Google Analytics 4 is Here

Story by: Colophon Editor
October 3, 2022

In a nutshell, Google Analytics is a service that enables website owners to measure traffic and user engagement on their websites. As part of every website hosting plan, Colophon New Media includes the Google Analytics service. Customers receive monthly reports, as well as direct access to this powerful platform.

Over the years Google has made continual modifications to Google Analytics to improve the usefulness of the data, and the ease with which users can access and share it. The legacy service called “Universal Analytics” is big and powerful and is used by hundreds of millions of websites. However, in early 2022, Google announced the introduction of Google Analytics 4, and that the data flowing through legacy Universal Analytics accounts will stop working starting July 1, 2023.

In anticipation of this change Colophon has been upgrading all accounts to Google Analytics 4 and the process will be complete by the end of January 2023.

What’s new in Google Analytics 4?

  • Predictive Analysis
    A major advancement in Google Analytics 4 is “predictive analysis”. So while marketers like Colophon have used data from analytics to make predictions on consumer behavior, the new version of Google Analytics will do some of this for us. In short, the robots are taking over a little bit more.
  • Custom Reports
    Custom reports are being enhanced. Not every website is the same, with the same goals. Custom reports will allow us to create reports to show exactly what our customers want to see.
  • Tracking More Events
    You can create and track up to 300 Events. An “Event” is when a user performs an action on a website. Recording these events is a powerful way to gain insight to user behavior and keep track of how the website is converting user visits to user actions.
  • Tracking More Conversions
    You can create and track up to 30 conversions. A conversion is a specific event that is setup to from a marketing campaign to drive a user to take an action which is then counted as a conversion. The classic example would be to run an ad selling something in Google Search. And when the user clicks the ad and buys the thing on the website, it is conversion.
  • Tables
    Customized tables can be created.
  • Detecting Anomalies
    They system will detect anomalies, like sudden drop in traffic.
  • Audience Segments
    Allow creation of audience segments allowing marketers to create comparison to different user groups.

What happens to the legacy data from Universal Analytics?

After the July 1, 2023 Google Analytics users will be able to access previously processed data in Universal Analytics properties for a lease six months. The key to preserving the data will be export it and save it.

Using GA4

We feel it is important to point out that the new way Google presents data in GA4 is not as easy to read and interpret as the legacy system.

GA4 is more oriented to digital marketers where the data is presented based on “users” and “events” and not on a “session” and its related timeframe. An event is an action that a user takes. By focusing on events marketers are better able to predict user behavior.

Colophon has always provided monthly reports via another product called Google DataStudio. Using DataStudio we take the key metrics from website data and present in an easy to read format that is updated on a daily basis.

For more information about website hosting and Google Analytics, contact a web marketing expert at Colophon.

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