ experiences across platforms. The data may also be utilized to create more precise consumer models and extrapolate information for a larger population.
Advantages of Using GA4
GA4 was developed in response to the growing need for monitoring analytics across websites and inside mobile apps. Many changes exist between the newest version of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4, and the Universal Analytics GA3 attributes discussed before.
Google Analytics 4 is said to have been created with privacy in mind by Google, which will ensure compliance with GDPR and address problems that the previous version of Universal Analytics, GA3, could not resolve.
It Helps Businesses to Pay Attention to User Engagement
New, and sophisticated user metrics and dimensions that use artificial intelligence to forecast consumer behaviours are among the most impressive aspects of the newest version of Google Analytics, GA4.
New user categories, such as “Acquisition,” “Engagement,” “Monetisation,” and “Retention,” are made available to us by GA4. GA4 also offers a separate report called “Audiences,” where you may create user definitions to customize the platform further to meet your company’s requirements.
It Helps businesses to Pay Attention to the Customer Experience.
Google Analytics 4 emphasizes the user’s path and the events that occur at various points along that path. Since the new approach is data-driven, it only requires one set of metrics and dimensions to analyze data for both the website and the mobile application.
A new feature that GA4 has introduced is the capability to follow a person who views your website on their mobile device, returns to your website on their desktop, and installs, purchases, or registers using your app.
You Can Have Insights from Artificial Intelligence for Predictive Metrics
New predictive indicators have been added to Google Analytics GA4, which will assist you in gaining a deeper comprehension of your target demographic by enabling you to make data-driven choices on a more extensive scale.
You will then be able to target these audiences in a Google AdWords campaign or on social media by using these new metrics, which enable you to construct audiences based on expected behaviours and then use those audiences.
These new metrics enable you to enhance the performance of your website and your retargeting efforts by designing unique funnels tailored to the behaviours and requirements of various target groups.
Your Events and Goals are Simplified
The manual configuration of actions and events was a prerequisite for using Universal Analytics GA3. Still, Google Analytics 4 removes this barrier by providing users with a library of ready-made actions and events.
Clicks, scrolling behaviour, transactions, file downloads, and a user’s initial visit are all examples of these pre-made actions and occurrences. Form submissions and e-commerce objectives may not be automatically set up.
Still, the process has been streamlined. It now takes much less time to deploy than earlier Google Analytics versions.
How to Set Up GA4 in 5 Easy Steps
Only a few clicks are all it takes to set up GA4.
The analytics property you know and love will stay the same and keep on accumulating data. You may still go to your UA screen through the administration panel.
Here’s how to integrate a new GA4 data feed into your existing installation of Universal Analytics.
Configuration Procedures for the GA4
- Log in to your Google Analytics account using your user id.
- To access the Admin panel, use the gear icon on the far left menu.
- Verify that the account you want is the one that is chosen.
- Check to ensure that the required property has been chosen.
- To get started, choose GA4 Setup Assistance from the drop-down menu in the Property column. (you can do this from an existing google analytics account)
You can use NFlowTech’s GA4 Custom Conversion Tracking Setup service to help you set up custom conversion tracking in GA4. NFlowTech will work with you to understand your business goals and create a custom conversion tracking plan that meets your needs.
How GA4 Can Help You Make Data-Driven Decisions
The value of a data collection strategy is proportional to the value of the insights it provides.
In what ways, therefore, would adopting GA4 facilitate reporting?
Users are getting more difficult to track when they move between different platforms and devices since there is a greater emphasis on user privacy.
GA4 is a cutting-edge solution that uses improved machine learning methods to bridge the information gap—developing a unified user experience for all information associated with a certain person.
Finally, GA4 made it much easier for marketers to analyze data for significant patterns and outliers by streamlining the reporting interface.
GA4 employs overview reports in summary cards instead of a big list of preset reports that try to cover every use case. Just on the scorecard to get further information.
What’s New in Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics uses Identity Spaces to identify people across all their connected devices and platforms uniquely. By doing so, GA can compile data on a user’s interactions across all their devices and platforms.
Although Universal Analytics’ User ID property was an effort at cross-device reporting, it brought little value to data gathering since it could not be linked to other Analytics properties or used to eliminate duplicate data acquired through the User ID and regular UA properties.
To effectively associate users across devices, UA can only utilize one Identity Space: Device ID. Using three distinct Identity Spaces, GA4 can unify and deduplicate interactions across all devices and platforms, giving you a more comprehensive view of your customer’s journey and their engagement with your site.
GA4 Identity Spaces
Create your User IDs for logged-in users and import them into GA4 to improve your cross-device reporting. Users’ permanent identifiers must be included in the data supplied to GA4 for them to be able to utilize this functionality.
When a person is logged into their Google Account and allows this information to be gathered, GA4 may utilize data from Google Signals to identify and track that user’s session on your site.
The user’s browser cookies, and the app-instance ID generates the device ID.
As GA4 processes data, it leverages all available Identity Spaces to connect data across platforms, first with the User ID, then moving on to Google Signals, and eventually falling back on the Device ID if necessary.
This enables them to consolidate the user experience for all information associated with a given identity. Compared to Universal Analytics, where a single user may masquerade as a distinct user on each device, GA4’s cross-device reporting is far more robust.
To personalize ads for Search Campaigns in Google Ads, you may leverage information from GA4 users to generate audience lists, which can then be connected to Google Ads or Search Ads 360.
When creating audiences based on user actions and characteristics, you can only target the most recently used device associated with an individual User ID. By creating audiences based on certain events or event criteria, you may tailor your messaging to users based on their actions on your site and other personal information, such as their location.
An analytics platform is one of the most potent marketing tools. It’s useful for learning about the flow of visitors to a website and their subsequent actions after they arrive.
Smarter advertising choices are the result of improved analytics. GA4 is a much-needed advancement in analytics. It gives advertisers greater leeway and a way to foresee user behaviour without violating users’ privacy expectations.
After getting beyond the first learning curve, you’ll find that GA4’s expanded insights and adaptability are worth the effort.
Still, confused about using GA4 for tracking your website’s SEO analytics? Connect with NFlow experts and let our SEO experts handle it for you.