Replacing Universal Analytics with GA4 for every business
How to migrate to GA4 with ease and leverage it’s potential
Google Analytics 4 replaced Google Analytics in July this year. Slowly but surely, all businesses need to become more familiar with Google’s newest Analytics platform. If you want to learn how GA4 can be integrated into your marketing strategies, providing actionable insights for optimising campaigns and reducing your costs, this article is for you. It helps to understand why it is important to adopt GA4 in your business and gives practical examples on how you can leverage the potential of the new analytics platform.
Reasons why you should get used to Google Analytics 4
Before we jump into how you can use GA4 in marketing strategies, we want to highlight some of the main reasons why you should get used to GA4 (even if you feel reluctant):
- Cross-platform tracking: GA4 can track users across multiple devices and platforms, giving you a complete view of their journey.
- Event-based data modeling: GA4 uses an event-based data model, which allows you to track any user interaction as an event. This gives you more flexibility in how you collect and analyze data than universal analytics’ session-based measurement.
- Flexible reporting: with exploration reports and the option to easily modify standardized reports, you can make reports insightful and respond to your specific business questions.
- Predictive analytics: GA4 offers a number of predictive analytics features, such as churn prediction and lifetime value prediction. This information can be used to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
Once you become familiar with the platform and all its main concepts, you can use GA4 to support your marketing strategies. Learn more about the most important concepts that are essential to learn about, such as custom dimensions, metrics, conversions, and the new ‘main events’ here.
GA4 professional certification
Many GA4 certified professionals have already become accustomed to the new platform, and so can you. Do you want to know how to get a Google Data Analytics professional certificate? There are many online sources available that can help you to obtain a google analytics 4 certification.
Some of them also give you access to a free google analytics demo account. Read more here.
How to use GA4 in your business
Now the question remains: How can I apply the strategies in my own business?
There are many ways. We highlight the main three practices here, all with three real-world examples.
- Website optimization
GA4 can be used to track website traffic and generate insights that can enable business growth.
- Example: Marketers can use GA4 to see which pages are most popular with visitors and which pages have high engagement (= the opposite of bounce rate). This information can be used to improve your website content and layout. You can, for example, analyze drop-off rates in your ecommerce funnel or analyze which of your blog articles lead to the most conversions.
- Another example: Use GA4 to analyze the click rate of elements such as buttons, menus, and forms. A marketer can consider changing the placement of a button if it’s not clicked on very often.
- A third example: You can analyze the time spent on pages to identify areas where users may be losing interest or encountering friction. Use this information to improve the overall user experience and encourage longer engagement with your website.
2. Campaign performance measurement
GA4 can be used to track the performance of your marketing campaigns across all channels. This includes campaigns run on Google Ads, Meta, and other platforms. GA4 can also be used to track the performance of offline marketing campaigns, such as email marketing campaigns and direct mail campaigns.
- Example: An e-commerce company could use GA4 to track the performance of their marketing campaigns across all channels, including Google Ads, Facebook, and email marketing. For example, they could increase their budget for campaigns that are driving a lot of sales and decrease their budget for campaigns that are not performing as well.
- Another example for a SaaS company: You can use GA4 to track the customer journey across multiple channels, such as the website, social media, and email. For example, you could send a follow-up email to a customer who visited your website and downloaded a white paper.
- Another real-world example: A physical store marketer could use GA4 to track the impact of marketing campaigns on their bottom line. For example, you could track the number of customers who come into their store after seeing a TV commercial or clicking on an online ad.
3. Customer segmentation
GA4 can be used to segment your customers based on their demographics, interests, and behavior. This information can then be used to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. Three examples for three different business types:
- A clothing retailer could use GA4 to segment their customers based on their demographics, interests, and behavior. For example, think of segmenting customers by age, gender, location, and purchase history. You could then send different email campaigns to customers who are interested in different products or styles. In order to understand how to segment customers, it is important to understand the concepts of custom dimensions and metrics. Read more about it in our article here.
- A software company could use GA4 to identify their most valuable customers. For example, you could segment your customers by the amount of money they spend or the number of products they use. Creating different buckets for low, medium, and high-value customers could help you to create loyalty programs or offer special discounts to your most valuable customers.
- A travel website could use GA4 to identify customers who are at risk of churning. For example, segment your customers by the number of days since they last visited the website or the number of trips they have booked in the past year. This could help to target the customers with retention campaigns. For example, think about sending a discount code to a customer who hasn’t booked a trip in a while.
Google Analytics 4 tracking
To make this all possible, you will need to implement your Google Analytics tracking ID on your website. This can be done through Google Tag Manager, direct integrations with your CMS (e.g., Shopify Google Analytics), or by implementing custom code. For this, you can either choose to go for a client-side (the standard) implementation or server-side tracking. We tell you all about the differences between the two in a dedicated article.
You can read it here.
If you find this information overwhelming, consider signing up for a GA4 UP subscription. With this subscription, we audit your setup, implement new feature releases, and update you on new privacy releases (stay updated with GDPR / CCPA) for a small monthly fee. This subscription allows you to focus on your priorities while the experts handle the rest. Learn more about how we can support you here.