Your Easy Guide to Google GA4

Google Analytics is bigger and better than ever. With the GA4 update, one of the largest we’ve seen in a while, it’s time for everyone involved in online marketing to familiarise themselves with the new options and interface. While there’s no sign that they will be removing the legacy Google Analytics option (yet), GA4 is prioritised and newer updates will only be issued on the platform. Luckily, you have the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team to help you get to grips with this new offering.

What’s New in GA4?

The short answer is, ‘an awful lot’. The data collection logic, alongside the data structure, has been completely overhauled. While the older Analytics offerings are based on ‘sessions’, GA4 brings you ‘user’ and ‘event’ terminology. Luckily, this is good news for marketers! While the older model focused on results within specific time frames, the new idea of ‘events’ will bring you better cross-platform analysis, and a more flexible platform.

Should I Switch to Google Analytics 4 Now?

Honestly, if you’re in a position to make the switch, now is the time to do it. YOu can run the newer tech alongside Universal Analytics if you desire. But making the switch now, even as a ‘secondary’ data model, will allow you to improve the machine learning regarding your content and gather data in advance. And as we know, better data means better results.

Setting Up GA4

Luckily, it’s easy to configure GA4. Remember, the friendly old UA option is not disabled, and will still run alongside GA4 for now. Simply log in, select your desired account and property, and then click the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant’ option. From here, the wizard will walk you through getting started. While it only works automatically with a gtag.js file, you can manually add the Analytics tag if you’re using a platform like WordPress or Wix.

Once you’ve created the new property, you will have the enhanced measurement option automatically activated.

How Does GA4 Help With Reporting?

Changes to government legislation and even platform-based privacy worries (as with Apple’s enhanced privacy settings) mean that tracking users has become more difficult, especially as they migrate devices and platforms. The enhanced machine learning techniques of GA4 looks to offset this ‘missing’ data gap, correlating each user’s journey based on their online identity. With a simplified reporting interface, data will be easier to interpret, too, with overview reports and summary cards both open to you. When you first log in, you’ll see that the home page summarises overall conversions, traffic, and revenue for that property. This means you can see the following at a glance:

  • New users and their source
  • Best-performing campaigns
  • Individual screens or pages getting the best views

GA4 added the ‘real time report’, showing events in the last half an hour. ‘View User Snapshot’ will let you see the activity, location, and engagement from a single user. ‘Lifecycle reporting’ mirrors your conversion funnel, letting you know their behaviour at each step. There’s also reporting for technology, demographics, events, and even conversions.

The new ‘Analysis Hub’ brings several new technologies and a template gallery to the table, too, with several data-analysis techniques open to you based on Google’s prediction models.

A great analytics tool is an essential part of any digital marketing you do, and the powerful new tools and machine learning models built into GA4 are surprisingly user friendly. With more flexibility to use the data you’ve gathered, and better predictions for user behaviour, you will be more empowered than ever to make the right decisions for your business. If you’re looking for an agency partner to help fire up your conversions further, the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team can help you achieve your online advertising goals effortlessly, so get in touch today.