Google Analytics has been part of the toolkit of most marketing departments for a long time. Because Google is the world’s best ranked search engine and the target of many SEO strategies, marketers have long relied on Google Analytics. Not just to tell them where the bulk of their traffic is coming from, but also to see if they are allocating their advertising money correctly.
With the latest update to Google Analytics, Google sought to help marketers improve their insights from data and increase their ROI. But what exactly are the new features available through GA4, and how will marketers begin to get the most from them? We spoke to marketers to see how they’d like to take the next level of Google Analytics.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is the latest upgrade to Google’s Universal Analytics property. It provides a way to improve understanding of web traffic and user behavior. Built on Google’s App + Web property, GA4 uses machine learning algorithms to deliver the deep insights businesses need today, even if the removal of third-party cookies and other changes impact the data businesses can access .
“The new version of GA4 is about better understanding customer journeys on all devices,” said Sanket Shah, CEO of InVideo based in San Francisco, California. While many marketers will be familiar with the capabilities of Google’s Universal Analytics, the data in this previous version pales in comparison to what is possible with GA4. “The biggest difference to the old version is that it uses AI to fill in the data gaps that the old version lacked due to issues with cookie consent,” Shah continued.
GA4 also provides new information, such as trends that indicate changes in customer demand. Such features allow brands to better predict churn, understand customer spending patterns, and activate other features that help improve ROI and decision-making.
There are some differences between GA4 and earlier versions that some marketers have been crying out for for a while. “With Google Analytics deeply integrated with Google Ads, users can now track conversions from YouTube ads,” said Christopher Moore, CMO of Mooresville, Quiet Light, NC. This enables marketers to better assess the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
With YouTube being the second most popular website in the world after Google, the ability to improve campaign effectiveness can make a huge difference in terms of ad spend and conversions.
Also, Google Analytics 4 tracks user interactions beyond the time spent on the website or the links clicked. “Analytics 4 also tracks when you scroll a page and lets you know which sections of your website are being read and which sections are being posted to,” added Moore.
Related article: How Analysis Hub in Google Analytics GA4 simplifies ad hoc analysis workflows
The most sought-after features for marketers
So far, we’ve found that GA4 has some notable new features that can help marketers dig deeper into website data and understand exactly how their customers are interacting on the page. However, our experts have weighed the standout features they looked forward to the most.
AI insights: Marketers use artificial intelligence to streamline their work and save time on everyday tasks. With GA4’s AI capabilities, it is much easier to get answers to specific questions. “You can ask simple questions and get reports on things like,” Which country viewed our home page the most at 4pm? “This helps our cold outreach campaigns and helps us save time,” explains Douglas Liantonio, SEO Specialist at Gravy in Cummins, GA.
Customer lifecycle: For marketers who want to make sure they are delivering the best content to them at the right time, knowing exactly where customers are in their buyer journey is important, and that is exactly what GA4 does. With lifecycle reports, it is possible to see where customers are in the funnel at a much more detailed level than behavior reports. “With those same users digging deeper into our blogs, we can create ‘cards’ that encourage email build-up so they are better looked after rather than booking them for a sales pitch,” added Liantonio.
Future promotions & customer churn: Predicting customer behavior is essential for planning future marketing campaigns, product releases, and more. It is also crucial in deciding which marketing activities to focus on. As Shah explains, Google Analytics 4 can “predict the future actions of a customer and with the help of this new function for calculating the probability of churn, we can invest efficiently in customer loyalty”.
With better insights, marketers can improve their decision-making process and react faster to customer interactions. Google Analytics 4 has a lot more to offer, but marketers already seem to be enjoying the potential.