How can GA4 improve your digital marketing efforts?

31 January 2023

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Replacing Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 offers a variety of features that can help improve your digital marketing efforts. While Universal Analytics will continue collecting data until July, migrating to GA4 now will help your business enjoy greater insight into how customers find and use your website.

What is GA4?

Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is Google’s newest analytics property and a replacement for Universal Analytics. It is a tool for measuring traffic and engagement on websites and apps, providing data that can be used to shape your digital marketing strategies.

Universal Analytics will stop processing new data from 1st July 2023 and GA4 will become the default option for tracking how users engage with a website. Switching to GA4 before this date will allow you to begin building a new store of historical data to reference in future.

What is the difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics?

There are some key features of Google Analytics 4 which improve on Universal Analytics and will make it easier to effectively measure data.

Event-based tracking

While Universal Analytics tracks page views, sessions, and users, GA4 tracks events and event parameters. This allows greater customisation of what you want to measure, resulting in more in-depth data.

Website and app data combined

If your business has an app as well as a website, Google Analytics 4 allows you to collect data across both touchpoints, consolidating it into one report to give you a better insight into customer journeys.

Enhanced privacy

Improved privacy controls offer more precise control of whose data is collected and how it is used, while also ensuring you remain GDPR compliant.

Predictive reporting

GA4’s machine learning algorithms allow you to more accurately forecast revenue, conversion, and other metrics to inform your future strategy.

Integration with other Google products

Bigger and better integrations with products like Google Ads make it easier to use insights from Analytics to optimise digital marketing campaigns.

Why is Universal Analytics being replaced?

The changing online landscape has driven the development of Google Analytics 4. As Google explains, “Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.”[1]

GA4 gathers data across platforms, not just from desktop websites, and doesn’t rely on cookies for tracking. Its event-based data also provides a more personalised way to measure traffic and engagement.

Privacy is at the heart of GA4, with improved control over data collection and usage. Plus, IP addresses will no longer be stored by Google Analytics 4. These enhanced privacy controls are designed to meet the demands of today’s web users who expect greater protection of their privacy and more control over their data.

The benefits of GA4

Google Analytics 4 offers many benefits when it comes to planning and optimising a digital marketing campaign.

Insight into the full customer journey

By tracking data across both websites and apps, GA4 provides more comprehensive insight into the customer journey which can help you to make better-informed strategic decisions.

Track more with events

GA4 allows up to 300 events to be created and tracked. Events can be created within the platform, meaning you will no longer need help from a developer to set up custom events.

Data-driven attribution

Data-driven attribution makes it easier to identify the journey a customer takes before making a purchase or enquiry. Instead of conversion credit going to the last ad clicked, data-driven attribution allows you to see how a full digital marketing campaign has collectively influenced conversions.

Value for money

The in-depth insight provided by Google Analytics 4 will help you identify less profitable parts of your digital marketing strategy and recognise potential opportunities – helping your marketing spend go further.

Data protection

GA4’s privacy controls minimise the risk of breaching data protection laws and allow you to monitor and use data responsibly, while still providing the detail you need to shape your marketing efforts.

To migrate your website to Google Analytics 4 ahead of the Universal Analytics switch-off this summer, get in touch with Unity Online.


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