Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
The digital marketing landscape is continuously evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses to thrive. Google’s launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) marks a new era of analytical capabilities that can provide more granular insights into your website or app’s performance. However, this has brought new changes to businesses whether that’s migrating from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4 (which can seem daunting for businesses with years of data accumulation and conversion tracking configurations) or creating new reports to accommodate the new metrics within the Google Analytics platform.
Understand how best to drive your business forward with Brightside Digitals Full GA4 Tracking and Looker reporting
The Need for GA4 Upgrade
Improved Data Modelling
The decision to upgrade to GA4 is often driven by several factors, each of which can significantly impact your data collection and analysis.
GA4 utilises a new data model that provides more flexibility in data collection and analysis. This model facilitates more detailed event tracking, focuses on user engagement, and offers better tracking of cross-device and cross-platform behavior.
Our GA4 and Looker Reporting Process
We start with Tag Manager. We’ve hardcoded tracking code before but now we exclusively start with Tag Manager. This allows us to work quickly and effiencitly with all clients without necessarily needing site access post setup. As well as site speed benefits Tag Manager allows us to apply agreed on advanced tracking like events, web forms, and on click actions.
GA4 Event Tracking
GA4 introduces features such as event-based tracking, cross-domain tracking, and automatic event tracking, making it easier to collect and analyze data. These features can provide a comprehensive picture of how users interact with your site or app. As the analytics landscape evolves, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest technologies and best practices. By upgrading to GA4, you’ll be in a better position to leverage new features and capabilities as they become available.
Defining Events and Parameters
GA4’s new event-based tracking system requires defining events and parameters in your tracking code. Understanding how events and parameters work in GA4 is key to structuring your events to meet your reporting needs effectively. At Brightside we work with you to identify the above this will be from a future reporting point of view also.
LEAD GEN / CONVERSION MONITORING
With everything in place making sure all other elements are working as expected too. We’ll join up your Google Business page and Google Ads account giving your reporting journey a full 360 from a Google point of view. *addition tracking and CRM migration work will come at additional cost.
Our Looker reporting(firmly Google Data studios) this comes with this package creating a bespoke dashboard for your business showcasing the main GA4 KPIs. For a better idea of what reports are avaiable with this package please get in touch for a demo today
Advanced Looker Reporting Available
Whilst this page is primarily a focus on reporting for Google Services. We also build looker reports pulling in Facebook Page and Facebook Ad accounts, Linkedin Page and Ads, Instagram Ads and Page, X (formerly Twitter) Ads and account, TikTok, Adroll, Bing Ads and many more.
How much does the above cost?
Advanced GA4 SetupGoogle Reporting Only
Additional GA4 SetupFurther T&R or GA4 Training
Summary of GA4 Setup
This is strictly what is included for the Google Reporting Only Advanced Setup
Google Reporting OnlyIdeal for SME's
Creation of GA4 Property
Migration of Google Universal Tracking if necessary
Creation of Tag Manager and Installation
Installing relevant Event and Conversion tags
Sync Google Ads, Search Console and Google Business Accounts
Create Looker Reporting
Looker Reports Show Console, Ads, Business and Analytics Data
Bespoke Looker Reports
Tracking and reporting on Social Platforms or other accounts i.e. Meta, Hubspot, TikTok, LinkedIn, Adroll to name a few
Yes, upgrading to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) would be beneficial for several reasons. GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, released in October 2020, and it comes with a host of advanced features that can significantly enhance your analysis and marketing strategies.
One of the primary reasons to upgrade to GA4 is its comprehensive and holistic approach to analytics. GA4 has been designed to provide a more customer-centric model of reporting, reflecting shifts in user behavior and allowing businesses to track both website and app analytics together. This unified view can give you a better understanding of your customers’ journeys and lifecycles, which can help you tailor your marketing strategies more effectively.
In addition, GA4 uses advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to deliver predictive analytics and identify patterns in metrics. These features can offer profound insights into user behavior, enabling you to spot trends, analyze user behavior based on their place in the buying funnel, and make data-driven decisions.
Moreover, GA4 supports cookie-free tracking and evolving privacy standards, offering more granular privacy controls to meet customer expectations. This improved support for privacy standards makes GA4 better future-proofed for the evolving digital landscape.
Another advantage of GA4 is its improved integration with Google Ads and the ability to connect other Google accounts for more insights. This enhanced integration can help streamline your marketing efforts across different platforms.
