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Understanding GA4

Google Analytics is any business’s fundamental tool for monitoring website performance. It provides insight from many different avenues, from top-level insight to detailed specific page elements, revealing demographic information about the visitors to your website and how they are behaving.

Google Analytics 4 (or GA4) is a completely new version of Google Analytics that uses Firebase Analytics on the backend. This event-based data modeling will facilitate far more sophisticated and seamless data reporting that will help counter the data limitations being imposed by the ever-growing cookie-less environment we are operating in.

Key developments:

  • Reduced Reliance on Cookies

With the phasing out of third-party cookies, the general prediction is that data will be sparse in the future. Therefore GA4 will be relying on Google’s own vast knowledge graph (device IDs, user IDs and Google signals) and machine learning to fill in any data gaps.

  • More Robust Reporting

Reports are now organised to give a complete view of how customers are engaging with your businesses across devices and channels. This will dramatically heighten campaign attribution and understanding of the wider customer journey. There are some great new metrics that supersede well-known metrics and dimensions such as Bounce Rate & Medium that better reflect how engaged a user is when browsing on an app or site.

  • Improved Audience Integration With Google Ads

You can now maintain audience lists in greater depth – if a user qualifies for a Google Ads audience list following an action they have taking whilst browsing a site or app they can automatically be removed from that remarketing list once they have reached a set goal set for that respective campaign, reducing unnecessary ad spend!

  • Deeper audience integration with Google Ads
  • Customer lifestyle framed reporting
  • Event-based measuring model
  • Easy compliance with data regulations
  • Analytics fit for a cookie-less future

GA4 is a complete rebuild of the Google Analytics you are familiar with. Many default reports have been removed and replaced, popular dimensions and metrics such as Bounce Rate and Medium no longer exist and the process for making your GA4 account bespoke and appropriate for your business is very different too.

We recommend creating a new GA4 property to run alongside your UA property in the interim of getting fully proficient.