A couple of years ago Google introduced a new version of Google Analytics that was formerly known as App + Web. It is now being introduced to the market as Google Analytics 4.
GA4 has several advantages over the Universal Analytics, the previous generation of Google Analytics. We go through some of these below:
- Customer-centric measurement rather than measuring in a fragmented way by platforms, sessions and devices. This means brands have a better understanding of user journeys and all their touchpoints when they interact with their website.
- Instead of seeing two sets of data for website and app, which made it difficult to draw a direction for the business without spending a lot of time analysing separate data, in GA4 the app and website data are already combined so you get a unified view.
- Customers across the world are expecting brands to be transparent in how they use their data. Google have built GA4 to have country-level privacy control so brands can better manage how they collect, retain and use Analytics data. Also, more granular controls for ads personalisation let brands choose when to use their data to optimise ads and when to limit data use to measurement. Moreover, brands can manage and minimise the collection of user-level data such as cookies while still keeping key measurement functionality.
- Machine learning in GA4 allows for both predictive and trend insights on customer journeys and behaviour. It helps to anticipate future actions customers may take. For example, looking into churn probability, brands can plan better and invest in retaining customers.
- We always knew YouTube was effective and had a positive impact on the purchase funnel, however the conversion data from this channel wasn’t available. Google now make it possible to see the conversion generated from YouTube video ad views alongside other media and marketing channels.
We have just over a year before the Universal Analytics sunsets and stops collecting data. So, the advice is to create GA4 as soon as you can, so you start building historical data to work with sooner.