The next gen of Google Analytics is here – so what is it?
Google, the powerhouse in online search, is making a major upgrade to its analytics platform in 2023. Dubbed Google Analytics 4 (or simply GA4), these new features and tools aim to help website owners stay in compliance with new regulations, learn more about their website visitors, and gain a competitive edge in their industries.
If you checked your email any time in 2022, you already know that Google is sunsetting its Universal Analytics in favor of Google Analytics 4. But in case this is news to you, we’re sharing more on the upcoming Google Analytics 4 plan, why it matters, and what you can do to prepare now to avoid missing out on crucial website data.
What Is GA4?
GA4 is the name of the new Google Analytics platform that will replace the current Universal Analytics. This new platform isn’t just an upgrade to the existing set of analytics—the system has been completely redesigned to give users a better experience and improve core KPIs and concepts.
The new analytics platform promises several improvements, including:
- More insights into users’ experiences across devices and channels
- Integrations with media buying platforms, including Google Ads and Display & Video 360
- Predictions of customer behavior
- Access to insights derived from AI technologies, including machine learning
Overall, Google Analytics 4 will provide more insight into the customer journey, allowing you to create better experiences, improve your marketing, and meet your customers wherever they are.
Why Do Website Traffic Analytics Matter?
To understand the impact of the GA4 migration, you first need to recognize the value of monitoring and analyzing your website traffic. Website analytics like GA4 help website owners understand how users interact with the website. Knowing more about the customer journey allows you to make informed decisions on how to design your website to achieve the intended results.
Let’s dive deeper.
Understand Customer Behavior
Learning more about your customers’ preferences and interests gives you a clearer path to connect with them in meaningful ways. Website analytics gives you some of these insights via behavioral data. You can learn which channels they’re using to find your website, how long they stay on your website, and the content they view. This gives you opportunities to keep the conversation going with retargeting campaigns based on what people have previously shown interest in.
Identify Opportunities for Improving the Website Experience
Usability plays a significant role in earning return visits from your customers. Bottom line: if you serve up a poor website experience, customers are likely to lose interest, get frustrated, and never come back.
Your website analytics can shed light on where you’re losing customers. For example, if you notice a lot of customers leaving on a specific page or stage of your sales funnel, you can look at those areas more closely to figure out how to improve them.
Fill Knowledge Gaps
Website owners need to learn why users come to their websites and what they expect to find. Website analytics can provide more insight into these motivations, allowing you to create content that meets these expectations.
You can also optimize your underperforming and top-performing content based on KPIs like dwell time, exit rate, and bounce rate. These metrics can give you an idea of whether other people find your content valuable.
Flag Issues on the Website
From broken links to zero conversions, Google Analytics can be configured to alert you about potential website issues. This helps you spot problems early so you can take immediate action. For example, you can check how many 404-page sessions your users experience and how they arrive on those pages. This allows you to take a more systematic approach to website improvements so you can best use your resources.
Measure the Effects of Marketing Campaigns
Google Analytics can help you track your marketing campaigns so you can see what’s driving results. This tells you your efforts are paying off and which channels are doing the best. Use this intel to optimize your ad spend on the channels generating ROI and cut back on the ones that aren’t helping.
You can also configure your analytics to track conversions and assign a dollar value to each. Creating this single source of truth for your digital marketing can help you see at a glance how much your campaigns are contributing to the bottom line.
Ready to get more detailed with the transition? Contact me to ask questions and get moving on it.