Predictive technologies, machine learning and greater Google Ads integration are all a part of the new Google Analytics 4.
Brand new and out of the box shiny is the new Google Analytics 4. As a marketer, I am excited… and hopeful. There have been so many advances in machine learning and other Google predictive technologies in the past few years that it has left me often scratching my head and wondering why these advances are not a part of Google Analytics. Well, thank you, Google for Google Analytics 4. Let’s take a closer look at what Google Analytics 4 is and how it will help your business.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google’s party line is that its new analytics platform is a part of the company’s response to changing consumer patterns in online behaviour. As a marketer, I have seen more rapid change in consumer behaviour over the past year than at any other time in my 15 years in the marketing profession. COVID-19 has impacted the way that we consume data and technology like no other event in the technological age. The businesses that have been responsive and agile are the ones that have survived, or even thrived during these crazy times.
Google Analytics 4 is a timely tool for all businesses. The platform enables more customer-centric data collection, greater insight into predictive behaviours and an ability to granularize data in a new and insightful way.
Google Analytics 4 interestingly, also has an element of future-proofing concerning privacy and regulatory compliance. In the wake of the 2016 US Presidential election data scandal, any consumer data needs to be treated with the utmost respect at a corporate level. The new Google Analytics appears to have considered what the future of data may look like and is potentially working towards a time that is driven by trends and not individual consumer data. Watch this space to see if this subtle but significant change will be the way of the future for data, or if the wolf is just dressed up in sheep’s clothing.
What are the key features of Google Analytics 4?
Machine Learning means better customer insights and data
Anyone who has been in the PPC game knows how great Google is at machine learning. So many times, I have tried to better Google in my PPC campaigns, and whilst day to day, I may have won, over a 30 day period, Google always reigns supreme. Finally, these data insights are a part of Google Analytics. The reporting also extends across apps on mobile devices, so conversions on YouTube are now measured. At last!
Trend Identification and Prediction (Google Analytics AI)
Google Trends has been a tool that I have used on an almost daily basis throughout 2020; and I have often asked myself why this data is not applied to my website via analytics. It is like the Google team have been inside my head (scary thought!) and have responded with applying the Google Trend technology to Google Analytics. Where this gets me excited is that when I look at Google Trends, I have to make manual assumptions based on my knowledge of user behaviour on my website; this is always going to be an educated guessing game. Google Analytics 4 applies the Google Trend knowledge to my website using the machine learning that Google has from thousands (maybe millions) of other websites just like mine. The result will be much richer data and much stronger predictions than my educated guesses over my morning cup of coffee.
Be gone Google Tag Manager
At least I hope so! Intuitive event and conversion tracking is on the Google Analytics 4 feature list, meaning that event setup could be a thing of the past. This also means that the data on events should become immediate, a welcome addition when you launch a campaign and want to test options. This shows Googles respect for the extension of agile methodologies further into the marketing sphere.
How do I start using the new Google Analytics?
Google Analytics 4 is being rolled out across the globe as we speak. To activate the platform, you need to create a new property so that your old analytics still runs whilst you get used to and configure the new platform. Once you have done that, there is a setup assistant that guides you through the rest of the initial Google Analytics 4 setup.
Time will most certainly tell if the new Google Analytics is the AI powerhouse that Google has the capacity to make it. The great thing about data-driven analytics powered by machine learning is that the more it is used, the better it gets. In uncertain times, as we have seen in 2020, the more data that we as marketers can get around consumer behaviours, the more we can create agile marketing campaigns that protect businesses, jobs and our economy. Let’s hope that the new Google Analytics 4 delivers the goods.
If you need help installing or understanding Google Analytics Universal, Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics 4, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.