For decades, Google has given website owners and digital marketers all the tools they need to track website and campaign performance through its Google Analytics platform.
But, as with all things digital, things evolve and Google is no exception – their latest iteration of Analytics called GA 4, offers a raft of new integrated features to provide even more data to help digital teams optimise websites, Apps and marketing performance more effectively.
Due for complete roll-out by July next year, GA4 will replace the Universal Analytics platform and offer a seminal change to the way that data is collected: where the Universal Analytics platform based its data collation on sessions, GA4 uses event-based interactions to gather and disseminate data.
Another major change is that whereas in the past, App analytics needed to be tracked using Google Analytics for Firebase or Google Analytics APP view – separate from web-based Google Analytics – GA4 combines mobile App and website data for a unified data reporting dashboard.
What does GA4 include? This is what Google tells us:
- Collects both website and app data to better understand the customer journey
- Uses event-based data instead of session-based
- Includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, as well as behavioural and conversion modelling
- Predictive capabilities offer guidance without complex models
- Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions on your website or app
Why is GA4 important to have on my website?
There are many good reasons to include GA4 on your website and digital properties. From a technical perspective, the data you gather and analyse can show you very specifically which parts of your website are not performing well, those that are performing well and suggestions for improvement across the platform.
This, in turn, helps keep your website ‘healthy’ which means it’s far more likely to rank highly in Search – the first step to a conversion.
And at the heart of having an efficient website and digital ecosystem is understanding exactly who your audience is as a broad data set, with specific drill-down data into aspects of their personas including:
- Demography – age, gender, location
- Interests – by large or more granular segment, for example, ‘cars’ (large) and ‘vintage cars’ (granular)
- Purchase behaviour and intent – what items is your audience looking at often, and how often does that convert into a sale or enquiry?
- Themes and trends identification – these can be around a specific brand, for example, ‘BMW’ or a broader theme such as ‘Christmas decorations’
Why is this important?
Having as much data as you can about your audience helps:
- Optimise your website, digital properties and marketing campaigns to ensure they resonate as effectively as possible with your target audience
- Tailor your content and messaging to suit your audience’s preferences
- Increase ROI on paid marketing campaigns, as well as re-market to interested audience segments that may not yet have committed to a purchase
Ultimately, GA4 is the next in the long evolution of Google’s tools that help you be competitive online, and give your target audiences the best possible experience whether they’re simply browsing for more information, making an enquiry or converting to a sale.
Find out more about website and digital platform optimisation, our approach to building high-performing websites and more.