Writer : Rashmi Singh
Universal Analytics was released by Google in 2005. Since then, it has been everyone's go-to analytics tool. But recently, the tech giant announced that it will replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 or GA4.
What do we do now? – Asked every digital business who relied on the ubiquitous baseline Google Analytics product.
As it happens with every transition, shifting from the older Universal Analytics to GA4 made many digital marketers uncomfortable. But after months of usage, digital marketers are clear about the array of innovative features of GA4 that were previously not supported by Universal Analytics.
If you are a digital publisher who relies on Universal Analytics you might be apprehensive about the new Analytics tool. Down below are some benefits of GA4 that might help you make a better decision:
The main core feature that differentiates GA4 from its predecessor is event-based reporting. Earlier, Google used to focus on users’ sessions. For example, one session includes tracking whether a user comes to the site organically or via an ad-click and tracking the activity of the user on the site. If the same user returns to your site the same day, it will be counted as a new session.
GA4, on the other hand, analyses the behavior of users based on events like whether a user viewed at least half of a page. Based on this event, a digital publisher can make educated guesses about the user’s behavior like what is making a user read news pieces rather than bouncing off the website.
Regulations around privacy such as GDPR made it hard for digital publishers to see the touchpoints of readers/users. On top of that, Google also announced the end of third-party cookies in Chrome. Advertisers and publishers have been trying to move towards privacy-safe tracking and modeling but they need a suitable tool that does not compromise the user’s privacy.
GA4 enables publishers to do advanced analysis on almost every touchpoint of the reader without tracking any sensitive data. The analysis of touchpoints aids in constructing a holistic view of the reader's journey.
It is an indisputable fact that Google is the industry leader when it comes to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). With GA4, digital publishers will be able to leverage AI and ML to fill in the gaps in their analytics.
GA4 can use the observed data of website and app users to predict how the user might behave in the future. This feature is going to be especially useful for digital publishers who work on the subscription model. ML and AI can accurately predict the user journey which will help digital publishers reduce the churn as they can know which readers are on the verge to unsubscribe.
It is true that digital publishers have other options when it comes to user analytics tools. But publishers who use Google Search Ads 360 should choose GA4 as the tech giant has introduced the integration of Google Search Ads 360 and GA4.
Publishers can export GA4 conversions to Search Ads 360 and import the cost and campaign data to GA4 from Search Ads 360. On top of that, the site engagement metrics are available in the Search Ads 360 dashboard. This seamless integration between the two tools makes it a no-brainer for digital publishers to make a transition to GA4.
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