Google Analytics 4 arrived little over a month ago with one hell of a bang. The latest changes are some of the biggest to Google Analytics in years and come with some exciting new features.
The new property type includes smarter insights, deeper integration with Google Ads, cross-device measurement capabilities and more granular data controls.
Google Analytics is now able to alert to significant data trends, helping reduce time manually digging. This is made possible by utilising Google’s existing machine learning models.
As an example, Google Analytics can use website data to identify products rising in demand because of new customer needs. Allowing the user to capitalise on the opportunity at hand. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take.
Google themselves have stated the following:
“For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure.”
Deeper audiences integration with Google Ads
Deeper integration with Google Ads, allows the creation of audiences that can reach customers with more relevant, helpful experiences, wherever they choose to engage with a business.
Google Analytics will now also measure interactions across the web and apps, which means it can report on conversions such as YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web.
Overall users will have a much wider oversight of results with the ability to include conversions from YouTube, Google and non-Google paid channels, Google Search, social, and email, helping really understand the combined impact of all marketing efforts.
Google Analytics uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalisation, to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business.
For example, you can see if customers first discover your business from an ad on the web, then later install your app and make purchases there. You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention. This is critical when people’s needs are rapidly changing and you have to make real-time decisions in order to win – and keep – new customers.
Granular Data Controls
Google Analytics now offers much more granular data controls that can be used to manage how data is collected and retained. These controls can also be used to specify how data should be used for advertising. Users can choose when to use customer data to optimise ads, and when to limit data use to measurement only. The new Google Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers.
That’s great, but I don’t care… can’t I just stick to the old Google Analytics?
The new Google Analytics 4 property provides a more complete cross-channel view of the customers lifecycle and puts that information to use neatly with predictive marketing features, providing marketers with more information and efficient ways to act on those insights.
Google Analytics 4 will now be the default option when you set up a new property. The previous iteration, Universal Analytics, will continue to remain available, but Google recommends site owners set up both property types and run them in parallel. Most importantly all new feature development will be focused on GA4 – so go get stuck in!