With the rise of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s essential to ensure that your team is trained and up-to-date on the new platform. In this article, we will explore the key features and benefits of GA4, discuss the transition process from Universal Analytics, and provide guidance to choose the best Google Analytics 4 Training Course.
1. Understanding the Transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4
The transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 represents a significant shift in how data is collected, analysed, and reported. While Universal Analytics has been the go-to web analytics platform for many years, GA4 offers a more advanced and user-centric approach to data analysis. GA4 evolved from the beta product called App + Web, which has been in development since 2019. This new version introduces a range of features and improvements that are designed to enhance the accuracy and depth of data insights.
2. Critical Differences Between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4
Before diving into the training process, it’s essential to understand the critical differences between Universal Analytics and GA4. While Universal Analytics collects data based on sessions and page views, GA4 takes an event-driven approach, capturing a more comprehensive range of user interactions. This shift allows for more detailed tracking and analysis of user behaviour, particularly for modern websites and mobile apps.
Another significant difference is the level of customisation and flexibility offered by GA4. While Universal Analytics has a predefined set of reports and metrics, GA4 offers a more customisable interface, allowing businesses to create bespoke reports and track specific events based on their unique requirements. This increased flexibility empowers businesses to extract more meaningful insights from their data and tailor their analysis to their specific goals.
3. Custom Insights: Empowering Your Data Analysis
One of the standout features of GA4 is Custom Insights, which replaces the previous custom alerts functionality. Custom Insights allows businesses to create conditions that trigger notifications when specific changes occur in their data. These insights can be tailored to individual websites and specific metrics, providing valuable real-time information about essential data changes. By setting up email alerts, businesses can stay informed and quickly respond to significant shifts in their website data.
Setting up custom insights in GA4 is straightforward. Businesses can create up to 50 custom insights per property, ensuring a comprehensive overview of their data. This feature empowers businesses to proactively monitor their data and identify trends or anomalies that require further investigation.
4. Linking Search Console to Google Analytics 4
Like Universal Analytics, businesses can link their Search Console to GA4, providing valuable insights into their organic search performance. To link Search Console to GA4, navigate to the Admin section of GA4 and select the Search Console link within the Product Linking session. From there, choose the website you want to link and its corresponding web stream.
Once Search Console is linked, businesses gain access to two new reports: Google Organic Search Queries and Google Organic Search Traffic. These reports offer valuable information about keywords, search queries, and the impact of organic search on website traffic. Linking the Search Console to GA4 provides a holistic view of organic search performance and helps businesses optimise their SEO strategies.
5. Custom Audiences: A New Approach to Segmentation
In Universal Analytics, businesses were accustomed to creating custom segments to analyse specific groups of users. In GA4, this functionality has been replaced by Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences allow businesses to set conditions based on dimensions, metrics, and event data to create targeted user segments. These segments can analyse user behaviour, track conversions, and personalise marketing efforts.
Creating a Custom Audience in GA4 is a straightforward process. Businesses define the conditions based on their specific requirements, and GA4 accumulates users who meet them. It’s important to note that it may take 24-48 hours for an audience to accumulate users. Once the Custom Audience is created, businesses can leverage it for targeted analysis and marketing campaigns.
6. Training and Support for Google Analytics 4
As the transition to GA4 becomes essential, it’s crucial to ensure that your team is adequately trained and supported. The founder of PCG Digital, Brian Pasch, has established the Automotive Standards Council for GA4, which offers training and guidelines for businesses navigating the new platform. Taking advantage of training opportunities, such as those provided by PCG, can help your team quickly adapt to GA4 and maximise its potential.
In addition to external training resources, it’s vital to foster a culture of continuous learning and development within your team. Encourage your team members to explore GA4’s features, attend webinars, and participate in online forums to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. By investing in training and support, businesses can ensure their team is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to leverage GA4 effectively.
7. E-commerce and Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics 4
E-commerce tracking and conversion measurement are crucial for businesses looking to optimise their online performance. While Universal Analytics offers Enhanced E-commerce, simplifying transaction and funnel tracking, GA4 requires a more customised implementation.
In GA4, businesses must work closely with web analytics implementation specialists to update website code and customise Google Tag Manager (GTM) to implement e-commerce tracking. Although the implementation process may require technical effort, GA4 offers improved conversion tracking capabilities, including creating funnels more easily.
Businesses need to have a robust measurement plan in place before implementing e-commerce tracking in GA4. By carefully considering their specific goals and requirements, businesses can ensure that their E-commerce tracking is accurate and aligns with their broader data analysis strategy.
8. Advanced analysis with BigQuery and Machine Learning
GA4 introduces new opportunities for advanced data analysis, thanks to its integration with BigQuery, Google’s data warehouse. With BigQuery, businesses can export their GA4 data and analyse it in a more efficient and faster manner. This integration eliminates data sampling issues and allows businesses to access their data more quickly.
While BigQuery is not a free product, its benefits are significant. Businesses gain better access to their data, native integrations with visualisation tools like Data Studio and Power BI, and the potential to leverage machine learning capabilities. BigQuery’s machine learning functionality allows businesses to create predictive audiences, gain AI-driven insights, and make more informed decisions based on data analysis.
Businesses don’t necessarily need to rely on BigQuery to benefit from machine learning capabilities. GA4 offers built-in machine learning features, such as predictive audiences and AI-driven insights. These features can enhance data analysis and help businesses uncover valuable insights.
9. Privacy Features in Google Analytics 4
With growing concerns about data privacy, GA4 incorporates privacy features to ensure compliance with regulations and protect user information. GA4 aims to balance respecting user privacy and providing valuable data for analysis.
One of the privacy-centric features of GA4 is the ability to combine data sources, including websites and mobile apps, into a single view. This consolidation allows businesses to analyse user journeys more comprehensively while respecting user privacy.
Additionally, GA4 enables businesses to integrate their CRM-generated User IDs, making them the default identifier. This helps businesses track user behaviour across different devices and browsers, providing a more holistic view of user interactions while maintaining privacy.
Google Signals, another privacy feature in GA4, allows businesses to recognise individual users and connect their movements across different platforms. This feature enhances attribution analysis and enables businesses to make more accurate marketing decisions.
10. Conclusion: Google Analytics 4 Training
GA4 offers a range of benefits, including improved data collection, advanced insights, and enhanced privacy features. By investing in training and support, businesses can harness the full potential of GA4 and make data-driven decisions to drive growth and success.
Preparing your team for the future of analytics requires a comprehensive understanding of the transition process, familiarity with the critical differences between Universal Analytics and GA4, and proficiency in utilising GA4’s features and capabilities. By embracing training opportunities, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and staying informed about the latest developments, your team can adapt and thrive in the evolving digital landscape.
Remember, the future of data analysis lies in GA4. Take the necessary steps to equip your team with the knowledge and skills to leverage GA4 effectively. Embrace the training opportunities available, stay informed, and empower your team to make data-driven decisions that will propel your business forward.