From Generative AI to Performance Max, Google never stops chatting about updates. Its algorithms keep changing which if ignored can harm online businesses.
One such update, though not new is about Google Analaytics.
After giving a notice to finally bid adieu to its once favorite tool Universal Google Analytics, it is practically forcing marketers to shift to GA4.
While forcefully, sounds exaggerated, the company has every right to do so, because it’s in your favour.
In this blog, you’ll find plenty of reasons why UA’s sunset is a good thing and it’s time you must start embracing the future with GA4. So, keep reading to stay ahead of the curve.
What is Universal Google Analytics?
Before delving into GA4, it’s important to have a quick recap of the most reliable workhorse of analytics for many years– Universal Google Analytics.
It was launched in 2012, after giving much thoughts into providing a high-standard web analytics tool that gives accurate insights.
Prior to UA, Google has launched several other similar tools, such as Urchin and Classic GA.
However, the popularity of UA was unmatched.
It began as a beta version for large scale enterprises and soon took over the market, as the most reliable analytics tool to understand user behavior.
Simply put, it did everything from tracking user interactions on websites and measuring traffic sources, to help you set up data-driven conversion goals.
Further, its integration with other tools like Google Ads, made it an indispensable part of digital marketing.
1. Evolution Since Launch to Sunset
Undoubtedly, UA has been a standalone solution to gather data and optimize our digital marketing strategies.
It offered valuable insights about user interactions and demographics. So much so, that understanding when a prospective customer is going to click on CTA didn’t remain impossible.
If you or your client owned an e-commerce store, you are already familiar with this. It opened endless opportunities for you to expand your businesses and clientele.
Still, technology has to keep moving forward.
In the wake of changing behavior patterns and compliance orders, you need advanced tools, which align your goals with the changing scenarios.
And, that brings us to GA4.
2. What’s Next– GA4?
After years of gap, Google launched an upgraded version of UA i.e. Google Analytics 4.
It brings exciting features to the table allowing you the convenience to analyse user behavior on different mediums with one tool.
Definitely a must have next-generation tool for marketers.
GA4 is the Game-changer in Web Analytics
To understand what’s new in this tool, consider this example:
Suppose you had a website and a mobile application (like ZARA, for instance).
For analyzing who is a prospective customer and more likely to click on the ‘add to cart’ option and when, you needed two platforms (GA and Firebase).
That means, learning about purchasing habits of a specific user required juggling different tools. Wasn’t that a headache?
Well, GA4 simplifies it. It makes reporting on web and app instances so much easier, you’ve all the information about user interactions in unified form on one tool.
No more opening, scrolling, closing, and again opening Firebase or GA to get data insights.
It’s not even the best part because GA4 is a full-package.
1. Allows Seamless User Tracking
If there has to be any word which best describes this amazing traffic analysis tool is flexibility.
Unlike UA, which only catered to page views, GA4 follows a unique approach, so you get a holistic view of every step of your customer’s journey.
Whether users scroll your products on the app, or visit your website, you’ll get a comprehensive view of their reports.
Additionally, this cross platform tracking makes no distinction between events and seamlessly collect all the engagement data.
For example, page view, event, or transaction, it ensures every event is counted, so you get a detailed picture and plan your strategies ahead.
2. Provides AI-insights
Google Analytics 4 uses a powerful blend of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide actionable insights into user behavior.
Let’s say, you or your client owns an e-commerce store for customized gifts. Throughout the years sales see meager amount of highs or lows, except during the holiday season.
Even during this period, users are most likely to purchase on weekends, which is another metric to consider.
Now, GA4 collects a lot of data. Leveraging it can make any business profitable.
However, the key here is to analyse this plethora of information to extract valuable inputs and predict future output.
But doing this manually is challenging.
This is where GA4’s algorithm comes into play. Its ability to analyse traffic, detect definite patterns, and predict trends surpasses human mind.
It even highlights peak user engagement times, without missing a single event, so you drive more conversions.
For instance, in the above example, with GA4’s insights and prediction, you can target those customers with personalized ads on those specific days.
Using this hyper-targeted approach maximizes your ROI, saves you time, and efforts.
3. Simplifies Cross-domain tracking
As mentioned earlier, this analytics tool is based on cross-functional tracking mechanism, so you can effortlessly track user behavior on multiple domains.
Whether it is a mobile application and a website, or several websites, collecting data will be as easy as ordering your favourite food on a sunday night.
Imagine owning an e-commerse business in multiple locations with different websites. Too much data but no clarity about which insights are more valuable.
GA4 eliminates this. So, if you use many sites to track user enegagemnt, be quick to transition to the ultimate analytics tool of now.
4. Prioritizes User Privacy
Privacy has become a major issue recently. Users are skeptical about filling out forms and giving too many details to online businesses.
Here, google’s tool allows you to responsibly collect data without jeopardising your users’ privacy and stay compliant with the regulations.
This feature was unavailable in UA. So, embracing this shift to an upgraded version is the right move for you.
5. Future-proofs Your Business
Marketing sector has evolved significantly. There were times when pamphlets promoted products, today you have display ads.
In such scenario, staying relevant with changing demands of the industry is the first step to maximize ROI.
GA4 helps you do just that. With its AI-driven insights you can capture the market at right time without staying behind.
And, Google says this tool will keep evolving so marleters can have a sigh of relief, worry less about trends, and focus more on business expansion.
Whenever a new feature or update rolls out, your analytics solution will keep evolving.
How to Prepare for GA4?
After Universal Google Analytics’ sunset, it’s suggested to switch to the comprehensive, all-in-one tool GA4.
But making shifts can be a little confusing at first.
Fret not, the following points will make your transition as comfortable as enjoying your sales graph go up after the integration:
- Take a few minutes or hours to familiarise yourself with GA4’s interface, capabilities, and terminology.
- Create a GA4 property and avoid risk of losing data, because UA will soon not be tracking any user event.
- Make a migration plan, so you don’t miss any valuable information during the transition.
- Update tracking codes and start exploring GA4 reports to know about its capabilities.
- For more information, look for google resources as they will give you accurate guidance.
All in all, UA is getting phased out soon which means marketers must transfer their data to GA4 as quickly as possible.
Change is the constant here, so you must adapt to future-oriented tools which delivers more in less.
This tool is everything which businesses need today to analyse user behavior and decode its pattern.
Like you stay updated with SEO updates, give yourself time to explore GA4 and leverage its potential to gain more traffic with targeted and personalised marketing.