This will require website managers to take early action to move to GA4 or to find a viable alternative for data analysis. It is crucial not to underestimate the urgency of this situation, as delaying GA4 adoption could result in negative consequences for your company's online performance and the business decisions that flow from it.
Spoiler alert: after 10 years of Google Analytics Universal, Google is taking a radical turn in the new data model used for GA4. And it's not without consequences for the tracking of your media devices.
Google Analytics 4 remains a platform for tracking key web performance metrics, similar to Universal Analytics in the past. This platform offers a set of advanced features to help companies collect, analyze and leverage data in a more accurate and comprehensive way.
The main difference between these two platforms is their approach to tracking data. While Universal Analytics focused primarily on sessions and page views, GA4 relies on web events and application universe data to generate key performance indicators. This approach gives users a more detailed view of their online activity, and allows them to measure interactions with their audience more accurately.
Thanks to an advanced dashboard close to Business Intelligence, you can now trace the life cycle of your prospects and customers. Thus, from your Google account, you can analyze the traffic of your website or your application, study the sources of traffic, the conversion rate of your web pages and follow the behavior of visitors from end to end.
By providing accurate data about how users interact with your business online, you can make better decisions to improve your website's performance and optimize the overall user experience.
Google Analytics 4 also offers more detailed online customer journey reports, as well as more easily readable reports in an intuitive dashboard. You'll be faster and more efficient at improving the performance of your campaigns.
A FIRST RESPONSE TO THE EVOLUTION OF PRIVACY REGULATIONS
The new privacy regulations, like the RGPD, are pushing the adtech ecosystem to review the way they collect and share information. GA4 offers new collection methods and new settings:
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CERTAIN KEY METRICS (AND THE APPEARANCE OF NEW ANALYTICAL DATA)
Second change: the disappearance of some KPIs in Google Analytics 4.
This is related to the fact that GA4 uses a different accounting method from Universal Analytics: it switches from a session-based model to an event-based model. Thus, Google Analytics 4 analyzes the actions of the users on your website or application as independent events. In short, it is a method that is getting closer and closer to the one used by DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) or even Meta.
For example, in GA4, the bounce rate disappears, in favor of the engagement rate. This means that you will directly measure page views, clicks on a specific button, user actions, or conversions.
These changes require you to modify or even completely rethink your web marketing reporting practices and update your dashboards.
THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO OBTAIN MARKETING INSIGHTS
Third point: Google Analytics 4 also integrates a system of prediction of the behavior of Internet users, thanks to an Artificial Intelligence based on machine learning.
The idea? The platform generates recommendations, allowing you to optimize the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns throughout your customer journey.
You can also set up alerts to know when the analysis tool detects a new trend of interest for your strategy.
A CRM ONBOARDING FEATURE
Fourth major change: Google Analytics 4 integrates a new CRM Onboarding feature. This allows you to work on the 1st data, which is a first step towards a cookieless environment.
With this feature, website owners can integrate offline customer data (email addresses, phone numbers) into their existing customer relationship management (CRM) system. This integration provides a complete and unified view of customers, allowing for a better understanding of their online behavior.
In addition, website owners can use this data to enable personalized audiences directly from DV360 & Google Ads to target specific ad campaigns. This allows businesses to continue to leverage customer data in an efficient and privacy-friendly manner, even in a cookieless environment.
OPTIMAL INTEGRATION WITH GOOGLE ADVERTISING PLATFORMS
Finally, Google Analytics 4 integrates perfectly with Google's advertising tools. The goal? To help you better track the performance of your campaigns, and therefore, to increase their ROI significantly.
We note in particular the introduction of new functionalities in GA4: user properties, which define the gender, the city, the interests, the status of the customer (new, old, recurrent...). These properties will then be used in your Google digital advertising campaigns as audiences or audience segments, to target them, create lookalike audiences or exclude them, depending on the content of the ad.
"The transition to Google Analytics 4 is a real change in terms of web performance measurement. By moving from a session-based model to a user action-based model, you will be taking into account the entire customer journey of your target audiences on your platforms. However, this is also an ideal time to make an informed choice between migrating to Google Analytics 4 or switching to another tool. This decision should be guided by marketing strategy, the metrics you want to analyze and leverage, to GDPR and nLPD compliance, or the migration effort as well as the costs involved."
Marie-Sophie Chenevier, Head of Operations at Gamned!
Given these significant changes, what are the key dates to remember?
The first date is right now! It is recommended to activate Google Analytics 4 to measure and compare metrics and reporting systems between Universal and GA4. Please note: the migration can take up to 8 weeks depending on the data available, configurations to be customized, account history and desired functionality. You don't have a minute to lose.
Especially since after July 1, 2023, Google Analytics Universal will no longer collect a single piece of data. You'll still be able to view reports until December of this year, but the GA4 setup should be completed before July 2023. Good news: Google has already issued recommendations on the subject.
There are 11 points that Google puts forward for a basic switch on GA4:
We recommend that you go even further with the configuration and in particular to:
Do you need help on this subject?
Gamned has already successfully accompanied dozens of clients, and offers to guide you on the following points:
Or would you like to take the opportunity to implement another analytics solution? If so, Gamned offers you a 360° consulting package including:
Do not hesitate to contact us now to assist you in your Analytics migration project!
Tell us who you are, we will tell you which digital activations to adopt!