Navigating the GA4 transition. Are you ready?

In the digital era, data-driven decision-making has become crucial for businesses to stay competitive. And, with Google’s recent announcement that it is transitioning its analytics platform from a session-based model (Universal Analytics) to an event-based model (GA4), represents a significant update and evolution of the popular web analytics platform.

This mandatory transition means that instead of tracking user sessions on your website, Google will track user interactions with your website elements, such as clicks, scrolls, downloads, etc., and will significantly impact how you compare your historical data and measure your website performance. Essentially, it will be like starting from scratch, as the new event-based model will not be compatible with the old session-based model. You will no longer be able to compare your data before and after the transition, as they will be based on different metrics and definitions.

Google introduced GA4 in October 2020 as the next generation of Google Analytics, aiming to provide a more comprehensive and future-proof solution for tracking and analyzing user data. Google feels the transition to GA4 marks a significant milestone in the evolution of web analytics. In addition to its event-based tracking, GA4 also offers cross-platform capabilities, advanced AI features, and enhanced data control, empowering businesses to gain deeper insights into user behavior and make more informed decisions. 

Event-Based Tracking. This addition allows the capture and analysis of specific user interactions, providing a more comprehensive understanding of customer behavior. From pageviews to clicks and downloads, this provides a deeper dive into the details.

Cross-Platform Tracking. GA4 unifies data from websites, mobile apps, and other digital platforms, giving a holistic view of the customer’s journey. You can gain insights into user behavior across touchpoints, allowing the optimization of experiences like never before.

AI-Powered Insights. Bringing advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to the table, you now have automated insights, predictive analytics, and anomaly detection at your fingertips. You can make data-driven decisions with ease, spotting trends and unlocking opportunities.

We understand that this may cause some inconvenience and confusion for you, and we are here to help you navigate this change. We see two options you can choose from:

  • Option No. 1
    Continue with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is Google’s new event-based platform. This option will require you to update your tracking code on your website and learn how to use the new GA4 interface and features. This option will also be necessary if you are running Google Ads, as Google will integrate GA4 with its advertising platform.
  • Option No. 2
    Install a third-party analytics tool that will provide you with similar reports and insights as your current Google Analytics account. This option will incur a monthly cost, as third-party analytics tools do not monetize your data as Google does. The benefit of this option is you will have more control over your data and privacy since third-party analytics tools do not share your data with other companies or entities. This option will also be more compliant with national and international regulations and standards.

To help you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide what is best for your business goals and needs, Marketing Works is happy to discuss how we can help you through this mandatory transition.

Please contact our president, Bill Kiefaber, at 614.353.5563 or to schedule a consultation.

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