Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest analytics tool developed by the tech giant. This advanced technology, which replaced Google’s Universal Analytics tool in July 2023, offers small businesses a deeper understanding of the data collected from their websites and apps. 

Let’s explore the key enhancements and updates that are essential for small businesses to know.

Enhanced insights

GA4 leverages machine learning algorithms to provide comprehensive insights into user behaviour and trends. This allows companies to identify significant patterns and predict important trends, enabling proactive decision-making.

The new technology also enables greater flexibility in data modelling. With the ability to utilise up to 25 parameters per event, businesses can design custom dimensions and metrics that align with their requirements. This customisation empowers companies to gain a deeper understanding of their data.

By leveraging user behaviour and demographics, small businesses can create custom audiences. This enables personalised messaging and targeted promotions to specific groups. Additionally, the data used for audience segmentation can be modified and archived as needed.

Advanced tracking capabilities

GA4 allows users to track each interaction on their website or app. This enhanced tracking flexibility provides a comprehensive view of users’ journeys and interactions, offering valuable insights into behaviour.

GA4 also goes beyond single-device tracking by offering the ability to track users across different devices. By combining data from User IDs, Google Signals, and Cookies, businesses gain a holistic overview of a customer’s journey from start to finish.

And with close integration with Google Ads, GA4 provides more accurate data on campaign performance and user behaviour. By leveraging the Advertising section in GA4’s user interface, businesses can optimise their campaigns effectively.

Enhanced privacy controls

GA4 introduces improved privacy controls, including a significant feature called Consent Mode. This feature allows users to decide how their data is shared with Google and other third parties, enhancing privacy and compliance.

Meanwhile it includes a search bar that enables businesses to efficiently navigate and explore vast amounts of customer data. With a single click, companies can find specific information, streamlining the data analysis process.

The benefits of GA4 

GA4 offers a more complete view of the user journey across different touchpoints and channels. This helps businesses understand how users interact with their digital assets, enabling them to identify bottlenecks, optimise conversions in GA4, and improve the overall user experience.

For businesses engaged in eCommerce, it provides advanced eCommerce tracking capabilities. It allows for the monitoring of key metrics such as  product views, add-to-cart actions, and completed purchases, providing valuable insights into customer behaviour and conversion performance.

It also simplifies cross-domain tracking, making it easier for businesses to track user behaviour across multiple websites or domains. This is particularly useful for companies with a diverse online presence or those running multiple websites.

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GA4 offers real-time reporting, allowing businesses to access up-to-date data and insights without delay. This enables timely decision-making and quick response to changing trends or user behaviour.

Unlike the previous version of Google Analytics, GA4 focuses on event-based tracking. This means that businesses can track and analyse specific user interactions and actions on their websites or apps, providing more granular insights and allowing for better optimisation of marketing campaigns and user experiences.

It also provides seamless integration with Google BigQuery, a powerful data analytics platform. This integration enables businesses to perform advanced analysis on their GA4 data, leveraging BigQuery’s capabilities for in-depth exploration, data visualisation, and custom reporting.

And with customisable dashboards and reports as well as improved collaboration features, GA4 is a scalable and future-proof analytics solution that can continue to provide valuable insights as the digital landscape evolves.

GA4 may not be without its limitations, it represents the most powerful iteration of Google’s analytics software to date. Embracing its improved insights and control over digital presence can provide small businesses with a competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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