Finally, GA4 provides automatic alerts based on trends in data, which can help you stay on top of any significant changes or anomalies in your data.
In conclusion, upgrading to GA4 offers advanced tracking capabilities, machine learning insights, a more flexible data model, and a comprehensive approach to analytics. Therefore, making the transition to GA4 would be a strategic move to leverage these advanced features for improving your marketing strategies.
Google Signals in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a feature that allows marketers and website owners to better understand their users’ cross-device behavior. This involves tracking and understanding how users interact with a website across multiple devices – for instance, moving from a mobile to a desktop. This cross-device insight is crucial for businesses to understand the customer journey and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
Google Signals leverages Google’s data from users who have turned on Ads Personalization. It empowers GA4 with enhanced advertising features like Remarketing, Advertising Reporting Features, and more. These features enable businesses to reach their audiences more accurately and derive more insightful data from their campaigns.
When Google Signals is activated, it enhances the information you receive in your GA4 reports by providing insights into users’ journeys across different devices. It also provides demographics and interest reports, allowing you to understand the characteristics of your users.
Overall, Google Signals is a powerful tool in GA4 that provides more granular insights about user behavior across devices, helping businesses create more targeted and effective marketing strategies.
Cross-Network in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a new default channel grouping that was not available in its predecessor, Universal Analytics. Essentially, this channel groups together specific Google Ads for effective monitoring and analysis.
Channel grouping is a significant feature introduced in GA4, designed to monitor and analyze the different channels that drive traffic to your website. Using the source/medium dimension in reports, you can observe user behavior and metrics at a more detailed level. It’s important to note that GA4 does not allow you to create your own channel grouping definitions as you could in Universal Analytics. Instead, you need to follow Google’s prescribed definitions when setting up campaign URL parameters.
The Cross-Network channel in GA4 notably includes Performance Max and Smart Shopping. These are advanced advertising solutions from Google that use machine learning to optimize your ad performance across Google’s networks.
Unassigned channels can be identified using the ‘Exploration’ feature in GA4, where you can adjust their parameters based on Google’s documentation. Besides Cross-Network, GA4 provides default channel grouping definitions for various other channels like Direct, Paid Search, Organic Search, Email, Affiliates, and more.
In summary, Cross-Network in GA4 is a valuable tool for aggregating specific Google Ads data. It’s part of the new channel grouping feature that allows for more granular data analysis on traffic sources, improving your ability to optimize and target your marketing efforts effectively.
A GA4 (Google Analytics 4) tag, also known as a Google tag (gtag.js), is a single code segment (or tag) that you can add to your website to use a variety of Google products and services. It’s a component of Google’s free tag management solution, Google Tag Manager (GTM).
The GA4 tag can inherit parameters from a settings variable, such as measurement IDs, user ID, and many more. This inheritance means that GA4 Event tags can take on the parameters of the Google tag, allowing for a more integrated and streamlined data collection process.
Setting up GA4 using GTM involves creating an account, installing a container on your website, and adding tags to collect and send data. GTM acts as a middleman between your website and third-party vendors, simplifying the process of managing multiple tags. It’s important to properly set permissions within GTM for secure and efficient account management.
Overall, GA4 tags are a crucial element in leveraging Google Analytics for data analysis and reporting, helping marketers understand user behaviors, improve their websites, and make data-driven decisions.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest, fourth major release of Google’s free website tracking software. It is set to become the default version of Google Analytics starting July 1st, 2023, replacing the current version known as Universal Analytics.
One of the key reasons behind the development of GA4 was a focus on customer privacy and compliance with privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA. It is designed with a privacy-first approach and differs from its predecessor in a few significant ways.
Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 allows tracking on both websites and applications, offering a more comprehensive view of user interactions. This feature gives marketers an edge in understanding user behavior across different platforms, which was not possible with the previous versions.
Moreover, GA4 offers an array of advanced features like AI-driven predictive analytics that can provide future trends based on past data and cross-channel data measurement which allows businesses to understand how different marketing channels are performing. It also provides insights into user journey and engagement, reorganized reporting on customer life cycle, and simplified goals and events. These features make GA4 a more powerful tool for businesses seeking to understand their audience’s online behavior.
Additionally, GA4 also includes a debug mode accessible from the reporting interface, making troubleshooting easier for users.
