Why should you be switching to Analytics 4?
Several months ago, Google Analytics announced the release of its new version, Google Analytics 4. While the evolution of the tool has been slow and steady, today it is imperative for your business to switch to the faster speed. François, our Business Analyst, is on hand to explain why!
Do you use Google Analytics? If so, you no doubt currently work with the Analytics Universal version. Google recently made an official announcement to the effect that this version’s days are numbered: from July 2023 onwards, it will no longer be active.
So, what’s next? Moving your account over to Analytics 4 should be at the top of your to-do list! Whilst it will still be possible to access and process all of the data gathered up until July 2023, no new attempts to save data will appear on the Universal version any longer. You therefore have a year to start your transition.
The benefits of the new version, Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 allows for better tracking of users: the programme follows the user from one device to the next, whether they’re moving from their phone to their desktop, or from their phone to their tablet. This is something that Google Analytics Universal didn’t monitor at all. So this really is something novel in terms of the way your data is analysed.
As regards the metrics themselves, Google has improved its tracking technologies. The programme recognises when the same user is using multiple devices, machine learning is in place to fill in any gaps that are left in the measurements… The data is significantly more precise and the error rate is substantially lower. That’s the reason why, at present, when you install both versions, some of the figures are not the same. The metrics on the Analytics 4 version are the most accurate ones.
“This inter-platform functionality is very interesting, it allows for a better view by unique visitor: what the user has done, what he has brought you, how much he cost… So a better appreciation of how viable the website is.”
François, Business Analyst @ La niche
First. The biggest difference is that one fundamental metric has disappeared: the bounce rate. The bounce rate no longer exists and has been replaced by the notion of engagement and the engagement rate. While in the past, with Analytics Universal, the bounce rate on a One Pager was extremely high and didn’t allow us to do the tracking correctly because there was only one page that was read by Google, today, with Analytics 4, we really can pick out the users who have engaged with the page. Given the quality of content that is demanded by Google, in terms of both SEO and SEA, it was obvious that the new version of Analytics was going to promote user engagement, and that this would become an important metric.
2. With Analytics 4, Google has completely changed the way it collects metrics. In the Analytics Universal version, you can see the number of pages viewed or indeed the time spent on a page. In the Analytics 4 version, there is uniformity in the metrics, which are all considered to be events and are no longer seen as independent metrics.
This enables events to be managed in a far more autonomous way, without the need for Google Tag Manager or even a developer. Within the interface itself, you can now define new events, like tracking the sending of a form, for instance. You also have the benefit of default tracking of files downloaded, videos viewed, and outgoing links that are clicked on. All this had to be configured manually in the Universal version. For all these reasons, Analytics 4 is a much more complete tool.
3. The interface and its design have of course changed. When it comes to reading the results, it is more user-friendly, the results are more accessible; the whole thing has generally been simplified. In terms of data handling and consultation for the lay user, it’s nicer to use and more comprehensible.
4. The Analytics 4 version also allows for customization and the easy creation of reports. You have the ability to directly incorporate new views, something that almost makes the platform resemble Google Data Studio (an online tool for converting data into informative, customizable reports and dashboards). The management of customized events is relatively straightforward and enables you to create tailor-made events which then become conversions.
5. Do you analyse the results of your digital campaigns on Google Analytics? The monitoring of your campaigns is optimized, too. The inter-platform tracking allows you to know whether a user saw your ad on Facebook via their mobile, then went back to your website on their computer. This revolution in Google tracking makes the monitoring of your marketing campaigns more meaningful and gives you a better overall sense of the costs per visit and per conversion.
Areas that still need improving
The integration of Google Analytics 4 into third-party Google products, like Google Data Studio, is not yet complete and fully up-to-date. But the evolution is happening quickly! It is therefore only a matter of time.
François’ tips ❤️
Google is currently offering you the chance to create a Google Analytics 4 account for your property in the old version, but at the moment none of this is mandatory. Our advice? Take the initiative and get the update today – don’t wait any longer! You’ll then have time to get used to this new version before Google forces it on you.
Would you like some support with your Google Analytics adventure? Come and chat over a ☕️ with Xavier, our Head of Client Success, and we’ll take care of everything!