Google Analytics moves to the next level with its version 4

from universal google analytics to google analytics 4

Google Analytics is one of the most widely used digital tools in the world, and any change to it can have a huge impact on millions of businesses!

Google has stated that all Universal Analytics users must migrate to Google Analytics 4 by July 2023, the official introduction of Google Analytics 4 following the beta version.

In this article, our experts will help you understand what’s new in Google Analytics 4, why it’s already time to migrate to Google Analytics 4, how to migrate to Google Analytics 4 and what impact this new version will have on your business.

Google Analytics 4 will no longer hold any secrets for you!

What’s new in Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 features a variety of innovations, including:

A new data model

Page views and session data will no longer be the basis of the Google Analytics 4 data model. A new user and event-based data model will be introduced with Google Analytics 4. Clear and easy-to-understand data will be available.

Increased privacy with Google Analytics 4

With Google Analytics 4, user data will be better protected, including:

  • Anonymization of IP addresses to separate the user’s identity from the data;
  • Maximum data retention of 14 months;
  • The progressive disappearance of cookies;
  • Implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The reorganization of reports according to the user’s life cycle

As mentioned earlier, Google Analytics is changing the way it handles data, and that includes the redesign of user-centric reports. These reports allow for the addition of user variables such as gender, city, interests, etc., and include accurate analysis of user activity from their first visit to conversion.

Businesses will have a better understanding of each stage of the customer journey with this new feature.
→ Are you interested in learning more about Web Analytics?

Engagement rate will replace bounce rate

The end of Universal Analytics is coming soon, and it’s time to say goodbye to a beloved and controversial piece of data: the bounce rate.  Don’t look for it anymore because it will no longer be available, or at least in a different form.

In fact, the new version of Google Analytics will display the website’s engagement rate instead of the bounce rate (which was a default setting). This is a strategy to turn controversial data into positive data.

Interactions are directly configured in Google Analytics 4 

To modify a tag in Universal Analytics, you must use GTM (Google Tag Manager).  With Google Analytics 4, you will be able to change these settings directly in the tool, which will save you a lot of time.

A simplified user interface with a modern design 

Because it has so many reports and features, Universal Analytics can sometimes be difficult to use, especially for new users. Google has therefore changed the interface with Google Analytics 4 to make it more flexible and user-friendly.

Why should you move to Google Analytics 4 now?

First of all, it is time to migrate to Google Analytics 4 for technical reasons. Indeed, the previous version, Google Analytics 3, was developed for a generation that browsed the web from a desktop computer, with individual sessions and more visible data thanks to cookies.

However, this measurement approach was progressively becoming obsolete. Indeed, the cost per acquisition (CPA) of digital media campaigns has been steadily increasing in recent months.

To ensure that you continue to collect reliable data in the year leading up to the end of Universal Analytics, you should install Google Analytics 4 as early as July 2022. This will ensure that you are tracking a full year’s worth of data before Universal Analytics is shut down for good.

You can then compare the two data sets to identify any differences and mitigate their influence on your organization.

It’s also a good idea to review your data collection and reporting requirements. After all, you need to make sure you can always collect and provide the correct information to the right audience!

Keep in mind that upgrading to Google Analytics 4 is now necessary because Universal Analytics standard and Universal Analytics 360 will stop processing new data on July 1, 2023, and Universal Analytics 360 on October 1, 2023.

Therefore, to build a strong data history before Universal Analytics stops working, be sure to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible.

We recommend upgrading to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible and taking advantage of the Facebook Conversion API to improve platform performance. This will help you be better prepared for the end of cookies.
→ Are you interested in developing a tracking plan for your company?

How do you migrate to Google Analytics 4?

You can set up a new Google Analytics 4 property with just a few clicks using the Google Analytics 4 setup process.

However, the preparation required for data collection varies depending on your current Universal Analytics setup:

  • If you are using Gtag, you can enable data collection using the tags you already have.
  • You can collect standardized data and perform automatic events.
  • If you are using analytics.js or Google Tag Manager (GTM) tags, you need to add a new Google Analytics 4 tag.

In addition, we recommend that you create a new data layer to integrate e-commerce tracking (add to cart, payment, transactions, etc.).

→ 7 mistakes you should never make in Google Analytics 4 Configuration

Our experts at Eminence, your digital marketing agency in Geneva, can help you make a smooth transition to Google Analytics 4.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need more details.