Another day, yet another metamorphic update for marketers to get their heads around.

That’s right, Google (the king of said metamorphic updates) plans to sunset – that’s discontinue for those of us that don’t speak IT – its Universal Analytics platform in June 2023. So, if you haven’t already made the jump to GA4 yet, in June of this year – you’ll be forced to.

Guess it’s time to get with it then…

So, what can we expect from good ol’ Google’s latest analytics squeeze? A top-level look shows us a lot of new report types, some enhanced tracking features, plus predictive insights that look set to make this version of Google Analytics the most powerful EVER (until next time that is of course).

If you think you’ve heard this all before it might be worth listening to the wise words of SEO kingpin, Neil Patel, who recently described GA4 as being “a whole new generation of web analytics that will allow marketers to effectively analyse important customer usage metrics, not just track traffic.” Mkkkkkkayyy Google, first you had our curiosity now you have our attention.

So, what’s new with GA4?

Well, with GA4 you now can track entire customer paths across multiple platforms and leverage AI (our new best mate) to give even more detailed insights into how visitors use your website or app.

And there’s more…

Privacy-first tracking

G4A is now taking customer privacy very seriously. Say WHAT? Yes ma’am, you heard it here first. In light of the latest privacy laws (namely GDPR and CCPA) Google has gone all MI5 on us and locked sensitive information down. Without getting into the technical weeds that’ll have all our heads spinning, this latest update means that GA4 still remains the most advanced tool to provide insight into website visitors, even with new and advanced privacy-first tracking.

A brand-NEW dashboard

The most obvious change is a shiny new, streamlined dashboard. Most of the previous reports you’ll be used to seeing on Universal Analytics have now been removed or moved. Annoying AF if you’ve just got used to where everything is on the old one, but also super helpful as the new navigation bar now displays home, reports, explore, advertising, configure and library at the very top of the page, and all in one place.

Measurements = events

Who doesn’t love a P Diddy inspired rebrand? In order to stay down with the kids, G4A is now calling measurements, events. “But WHY!?” We hear you cry through furrowed brow. Well, in Universal Analytics, page views were the crème de la crème of metrics, the golden chalice of data points that everyone wanted to know more, more MORE about. But, page view reports didn’t easily show how this data interacted with other user metrics. As a result, GA4 has taken a lead from Facebook and now renamed all measurements as events. So, instead of receiving general data, reports will now be grouped by events (which is essentially a customer’s journey) so you’ll now be able to understand how users interact with not only your website, but your app too.

How does that help you? Well, you can still see high-level session reports, but you’ll also be able to breakdown individual interactions to create detailed reports and insights. Such as:

• Engaged Sessions
• Engagement Rate
• Engagement Time

Things have got very Predictive…

Now hold on to your seat because this is where Google gets all 4023 on us. At the bottom of your dashboard page, you’ll find a new button labelled predictive insights. These insights are based on Google’s AI and predictive metrics, meaning you can now make data-driven decisions on a much bigger scale – and all in real time.

You might be wondering how this helps marketing teams on the ground. Well, most businesses will use the AI powered predictive metrics in retargeting campaigns to measure:

• Purchase probability
• Churn probability
• Revenue prediction

By using these metrics, you can create audiences based on predictive behaviours. For example, you can now (let’s say) target users who are likely to purchase in the next 7 days or are likely to spend more than £200 in one purchase. Now that really is some pretty impressive stuff.

In our mind, a box-fresh dashboard, cross-platform and privacy first-tracking, cutting-edge metrics and revolutionary AI driven predictive insights is game-changing tech for marketers. So, we say, don’t wait until June this year – make the jump ASAP.

Getting to grips with Google Analytics (whichever version) can be a pain in the proverbial for even the most experienced marketers. But it is a necessary evil to leverage the true potential of your business online. If you’re looking for some help or advice on how to up your website game even further, drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.