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It is imperative that you grasp the fundamentals of GA4 before delving into its more sophisticated capabilities. Now that we have things taken care of, let’s explore some of GA4’s more sophisticated features. It’s important to note that GA4 retained some of the most important features that Universal Analytics provides.
But GA4 also has fresh, cutting-edge features that can greatly enhance your data analytics.
Custom dashboards were available with Universal Analytics (UA), the version that came before Google Analytics 4. Although useful, these dashboards don’t always provide a complete picture of your data.
With the ability to produce custom reports, the Explorations (Analysis Hub) feature in GA4 kicks this up a notch.
An Explorations report that is available for free has a format akin to Excel, with tabs containing distinct data across the top. To make funnels, cohorts, segments, or pathways easier to grasp, use Explorations and its reporting features to generate tables and infographics.
GA4 is capable of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Although Universal Analytics offers AI and ML features, learning how to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (from UA) will provide you access to more advanced features like purchase likelihood analytics.
For instance, if you set up purchase events, GA4 will collect the information required to create predictive audiences for users, buyers, and churners on your website.
To generate the audience you want, modify the predicted conditions in Explorations to gain access to predictive analytics.
Across all of your GA4 data, use the predictive audiences as comparable groups.
Data Storage: How Should Historical Data Be Stored?
The data storage capacity is one of the biggest updates in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Up to 14 months of data storage are offered by GA4. By activating data collection, you can extend the two-month default data retention duration in GA4 to 14 months. What then happens to all of your previous information?
For Willow customers, we advise archiving anything that is more than three years old and transferring the final three years’ worth of Universal Analytics data to a Big Query instance in case it is ever needed. In order to store future GA4 data, we are also backing up GA4 to Big Query on a monthly basis.
Businesses are better equipped to make judgments and create long-term marketing plans based on dependable and actionable insights when they have access to greater data storage capacity with Big Query. Future machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive modeling and forecasting applications may find use for this data as well.
Better BigQuery Integration
Connecting Google’s BigQuery cloud data repository to Google Analytics 4 is now simpler. With this integration, you can effortlessly move your GA4 data to BigQuery for deeper dives. BigQuery also provides extra options for customizing and previewing data.
The ability to exchange unprocessed information is a major benefit of this link. All the information GA4 gathered may be viewed in its raw form, facilitating further analysis and modeling. The raw data is more adaptable since it may be culled using SQL queries to retrieve the specific information required.
BigQuery also allows you to combine data from several sources, such as GA4 and CRM. The actions of your customers across many channels can now be better understood.
The enhanced integration between BigQuery and Tableau provides new opportunities for data visualization. Data from GA4 may be used with programs like Data Studio, Tableau, and Looker to generate customized reports and dashboards. This method of gathering data may yield insights unavailable through the GA4 reporting interface.
All in all, GA4 is now a more potent tool for evaluating the data from your website or application thanks to its enhanced BigQuery integration. Through the integration of BigQuery’s sophisticated analytical features with GA4’s event monitoring capabilities, you may enhance your comprehension of your users and arrive at better business decisions.
Set a permanent audience segment once
Every time you wish to filter an audience with Universal Analytics, you have to build new segments. Although this isn’t too horrible, storing space is required when building parts to filter an audience. This is eliminated by Google Analytics 4, which allows you to create audience subgroups without having to save them.
The comparisons tool included on each reporting page can be used for this. Go to Explorations or the Configuration page, save your section, then choose Build an Audience to establish a permanent audience segment.
Anomaly detection on practically all line graphs is another nice AI and ML feature of Google Analytics 4.
When something should happen on your website but doesn’t, GA4 finds abnormalities. For example, GA4 will identify an anomaly if your data shows that you were expected to make $10,000 per day but didn’t.
If something in your data is statistically significant, you can find out via the feature. It makes it simple to identify any abnormalities or areas that require investigation and improvement.
Not only that.
In Explorations, you may enable anomaly detection for your GA4 line graphs and adjust the sensitivity and learning period as needed. In addition, GA4 will offer bespoke insights for anomaly detection that you can apply to your data and develop on your own.
