In today’s digital age, data is the driving force behind successful online businesses. To navigate the ever-evolving landscape of user behavior, website optimization, and marketing strategies, businesses and website owners need powerful analytical tools. One such tool that has recently taken center stage is Google Analytics 4 (GA4). 

The Rise of Google Analytics 4:

Google Analytics 4 is the latest iteration of the highly popular web analytics platform. It represents a significant shift from its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA), by focusing on customer-centric measurement rather than session-centric measurement. GA4 leverages machine AI learning and advanced tracking technologies to provide marketers with a deeper understanding of user behavior and engagement across various touchpoints.

Sessions Are Old News, Events Are The Future:

Previously, Google Universal Analytics measured data through sessions – which monitored page interactions on your website based on specific time frames. GA4 introduces an event-driven data model, where events take center stage as the building blocks of data collection. An event is a very specific action a user takes while they are on your website. Events can be customized to track specific user actions such as pageviews, clicks, video views, and purchases. This shift in focus from pageviews to events allows businesses to capture more granular data and gain a deeper understanding of user engagement throughout their digital properties.

What are the events you can collect data on? You decide! GA4 provides a fully customized palate of events that are as general or as specific as you want them to be. Care more about how many videos on your site are being watched? How many blogs are being read? How many people clicked a specific link on your site and then added a specific item to their cart? You now decide which user actions you care the most about and want to collect data on. This allows you to fully tailor your data tracking to fully meet your needs and wants. This also allows us as marketers to help your data go to work for you, using data to fuel your website experience and marketing efforts. 

Advanced Machine Learning Capabilities:

Predictive Insights is the new feature of GA4 that harnesses the power of AI and machine learning to not just give you insights on past data, but provide insights on future data potential. Through predictive insights, Google’s AI can help determine potential audiences of people likely to purchase from you and which are likely to churn, or even provide you with revenue predictions over the next 28 days. Technology like this continues to develop and get better, and it allows us to make more informed decisions based on predictive insights. 

Leveraging Google’s powerful machine learning algorithms, GA4 offers advanced analytics features that go beyond traditional reporting. Predictive Analysis AI can help you with retargeting campaigns. The AI takes an audience and measures purchase probability, churn probability, and revenue potential/prediction. All these predictive metrics can be applied to a Google Ads campaign or even on social media pages to target these audiences. These tools are what let us continue to enact industry best practices and effective strategies to your online marketing and be more intentional with who you target as a potential customer. 

How GA4 Is Adapting To A Cookieless Future:

Google announced a while back that in 2024, Third party cookies will be going away. Third-party cookies are small pieces of data stored on a user’s browser by websites other than the one they are visiting. These cookies enable advertisers to track users’ online behavior, target them personalized ads, as well as measure campaign effectiveness. However, recent privacy concerns and regulations have led to significant changes in the digital advertising landscape, including the phasing out of third-party cookies. 

What does this mean for the future? Luckily, Google is taking proactive measure to adapt to this new cookieless future. With the shift away from third-party cookies, GA4 focuses on first-party data and offers advanced tracking capabilities that provide valuable insights into user behavior. By leveraging machine learning, GA4 enables marketers to understand customer journeys across different channels and devices, providing a holistic view of user interactions. As marketers, this allows us to take advantage of the rapidly growing machine learning and AI features of Google to use predictive insights and analytics to fill in the gaps that third party cookies normally filled. 

The Power Of GA4:

The transition to Google Analytics 4 represents a significant leap forward in data analytics and empowers businesses to gain deeper insights into their online performance. With its customer-centric measurement approach, event-driven data model, advanced machine learning capabilities, and privacy-centric features, GA4 equips marketers with the tools they need to optimize their marketing strategies and drive online success. 

What does this mean for Normal Bear Media and your marketing efforts? It means embracing the power of GA4 to unlock the full potential of your online presence. These updates to event tracking and advanced machine learning capabilities mean we can stay ahead of the curve, make data-driven decisions, and watch your online presence soar to new heights. We can more effectively track and translate the metrics you find most valuable on your website, have a deeper understanding of how people are engaging with your business, and retarget to people that have a higher likelihood of taking the actions you want on your website. Change is not always a bad thing, and this change in Google Analytics will provide even more information that can be used to make your business continue to grow.