Google Analytics 4 Updates
Google Analytics 4, more often referred to as GA4, is Google’s newest analytics tool that will soon be replacing Google’s current platform, Universal Analytics. Continue reading to see what you need to know about the launch of GA4, its capabilities and connections.
Come July 1, 2023, GA4 will officially replace Universal Analytics. On July 1st, your current Google Analytics property will stop collecting new data, which means that setting up GA4 immediately is crucial to obtain historical data. If you did not initiate setting up your GA4 property, Google Setup Assistant is slowly creating these GA4 properties with accounts lacking them. By doing this, Google can ensure that all users will have basic access to their data with the switch. Customizations and configurations to the account will still need to be done manually.
Google estimates that after July 1st, users will still have access to previous data for at least six months at which point past reports can be exported or viewed. Once Google permanently shuts down Universal Analytics, that data will no longer be accessible, so be sure to compile any historical data sooner than later.
GA4 has a built-in reporting tool called Explorations. There are a variety of templates available to drag and drop your data into, as well as a free form chart to have full customizable control over what data is compared. For those who prefer a separate reporting platform, Google Data Studio, now referred to as Looker Studio, is another great option to create reports. It is important to remember to change the data source within Looker Studio to be connected to your new GA4 Property. Doing this will result in updated metrics that are available as GA4 prioritizes event-based actions over session-based actions. If you have an automotive digital marketing agency, make sure they are prepared to handle the changes that will come in the data provided.
Currently, Universal Analytics is focused on session-based activities, including metrics like Pages per Session and Average Session Duration. GA4 prioritizes event-based activities with data points such as Events per Session and Engagement Rate. Some standard events are included in the setup of GA4, and custom events can be created specifically for your business using tools like Google Tag Manager. Utilizing Google Tag Manager is an effective tool to keep all your website codes and additives in one central hub.
Next, GA4 has the capabilities to integrate your current website and apps all within one reporting dashboard. Rather than switching to different views, GA4 allows you to see all your traffic and conversions in one location. In addition to connecting your website and app to GA4, GA4 can also connect to multiple other Google integrations, like Google Ads. By connecting your Google Ads account to your analytics account, you can monitor spends, conversions, and more in one convenient location.
Lastly, we are moving into a cookie-less future that relies on first-party data. GA4 is optimized and ready to move and adapt to the next phase of our digital world.
We understand that this transition and updates to your current workflow can be overwhelming, but as an automotive digital marketing agency, D2D is equipped to handle GA4 maintenance and reporting for your dealership. In addition to this blog, we have a downloadable white paper with the 5 W’s of GA4 to answer your pressing questions. If you are ready to jumpstart your GA4 journey and change your website traffic for the better, contact us today!
After graduating from the University of Delaware with a major in Media Communications, Leigh began her career working in advertising. Two years of agency experience in account management and digital marketing as an intern and full-time employee, have given her the knowledge and experience to grow in this field. She enjoys creating campaigns that drive leads and traffic for clients, in addition to optimizing and strategizing for best results.