However, it’s important to note that Universal Analytics will stop processing new data on July 1, 2023. Historical data will still be accessible on Universal Analytics for six months following that date, but it’s recommended to export historical reports during this period to avoid any loss of data.
The transition to GA4 is recommended before July 2022 to ensure continuity in reporting. As the date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available has not yet been announced, it is advisable for businesses to start adapting to GA4 sooner rather than later.
Migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) involves several steps and considerations. Since GA4 has replaced Universal Analytics, the process of migration becomes crucial as the standard Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data starting July 1, 2023.
The migration process includes a step-by-step guide that takes into account the account structure, the creation of a GA4 property and data stream, and the collection of website and app data. Furthermore, it involves turning on Google signals, setting up conversions, adding users, and linking to Google Ads.
You can start by creating a new conversion by going to Admin and then Conversions. Make sure you enter the name exactly how you have it in GTM – this way GA4 will be able to identify it correctly.
As part of advanced setup options, your migration should also consider custom events, ecommerce measurement, data import, linking to BigQuery, using User-ID for cross-platform reporting, and using the measurement protocol. The migration process extends to migrating audiences, validating conversions, importing conversions into Google Ads for bidding, and adding Analytics audiences to campaigns or ad groups for remarketing purposes.
It’s important to note that while you can migrate your Universal Analytics properties to GA4, you cannot migrate your old Universal Analytics data to GA4. They are two different systems operating under different logics. This means that historical data from your Universal Analytics account will not be carried over to GA4.
After completing the migration process, it’s recommended to view your reports or try the Explore playbook to learn more about using Google Analytics 4 and familiarize yourself with its features.
Remember that like any migration process, moving to GA4 may seem daunting at first but with careful planning and execution, it can be a smooth transition. Always make sure to test everything after migration to ensure data is being collected and processed as expected.
Setting up conversions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) involves a few key steps:
1. First, understand that GA4 is an event-based analytics tool. Everything that happens on your website is considered an event – from page views to button clicks. For your business, certain events will have more significance – such as when a user makes a purchase or signs up for your newsletter. These significant interactions are what GA4 refers to as “conversions.”
2. To start setting up conversions, you need to go to the Admin section of your Google Analytics 4 property. Under the Data display section, click on Conversions.
3. Here, you can either create a new conversion event or mark an existing event as a conversion. Click on “New conversion event” to create a new one, or select an existing event to modify it.
4. If you’re creating a new event, enter the name of the event and define what it measures. For example, if you want to track when someone visits a specific page on your website, you can create an event using the page_view event in Google Analytics.
5. Once your event is created or selected, mark it as a conversion. This allows GA4 to recognize the event as a significant interaction and include it in your conversion reports.
6. Additionally, if you wish to associate monetary values with conversions (for example, in case of purchases), you can add value and currency parameters to the event.
7. In GA4, there are also predefined conversions such as first_open and purchase which you might find useful.
Remember, tracking conversions is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and identifying what works best for your business. So take the time to set up and monitor these important events in Google Analytics 4.
Note: After setting up conversions, it’s also important to verify and report on these conversions regularly to make sure they are tracking correctly and providing valuable insights for your business.
To get support for Google Analytics 4 (GA4) without using Brightside Digital, you can rely on the resources and support provided directly by Google.
The Google Marketing Platform offers support for various products, including GA4. This support is available to customers who have purchased advertising or Analytics 360 products directly from Google. The support mediums include live-chat and email, and the availability varies by region and language. To contact support, sign in to your product account and click on “Contact Us” under the “Need more help?” section. If live chat support is not available, you can send an email for assistance. It’s worth noting that it’s important to use the product in the desired language to ensure connection with the appropriate troubleshooting specialist.
In addition to this, Google also provides a wealth of information and guides that can help you navigate GA4. For instance, if you’re facing issues with tracking internal traffic, there are resources that guide you on how to exclude internal traffic using the Internal Traffic Filter in GA4.
Lastly, if you’re still using Universal Analytics (UA), it’s highly recommended to migrate to GA4 as soon as possible. Google is sunsetting UA and will no longer process hits after October 1, 2023. GA4 offers enhanced data accuracy, real-time reporting, multi-touch attribution, privacy-first design, and user engagement-centric analytics making it a superior choice for website owners and marketers.
In conclusion, while third-party platforms like Brightside Digital are here to offer additional assistance, GA4 users can rely on Google’s own support system and resources for help with their analytics. It’s just a case of weighing up time vs money.