Better Insights, Better ROI: GA4 Revolutionizes Digital Analytics

By Josh Barrer | Published November 10, 2020 | Categories: Ecommerce , Digital Marketing , Google Analytics

GA4 is here, and it's going to change the way you market your business online.

What is GA4? It's the latest version of Google Analytics, the web analytics tracking service that some 84% of marketers rely on for business measurement and reporting.

Working on a laptop computer. Google has been hard at work developing this new platform for quite a while. The result is more than just an upgrade: GA4 is the biggest update to web analytics in quite a long time. It's certain to provide more reliable and actionable insights that will greatly increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

But what is it that makes GA4 so powerful and effective? Let's dig in.

What Sets GA4 Apart

As web data has matured and more of our lives have become digital, web analytics has gotten trickier. Since Google Analytics released its last reporting framework in 2013 (an eon in internet time), privacy concerns, complex user journeys, and a need to respond to trends quickly highlighted some key shortcomings in the platform.

For GA4, Google rebuilt tracking from the ground up to handle three core concerns:

  1. Cookieless Analytics & Privacy. As expectations for privacy grow and technology and laws shift in response, marketers need a reliable analytics solution that relies less on cookies without sacrificing actionable insights. GA4 is designed to work without cookies and leverages consumer signals and advanced modeling to fill in data gaps. This provides the data controls needed in today’s climate without sacrificing measurement.
  2. Cross-Platform & Scale. Customer journeys have gotten more complex: the days of simply doing a search on your desktop PC and making a purchase have passed. Instead, people interact with brands across multiple devices and channels. As such, piecing together insights to improve marketing has proven to be a challenge. GA4 improves on “Classic” GA by bringing together insights across platforms and devices and blending it with predictive analytics to deliver more fruitful insights.
  3. Return on Investment (ROI). Marketers are under more pressure than ever to make every dollar count. So Google included a simpler interface in GA4 with smarter insights and faster tools. They’ve also added more machine learning to help uncover new insights from the data. The result: analysis with GA4 is more effective, more efficient, and can deliver a larger ROI for the marketers using it.

What It Means for Your Business

Co-workers celebrating at a computerUsed properly, GA4 will allow you to ensure that your digital marketing efforts are impactful, engaging, and drive your customers to action. However, because GA4 is fundamentally different from the “Classic” GA, it requires a totally new and separate reporting property.

This means that the new GA4 reporting property will replace your current, historical property. But don’t panic! The switchover will be a phased approach and Google plans to keep supporting “Classic” GA for the foreseeable future.

What You Can Do to Utilize GA4

It’s clear that as privacy concerns become more of an issue, all digital marketers need to implement GA4 as soon as possible - especially to begin building up historical data since data from “Classic” GA won’t be transferred into GA4.

Getting GA4 up-and-running with dual base tracking in your account will allow the new system to begin tracking base metrics alongside Classic. This will allow historical data to start accumulating so that when the cutover to GA4 happens, it’s as seamless as possible.

Woman assists a co-worker at a computer. It may sound complicated, but you're not alone. Beacon can help. As Google Marketing Platform Partners, we understand that it is critical to maintain reporting continuity to support ongoing business decisions, and we're already assisting clients with the transition.

If you're looking for assistance in setting up and understanding GA4, or you're just getting started with digital marketing and want to discover the actionable insights that analytics can provide, then contact Beacon today. Our expert digital marketing team will partner with you to harness the power of GA4 and ensure that your marketing efforts are delivering real results.

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