Introducing the Next Generation of Google Analytics…Google Analytics 4

By: Hileman Group  | 09/30/2022

Introducing the Next Generation of Google Analytics…Google Analytics 4

With the growing demand for better privacy, security, and data management and the increase in international data privacy restrictions, comes the need for a tool built with privacy concerns in mind. Cue Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

GA4 offers marketers the ability to better measure traffic and engagement across websites and apps to better understand the customer journey all while protecting user privacy.

“Analytics 4 is an amazing tool when it comes to tying behaviors together across mobile, desktop, and app experiences for a more complete analysis across platforms,” said Derek Tucker, Measurement Lead at Google during the 2021 Invoca Summit.

“When you can segment and categorize calls with conversation intelligence and bring that to Google Analytics 4, you’ll be able to uncover the high-value online actions that lead to the sales calls you really want to drive. GA4 makes that easy with tools like Predictive Audiences that it builds automatically to identify users that are more likely to generate the outcomes you’re interested in.”

What's New with G4

Mobile App Activity Tracking

Consumers are turning to mobile apps at ever-increasing rates. In 2021 alone, over 3.8 trillion hours were spent using mobile apps. Let’s say that again. Three. Point. Eight. TRILLION. Hours. That’s huge!

GA4 can track app activity and help create a more comprehensive view of the consumer journey and understanding of marketing data and insights. Attribution accuracy will result in more accurate customer segments with less wasted time, resources, and overall spend.

Data-Driven Attribution

Using your Analytics data, GA4 assigns attribution credit to more than just the last click—helping you understand how your marketing influences conversions. This data-driven model incorporates factors such as time from conversion, device type, number of ad interactions, the order of ad exposure, and the type of creative assets. attributes conversion credit to these touchpoints based on this likelihood.

Enhanced Privacy

To provide a better, more secure experience for users, GA4 no longer logs IP addresses and minimizes the use of cookies and metadata. (Yep, you read that right.)

To make up for the kind of impact this could have on marketers, GA4 applies the ability to approximate location data by registering the market/country where the user is browsing.

Predictive Audience Modeling

GA4 will now suggest predictive audiences that you can create in the Audience Builder. Predictive audiences automatically determine which customer actions on your app or site might lead to a purchase—helping you find more people who are likely to convert at scale.

Events Instead of Sessions

While Universal Analytics was focused on reporting sessions (i.e., focused on blocks of time users were on a website) GA4 focuses on events. The data in Google Analytics 4 reports comes from events that users trigger as they interact with your websites and apps. These include page views, scrolls, site search, outbound clicks, and engagement (video and downloads).

When and How to Make The Switch

Google announced that on July 1, 2023, all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional three months of new hit processing that’s scheduled to end on October 1, 2023.

It’s important to build any and all necessary historical data before Universal Analytics stops processing new hits. So, if you’re wondering the best time to make the switch, the old adage “there’s no time like the present” definitely applies.

GA4 is a completely different animal than Universal Analytics…which means you can’t simply upgrade to GA4. However, you can set up a GA4 property and link it to an existing Universal Analytics.

But that’s where we come in. Give Hileman Group a call and we’ll help make sure you’re comfortable with the change and understand how to work all the bells and whistles so you’re best positioned to succeed.

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