Whether you run a global conglomerate or a modest mom-and-pop, we hope that you’re taking advantage of Google Analytics to better understand your customers and ensure that they have positive experiences on your website. Not only are its data-driven insights completely free, but also they’re tidily assembled in one convenient tool. Plus, last month Google announced that Google Analytics is getting an update. The new-and-improved Google Analytics 4 builds on the App + Web property introduced last year. With a core of machine learning, Google Analytics 4 is more intelligent than its predecessor and will automatically alert users of significant trends in their digital analytics. It also aims to give users a more comprehensive understanding of their customers so that they can make productive changes to their digital marketing strategy and boost their return on investment (ROI).
Currently anyone can install the new version of Google Analytics to explore the new features, gather data, and reap the benefits – so what are you waiting for?
MEET GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4
ADVANCED MACHINE LEARNING TECHNOLOGY
Google Analytics 4 employs highly advanced machine learning models, which means the technology is able to learn and improve itself through experience, not explicit programming. Although Google Analytics has used machine learning for a while now, this new iteration uses its AI-powered insights to alert users of data trends and predict business outcomes. Google hopes this information will provide inspiration and guidance, helping businesses plan their next move.
AUTOMATIC ALERTS FOR SIGNIFICANT TRENDS
Through machine learning, Google Analytics 4 is designed to automatically alert users to significant trends in their data. For example, if one of your products is experiencing a surge in demand, you’ll be notified. By presenting a wealth of data and notifying users of shifts in trends, Google aims to help users make smarter, more data-driven decisions.
NEW PREDICTIONS AND PREDICTIVE METRICS
The machine learning technology will also help you anticipate what your customers will do next. For example, by calculating churn probability (i.e., the likelihood that a subscription account will not be renewed), it can help you be proactive and take steps to retain drifting customers.
In addition, Google will continue to add new predictive metrics to this latest iteration of Google Analytics. By analyzing customer behavior and recognizing patterns, this technology may help you snag high-value customers.
FILLING GAPS IN DATA
In addition, Google Analytics 4 will use its machine learning technology to fill in gaps created by incomplete data in the future. As third-party cookies are phased out, the use of modeling will help flesh out gaps in the data.
DEEPER INTEGRATION WITH GOOGLE ADS
Last year, Google introduced the beta version of its App + Web property, which unified digital marketing data from apps and websites to improve reporting and analysis. Google Analytics 4 goes even further. Google is integrating it into its existing line of marketing products, including Google Ads, so that it’s easier to use the tools and insights provided by each product. Within your reports, you can see conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels as well as organic channels (like Google Search, social media, and email) and even YouTube, which will give you a “big picture” view of your online marketing strategy.
Universal Analytics, the previous generation of Google Analytics, was organized by device or platform. Google Analytics 4 provides customer-centric measurements. The reporting structure is organized according to the customer lifecycle – acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention – to help you better understand your customers and how they interact with your business. For example, you can follow a customer’s journey from discovering your business in an ad to installing your app to making a purchase. The reports are highly detailed, providing information regarding even the smallest customer actions (such as whether a customer sticks around after converting). Plus, the simple, organized reports make it easy to find new customer insights relating to whichever part of the customer lifecycle interests you. You can also explore your customers’ demographics and which technologies they use to access your content.
Furthermore, you can use customized user IDs to monitor and target customers across devices without using complex code – without using code at all, in fact. This is a big jump from Universal Analytics, which still requires high-latency processing for this sort of tracking.
HOW TO CREATE A GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4 PROPERTY
A property is a resource (such as a website, app, blog, etc.) that is associated with a unique tracking ID within Google Analytics. All new properties will use Google Analytics 4 by default. All existing accounts can also create a Google Analytics 4 property, which can be used alongside existing properties. This will allow you to start gathering data and to access the latest innovations in Google Analytics while keeping your current properties intact.
If you don’t currently have Google Analytics set up on your website or app, you’ll need to create an account, property, and data stream. Then, tag your website. Once you have an existing Universal Analytics property, create a new Google Analytics 4 property to start collecting data with the new technology. Your original property will not be altered. If you’re a property admin, you can use the steps outlined here: Upgrade to a Google Analytics 4 Property. If you aren’t, talk to the property admin about upgrading.
IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4 REPLACING UNIVERSAL ANALYTICS?
If you’re a little confused right now, we completely understand. We’ve introduced the latest iteration of Google Analytics, and yet we’ve also noted that your original Universal Analytics property won’t be altered when you create your new property. So, is Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics?
Not yet. This is why it’s important that you keep your current Universal Analytics account. Google Analytics 4 isn’t fully developed and won’t be for a few months – and even when it is, you won’t completely transition to the new experience right away. In the meantime, because Google Analytics 4 measures data in a completely different way, we encourage you to try it out, get used to it, and configure it to your needs. That way, when it is time to completely switch over to Google Analytics 4, you’ll be ready.
Google Analytics 4 was designed with the future in mind. It provides a flexible approach to measurement that can adapt to an internet with or without cookies or identifiers. It aims to help users respond to regulatory changes, evolving technology standards regarding user privacy, and rising customer expectations. Plus, it will use modeling to fill in gaps created by incomplete data. Even if you’re skeptical, you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
Are you ready to get started? Invest in smarter digital analytics now so that you’re ready for whatever comes next.
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