What is GA4 and Why Do I Need it?

01 September 2022
Harry Stannard
Harry Stannard

Introducing the next generation of Google Analytics: GA4.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that we’ve enjoyed since 2005. It allows us to see how visitors discover your website and what they do whilst they’re on there, helping us to make smarter decisions about SEO and marketing efforts going forward.

How does Google Analytics work?

Google Analytics collects data from each website visitor using page tags added throughout your website. Using this data, Google Analytics will create a report that is clear, concise and customisable for you to track data such as average session durations, referrals, page views, bounce rates and more.

This data can help you to identify visitor trends and better understand how the audience engages with your website. It is presented in a dashboard, which can be viewed on the Google Analytics website or app.

So, what is GA4?

Google recently launched GA4, which will eventually replace the former type of Universal Analytics (as of 1 July 2023). In response to the implementation of GDPR, Google introduced GA4 which allows privacy-first tracking, in an attempt to focus on customer privacy.

The main benefit we will all see with the implementation of GA4 is that the analytical tracking is built to address the need for accurate tracking on both websites and mobile applications.

What are the benefits of GA4 compared to Universal Analytics?

  • Improved user engagement analysis to report on how a user interacts with a website rather than simply how many pages they visit.
  • More insight into the user journey to track and piece together every stage of a user's journey.
  • Easier events and goals set up to get granular behavioural data with less effort.
  • Privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioural and conversion modelling.
  • Improved reporting options and visualisations in the analysis hub.
  • Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions on your company’s website or app.

GA4’s capabilities to understand the customer journey across website and app data allows for better insights about your audience, and what content and channels are preferred by your audience.

With the new event-based data, this allows for a focus on the user journey. The events triggered during the user's visit to your website are tracked to determine the best touch points on your website.

The privacy fix provides a peace of mind for visitors, knowing their data is safe. However, it still enables you to understand the behaviours of your audience.

We highly recommend that you get started on GA4 as soon as possible. This will allow you time to understand the dashboard and the capabilities available on the platform. Of course, the earlier you switch, the more data you collect on your GA4 property, when the Universal Analytics are no longer available, and the existing analytics are lost!

MWB Agency is an award-winning web design agency in Ware. We’re a results-focused agency that specialises in providing web design, branding, and digital marketing services that fulfil your needs. Contact us to create extraordinary websites!

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