GA4 with Google Tag Manager
Without requiring them to edit any code, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free application that allows website owners to easily create and manage marketing and analytics tags on their websites. GA4’s interaction with Google Tag Manager is one of its main characteristics.
Setting up Google Analytics tracking with GA4 is much simpler for non-technical individuals because you can do it using GTM. This is because, without requiring you to edit any code, Google Tag Manager gives you the ability to manage your tracking and marketing tags via an intuitive interface.
This implies that you can handle your tags more efficiently and neatly with GTM. Adding all of your tags in one location, including GA4 tracking tags, remarketing tags, and AdWords tags, makes managing your tracking and marketing campaigns much simpler.
Better insights and more accurate data are produced by the more effective tracking made possible by the integration of GA4 and GTM. Additionally, it enables you to design marketing strategies that are more individualized and focused, which may increase conversion rates.
The fact that GTM with GA4 simplifies the setup process for event tracking is an additional advantage. Events are tracked automatically with GA4, but you can easily set up custom event tracking with GTM. This facilitates the tracking of particular user actions on your website, like button clicks, form submissions, and other actions.
For website owners looking to grow their tracking and marketing, the integration of GA4 with Google Tag Manager is revolutionary. Better insights into user behavior, more precise data, and more effective tracking are all made possible by it. To optimize your tracking and marketing efforts, Google Tag Manager is absolutely something you should look at if you’re not already using it.
Enhanced User ID Monitoring
Improved user ID tracking is one of Google Analytics 4’s main features. In the past, GA tracked user behavior across several devices primarily through the use of third-party cookies. Nonetheless, Google is shifting away from using third-party cookies due to the rise in laws, the growing number of users who are blocking cookies, and the national conversation surrounding user privacy.
User ID tracking is a different approach that is introduced by the new GA4. This feature lets the operators of websites and apps give each user a unique ID so they can monitor their behavior on several devices—regardless of whether they use different browsers or clear their cookies. Businesses may now more easily examine customer behavior and deliver a more customized experience.
Additionally, user ID tracking gives companies the chance to build a more comprehensive client profile. Through the integration of data from many platforms and touchpoints, GA4 can offer a more precise and comprehensive picture of every user’s journey. Businesses can use this to find previously hidden patterns and trends, which can improve targeting and conversion rates.
GA4’s Event Tracking and Goals
A significant change in the operation of goal and event tracking is brought about by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In GA4, goal tracking and event tracking are two sides of the same coin rather than two distinct concepts.
You may track particular user behaviors on your website or app, including clicks, downloads, form submissions, and so forth, with event tracking. Conversely, goals are predetermined actions—like making a purchase or submitting a contact form—that you want people to perform on your website or app.
GA4 integrates goal and event tracking by letting you designate particular events as objectives. This implies that you may identify crucial business events and use them to define conversion targets. One purpose could be to monitor the quantity of people who click the “Add to cart” button.
In addition, GA4 presents “conversion modeling,” a novel approach to goal tracking. You can use this functionality to define goals based on patterns of user behavior. You may create a goal for people who spend more than five minutes on your website, for example, if you observe that they are more likely to make a purchase after spending more than five minutes there.
To sum up, GA4’s goal and event monitoring features give you a more robust and adaptable way to gauge user engagement and conversion on your website or app. To enhance user experience and increase conversions, you may make data-driven decisions and have a better understanding of the impact of your marketing activities by setting and monitoring key occurrences as goals.
Better Time measurement and Elapsed time
Only time per session, user, and page can be measured by UA. Beyond expectations, GA4 allows you to track the intervals between user encounters.
With the improved capability, you can create the funnels you want and see how long it takes customers to complete each one. This can make your funnel analysis simpler.
Nevertheless, even if a visitor doesn’t convert on their first visit to your website, you may track how long they stay there. You may get a better idea of the length of time it takes for site visitors to make a purchase as well as the variables that may affect their choice.
With this and GA4’s e-commerce tracking, you have an extremely potent Google Analytics toolkit at your disposal.