• Lucy Bailey

What on Earth is Google Analytics 4? (And Why You Should Start Using It Right Now)



Being a marketer means one thing… no, not that we spend our office hours

day drinking like Don Draper, it’s that we’re total nerds about data.


Great marketing is all about getting information about products and services in front of the people who will be interested in them. But, like most things in this world, it isn’t as simple a task as it may sound.


In order to market successfully, we need to make educated guesses about which audiences will be interested in a product (for example, Mums are most likely to be interested in baby products), then test the hypothesis over and over, making slight adjustments until we get it right. To do this properly, we need a LOT of data at our disposal — and that’s where analytics platforms come in!


Analytics platforms help marketers understand how different types of audiences are responding to a product and measure the success of a marketing campaign. For the last decade, Universal Analytics has been the gold standard in marketing analytics, but Google has recently introduced a new platform called Google Analytics 4.


But what is Google Analytics 4, and why should you make the switch? Read on for our take on the ins and outs of the new analytics platform.


What is Google Analytics 4?


Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a new and improved version of Google’s current

digital analytics platform: which you might know as Universal Analytics. This new platform is rigged out with features designed to give marketers an unparalleled ability to capture and report on data, as well as an updated, user-friendly interface.


Why has Google Updated Their Analytics Platform?


After almost a decade of Universal Analytics, the behaviour of online

consumers has changed dramatically — and marketers therefore need new ways of understanding audiences. Rather than just using websites, it’s now possible for consumers to have in-app shopping experiences on their favourite social media platforms, as well as new laws (such as the GDPR) and improved consumer education resulting in increasingly stringent data privacy.


GA4 aims to address these issues by making it easier for marketers to gain legitimate insights into user behaviour within the modern media landscape.


What are the Key Benefits of Google Analytics 4?

GA4 is a platform designed to respond to the unique challenges of digital

marketing during the age of platformisation. Some of the best features include:


Cross Platform Tracking

In the modern era, we use a tonne of different platforms and different devices

to access the web. GA4 implements what’s called ‘cross platform tracking’ for users, which helps you trace unique users across devices and platforms — helping you to form a better understanding of users behaviour and interactions with your brand. This feature makes it much easier to track conversions that would otherwise have been missed. For example, GA4 would be able to track that a user has seen your ad on their web browser, then later made a purchase through a mobile app.


Analysis and Reporting

GA4 also opens up new opportunities for analysis and reporting, with a new

reporting section that allows users to perform their own advanced analyses.


Event Based Tracking

Instead of purely relying on page views as a metric of engagement, GA4 tracks

users’ interactions with a page (called ‘events’). This allows for a much more accurate idea of user behaviour and engagement with a site.


Purchase Probability

One of the most exciting new features of GA4 is what’s known as a ‘purchase

probability score’, which measures the likelihood of a user purchasing your product or service. On the other hand, ‘churn’ is a metric that tests the likelihood that a user will stop using a product.


Using machine learning to create these insights, GA4 actually gets more accurate with these estimates over time, meaning that the longer you use the platform the better insights you have access to.


Why should you make the switch to GA4 today?


Getting onto the GA4 platform and beginning to experiment now is the best

way you can ensure that you’ll be prepared for the retirement of Universal Analytics in July 2023. After that, you’ll no longer be able to use the Universal Analytics platform: meaning that you’ll suddenly find yourself without a digital analysis platform and be forced to jump straight into GA4 with no experience. Delaying your move to GA4 is simply ensuring that your team will be less confident on the platform, and will be a year behind competing businesses that made the switch early on.


On the other hand, getting onto GA4 early and getting to know the platform means that you’ll already be an expert by the time Universal Analytics is put to sleep. By moving to GA4 early, you will be able to draw on a wealth of historical data when the switch is finalised, putting you in a better position to analyse trends over a longer period of time.


What’s more, moving to GA4 doesn’t have to be an all or nothing process: the platform gives you the option to dual tag your website with both GA4 and Universal Analytics, meaning that you have the option to still use the platform you’re confident in whilst harvesting historical data and exploring GA4 simultaneously.


Keep Your Finger on the Pulse


For more marketing news and insights, follow Soup Agency on Linkedin.


Or, if you’re looking for a data-driven agency up to date with the latest innovations in digital marketing, then head to our website for a FREE digital audit of your website.