Google Analytics 4: drive sales, understand customers better and future-proof your business

Remember the days when customers would simply turn up to a bricks and mortar store to buy what they wanted?  Now, the customer journey can be simplified to a simple click of a button or two –although it’s fair to say things have become a lot more complicated from a business-owner perspective.

For any online business, one of the most valuable assets is data. Google Analytics has long been recognised as the leader in helping retailers track and analyse this data, make informed marketing decisions and build a successful SEO strategy.

However, in today’s digital minefield, brands must fully-embrace the complex, multi-platform journeys of its customers, all the while ensuring their privacy remains a priority.

Two and a half years ago, Google Analytics 4 was launched to address many of these continually-evolving parts.

Next year, Universal Analytics – the previous generation of Analytics – will be phased out, meaning businesses must begin preparing for this major change.

Here, SQLI UK takes a look at some of the benefits of Google Analytics 4 and why brands should take steps to migrate, now.

Goodbye Universal Analytics

Universal Analytics was originally designed for data measurement based around cookies and the desktop web.

Although it was built with privacy in mind, with an evolving digital landscape, these methods were soon considered out of date.

Step forward Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics brings Analytics into the present, while helping businesses to future-proof their processes.

It operates across multiple platforms, doesn’t rely on cookies and is designed with privacy at its core.

Google Analytics 4 also give businesses more control over how they track conversions, returning visitors, and much more.

Here are some of the highlights:

Understand your customer across different touch points

Moving on from a single platform viewpoint, Google Analytics 4 gives businesses a complete view of the customer lifecycle thanks to a multi-platform, event-based measurement model.

One major fitness brand has used it across its website and app, helping its team better understand how users moved through the purchase funnel, reducing user drop-off by 9 per cent and increasing product page click-throughs by 5 per cent.

Improve ROI

Businesses can analyse marketing activities right across the customer journey, helping brands understand how it collectively influences conversions.

This data can be exported to Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform media tools to optimise campaigns.

Better privacy controls for customers and brands

Google Analytics 4 helps businesses meet evolving needs with better controls for data collection and usage. It also no longer stores IP addresses, helping brands meet evolving customer expectations.

Do more with your data

The latest version of Analytics helps businesses learn even more about user behaviour and conversions, creates new audiences of users and highlights critical insights to improve marketing, all through machine learning which generates predictive insights.

The important stuff

Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023 and Universal Analytics on October 1, 2023. After these dates, businesses will be able to access previously processed data for at least six months.

Businesses must make the move to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible to build the necessary historical data.

SQLI recommends partners prepare now for this full migration to give themselves time to understand the new features and interface and to give themselves at least a year’s worth of historical data – and ensure they aren’t caught out when Universal Analytics is phased out.

SQLI can advise and assist on many areas surrounding this integration, including:

  • Verification of existing tracking
  • Implementation of a GA4 tracking with tagging plan
  • Implementation of RGPD consent
  • GA4 training and answers to questions
  • Creation of customised GA4 dashboards