On October 14, 2020, Google announced a new era of analytics called Google Analytics 4 (which was previously known as Google Analytics App + Web). It will allow users to connect app data and website data within one property for a more holistic picture of the customer journey.
There is a misconception that Google Analytics 4 (f.k.a. App + Web) only applies to companies with mobile apps—it does not! Anyone (with access to GA, of course) can benefit from this update.
Google Analytics 4 is the new frontier for GA similar to the shift to universal analytics in 2014. There is no rush to immediately transition to Google Analytics 4 this instant but we do anticipate a broad shift within the industry over the next 2 to 3 years.
Google Analytics 4 was built with machine learning capabilities to help companies understand their audience and identify future opportunities while keeping privacy concerns at the forefront in-line with the industry shifts towards cookie restrictions. An investment in Google Analytics 4 today will give companies an advantage over its competitors in the long-run by having smarter analytics and more control over how data is being collected and processed for analysis.
Marketers are already interested in cross-domain, cross-device, cross-session user behaviors, so why not cross-platform? This type of measurement aligns with how users interact on the internet today, moving between websites and apps.
The ability to view the customer journey across multiple platforms allow companies to learn how their customers interact with the company/brand, not just the website. Perhaps customers browse online and purchase from the app, without Google Analytics 4 that customer’s journey can be splintered and never pieced back together.
Note: For GA 360 customers, there is a GA 360 beta version available with SLAs and integrations with other tools like BigQuery. We’ll share more details once they are made available.
There are certain aspects of the setup that may require forward planning and strategy for ease of use, scalability, and impact of data on business goals in the future. Reach out to Seer if you are interested in setting up Google Analytics 4 properties in your GA instance with strategy and business goals in mind.
In the meantime, below are some steps Seer recommends:
- Listen/Learn as much as you can
- Implement a Google Analytics 4 test property (in parallel with your current reporting)
- Document your current implementation
- Consider business goals and objectives relative to Google Analytics 4 measurement
- Refine and eventually implement your production Google Analytics 4 property
Seer will be posting more content about Google Analytics 4 in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. We’re working on a more in-depth guide on how to prepare and migrate to Google Analytics 4 and how to work with some of the new reports.