According to Google, 92% of leading marketers believe using first-party data to continuously build an understanding of what people want is critical to growth. Data is a powerful tool that can provide marketers with valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and trends. Internal business data can help make better marketing decisions, build stronger connections with customers and potential customers, identify the most effective channels for promotion and personalise the entire customer experience.

By leveraging their internal data, marketers can create targeted and effective marketing strategies that deliver better results through greater customer loyalty, increased acquisition of new customers, increased customer satisfaction, and a higher overall ROI from marketing.

Companies who adopt data-driven marketing tactics are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year compared to those who don’t. – Forbes

How Google Analytics powers data-driven marketing

Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics service that provides valuable insights into website traffic and user behaviour. By using Google Analytics, businesses can track a range of key online metrics that can be used to optimise their website’s content, design, and functionality to improve the user experience, increase engagement, and ultimately drive more conversions. Many businesses choose Google Analytics to collect their data as it is free to use for businesses of all sizes, which makes it an accessible and cost-effective solution for tracking website performance.

Google announced last year that it is sunsetting Universal Analytics in June 2023, replacing it with the new and improved Google Analytics 4. This means marketers and business owners across the globe will have to make the switch to the new data collection platform in the coming months. The following are some of the key things you need to know to make the switch to the new platform.

What is Google Analytics 4?

The latest version of Google Analytics, known as Google Analytics 4 (GA4), represents a new era of web analytics. It offers advanced features that enable marketers to gain deeper insights into customer behaviour.

With GA4, marketers can track customer interactions across various platforms using AI and machine learning to analyse important usage metrics. By utilising cross-channel data measurement and AI-driven predictive analytics, GA4 provides unparalleled insights to help businesses better understand and engage their customers. The tool also prioritises customer privacy to align with recent privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA.

The main differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics

The main difference between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics is its ability to track user activity across both websites and applications. GA4 also has several other notable differences, such as:

There is a new dashboard in GA4 

Google Analytics 4 has a new dashboard that features a streamlined design. In the new dashboard, some familiar reports have been removed or relocated. The right-hand navigation bar provides a more organised layout with buttons for home, reports, explore, advertising, configure, and library. Additionally, the bottom section offers predictive insights powered by Google’s AI.

All measurements are counted as events in GA4

With Google Analytics 4, all measurements are counted as events, as opposed to Universal Analytics, where page views were the most important metric. Rather than viewing generic data, businesses can now get a comprehensive understanding of how users engage with their website and app through more profound insights and more detailed reports. This enhanced capability means businesses can glean more in-depth insights from their data.

GA4 has an array of new metrics including engagement metrics, such as engaged sessions, engagement rate and engagement time. GA4 also tracks a number of other dimensions, including attribution, demographics and events. This is a significant change that makes it easier to track customers throughout all of their interactions with the business.

The key benefits of GA4

Google Analytics 4 offers a range of new and advanced features that can provide businesses with valuable insights into user behaviour and website performance. Some of the key benefits of using GA4 include advanced tracking capabilities, enhanced privacy features, and improved predictive analytics that can help businesses make more informed, data-driven decisions.

GA4 provides predictive insights

Analysing past behaviours is undoubtedly helpful in understanding your audience, however, it falls short in enabling proactive decision-making. GA4 provides advanced predictive metrics that help marketers and business owners make data-driven decisions on a larger scale.

Predictive analytics can improve the performance of retargeting campaigns through the use of AI metrics such as purchase probability, churn probability, and revenue prediction to create audiences based on predicted behaviours. For example, predictive analytics can be used to identify the users that are most likely to purchase within the next 30 days, or those who are likely to make significant purchases exceeding $5000.

Applying these metrics, marketers can target specific audiences using Google Ads campaigns or even social media. These metrics can also enhance overall website performance through enabling the creation of custom funnels for different audiences based on their specific behaviours and needs. As more data is collected by GA4, predictive suggestions will improve at scale.

Marketers are more in control with GA4

With GA4, marketers can customise the dashboard to focus on the reports that are most relevant to their campaigns and business objectives. GA4 can seamlessly integrate with Google Data Studio, which allows marketers to design custom visualisations of the key data.

In addition, custom segments can be created based on trigger events, which are essentially a subset of events that took place on the website or application. This enables the more precise tracking of customer interactions online.

GA4 provides cross-platform tracking functionality

Tracking users across multiple platforms was not possible with Universal Analytics. However, with the new Google Analytics 4, web and app data can be tracked in a single property. Cross-platform tracking provides insights into the entire customer journey, from acquisition to engagement, conversion, and retention, thanks to unique user IDs that are assigned during app or website login. This provides valuable information for marketers to understand the cross-platform experience of their users. The data can also be leveraged to derive insights for a specific demographic and applied to build more accurate customer models.

Implementing GA4 for your business

Universal Analytics properties will stop collecting data as of July 1 2023. As such, upgrading to Google Analytics 4 is essential. However, implementing GA4 can be a complex process, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the platform.

If you’re unsure about how to implement GA4 or need help with the migration process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the B2B Marketing experts at The Lead Agency. By partnering with us, you can ensure a seamless transition to GA4, take advantage of the powerful features of the platform, and ultimately, drive business growth.

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