Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows websites to track and analyze user behavior, their activity on the site, traffic sources, and many other aspects. It helps webmasters and marketers understand how their company’s website works and how to improve its effectiveness when necessary.
As a standard practice, Google Analytics consists of several main components, among which the following can be highlighted: web analytics, conversions, audience analytics, and more. To understand their main essence, let’s recall the meaning of each of them.
Web analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to a website or internet application to understand and evaluate its effectiveness and user interaction. The main goal is to identify patterns, trends, and insights that can help improve the functionality and performance of the web resource in the future. Web analytics includes the collection of various data, including the number of visitors, traffic sources, time spent on the site, conversions, and pages visited, among others.
Conversion is a concept used in internet marketing and web analytics to describe a specific action that a user takes on a website or internet application. Typically, this action represents a desired outcome that the website owner or marketer aims to achieve.
The last component is audience analytics (or user analytics) – the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to the audience that visits a website, mobile application, or other digital resource. The main goal is to understand who visits your web resource, their characteristics, behavior, and how this information can be used to improve marketing strategies and the development of products and services.
Now, let’s get back to our analysis of analytical data. In November 2020, Google introduced an updated version of its tool – Google Analytics 4 (GA4). It has several significant differences from the previous Universal Analytics and includes new features and capabilities. So let’s take a closer look at this version and its key differences from others.
Analyzing Google Analytics 4 in practice, we have identified six new changes in its key characteristics, which we have divided into the following points:
- Events Instead of Goals.
- Combining Web and Mobile Data.
- Predicting User Behavior.
- User-Friendly Interface and New Reporting Options.
- Data Retention.
- Enhanced User Analytics.
1. Events Instead of Goals.
GA4 uses an event-based tracking system to monitor user actions on your website. This means you can define your own events that interest you and track them without being limited to standard goals. This provides more flexibility in tracking conversions and analyzing user activity.
2. Combining Web and Mobile Data.
GA4 allows you to combine data from your website and mobile apps into a single report. This is especially useful for companies that have both a website and mobile applications and want a comprehensive overview of their users’ behavior.
3. Predicting User Behavior.
GA4 uses artificial intelligence to predict user actions. This helps you understand which actions by internet visitors can lead to conversions and how you can optimize your website or app to achieve better results.
4. User-Friendly Interface and New Reporting Options.
GA4 has an updated interface and more options for customizing reports. This allows you to create your own reports using the built-in editor and use pre-configured reports that provide detailed information about your website’s analytics.
5. Data Retention.
GA4 allows you to store user data for a longer period, allowing you to analyze trends and changes in visitor behavior over an extended period.
6. Enhanced User Analytics.
GA4 provides much more information about users, including demographic data, interests, and more. This helps you better understand your audience and create more targeted marketing campaigns in the future.
In conclusion, it can be concluded that Google Analytics 4 is an important updated version of the tool that offers more possibilities and flexibility for webmasters and marketers of various companies. It allows you to track user actions more accurately, predict their behavior, and obtain more information about your audience than ever before. If you are not yet using GA4, now is the time to do so and gain access to all the new features to improve your analytics and marketing strategies.