What Small Business Owners Need to Know about Google Analytics 4
Many businesses think of their website kind of like an interactive billboard. They hope it is a good advertisement, but the site passively waits for someone to click on a call to action. In reality, business owners can collect a ton of website data that allows them to turn it into their top-performing sales agent. This data is collected using analytics, the technology that tracks user behavior across the internet.
While there are several analytics tools on the market, Google Analytics is the most popular. Not only is it free, but it is fairly simple to understand and customize. Business owners will need to take some time to determine what information is most beneficial to them and how to interpret it, and then they can create a dashboard and report templates for regular review.
Track Website Performance with Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides essential data about how your website visitors behave. It tells you what pages visitors view and for how long, what links they click, what country they are in, and how they came to be on your site in the first place. Using this data, business owners can incrementally tweak their website and advertising campaigns until an optimal number of visitors convert into sales.
Integrations are an especially important feature of Google Analytics. Your Analytics account can be connected to Google Search Console and other digital real estate to see how visitors find your site. It can also be integrated with your Pay Per Click Campaigns and Facebook/Instagram Ads to track ad performance. Google Analytics is an incredibly comprehensive tool for measuring your marketing reach.
Track Return on Investment in Google Analytics
Because Google Analytics tracks a visitor’s digital footprint from before they arrive on a site until they either complete a transaction or leave, organizations can actually measure how much revenue they earn from different marketing tactics. The Google Analytics dashboard offers a snapshot view of user activity, but reports are customizable for various factors and are an excellent tool for capturing any number of conversion actions a user might take.
Savvy businesses will dig into Google Analytics to customize the dashboard, set goals for visitor behavior, and review reports to monitor marketing effectiveness. When business owners take full advantage of the analytics tools and reporting, they will make the most efficient use of their marketing budget, which maximizes return on investment.
Google Analytics 4 Upgrade Will Be the Only Supported Version
Businesses that set up Google Analytics prior to 2020 are most likely running Google Analytics 3.0 or GA Universal. These versions will become obsolete on July 1, 2023, and data will no longer be collected or viewable in their dashboards. Google Analytics 4 is the newest version of the system and will be the only tool that Google will support moving forward.
While platform updates are never convenient, and any new learning curve is frustrating, the upgraded Google Analytics version is a welcome development in analytic tracking tools.
Under the newest version, data will be driven by a customer journey so that businesses can gain a better understanding of how each user interacts with their site. On the previous versions of the platform, activity is segmented by action, device, application, and time. Now it will be possible to see how one user behaves over multiple devices and at different times.
That might sound quite invasive, but Google Analytics 4 is actually more receptive to user privacy than previous versions. Users are gaining better control over what data is shared, and Google is very responsive to that. They are currently developing machine learning models that will still provide valuable insight where user privacy prevents data from being shared.
Google Analytics 4 Migration Preserves Existing Data for Improved Marketing
Once the previous versions of Google Analytics hit their expiration date in July, businesses are at risk of losing all previous years of data collection. It is necessary to plan ahead for a proper migration to Google Analytics 4. We will be issuing more information about how business owners can manage this process on their own in the coming months.
While this new data tracking and reporting upgrade is exciting, performing the conversion may sound a bit overwhelming. Motto Marketing provides GA4 migration services to ensure that you get set up on the new system with all of your reporting tools and integrations intact. Please contact us to learn more about GA4 and get started on customizing this powerful system to benefit your business.