How does Google Analytics 4 benefit my advertising?
As the marketing industry shifts toward cookieless advertising, analytics providers have to develop new ways of tracking user habits online and provide predictive information for digital marketers. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is Google’s answer to this changing landscape. This new generation of analytics is a combination of Google Analytics 3 (GA3)/Universal Analytics (UA).
Google Analytics is an essential platform for insights about target consumers, their behavior, and other key metrics across websites and apps. As marketers transition to GA4, clients have asked: Why is Google making this switch? How will this impact their advertising? What benefits are there to using GA4?
Why is Google switching to GA4?
Privacy concerns are one of the primary reasons Google is shifting to GA4. Online privacy is a hot topic for consumers and it’s understandable – with data leaks and personal information tracked across the web, people are demanding more privacy as they browse online.
Third-party cookies are not tracked on GA4. These cookies track users across multiple domains and are used for remarketing. Instead, Google’s focus is shifting to first-party cookies. These cookies are often used for remembering passwords, basic data about the visitor, and other preferences.
To learn more about cookies, read our article here.
Technology updates are another reason we are seeing this change. Google consistently updates its products and GA4 is no exception. GA4 offers new features like robust tracking for web and app experiences and improved automated learning.
Differences between GA3 and GA4
Eliminating third-party cookie tracking
As mentioned above, GA4 is eliminating third-party cookie tracking. This is in line with Google’s commitment to more user privacy protection. GA4 does not store IP addresses to track users and analyze their online behaviors. Instead, first-party cookies are used to track the website that the user is visiting.
New measurement metrics
Some measurement metrics are updated on GA4. GA3 based measurement on sessions and pageviews. A session is a combination of page views, events, transactions, etc. by one user within a given timeframe. You can think of a session as a box for all the actions a user takes while on your site.
GA4 benefits for clients
There are a few major benefits clients gain from using Google Analytics 4.
Cross-device and cross-platform tracking
Google Analytics 4 collects insights from all platforms, apps, and devices across the web. This gives businesses a full view of user activity across any tracked app/site, from their first interaction to the end of their journey. As multi-touch attribution and enhanced user tracking become more important, this will be a huge benefit for brands.
In the first quarter of 2023, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58.33 percent of global website traffic. As mobile traffic surpasses desktop, it’s no surprise that GA4 is tailored to mobile-focused users.
Smoother integration with Google Ads
GA4 offers marketers a smoother, easier integration with Google ads, allowing you to tweak your targeting methods and campaigns across each channel. This makes it easier to fine-tune the customer experience.
Do I have to upgrade to GA4?
In short – yes. There is no opting out of GA4. Google will discontinue Universal Analytics in July 2023 and any data in that system will disappear.
Google Analytics 4 comes with a range of powerful benefits for businesses and brands. Whether you’re looking for data to improve your marketing efforts or want better insights into how users interact with your website, Google Analytics 4 is the tool for the job.