GA4: What You Need to Know
June 2023 was the last month to use Universal Analytics (UA) before Google triggers its Analytics 4 update. You can still see your UA insights after July 1, but all new data will flow into Google Analytics 4 (GA4) processing tools and display channels.
Google Analytics 4 is meant to provide better insights into the customer journey so brands can adjust their marketing strategies and drive higher conversions. The data is event-based rather than session-based and combines website and app data to provide greater clarity into the customer journey. Google Analytics 4 also allows for cookieless measurement, which is ideal for companies preparing for Google’s cookieless future.
Knowing to switch over to Google Analytics 4 is a big step in keeping up with your organization’s metrics; however, it helps to have a clear idea of the best metrics options available. Now might be a good time to review your performance reports to see which data points are helpful while removing the metrics that aren’t as actionable as you would like.
How To Run An Analytics Report Audit
As you transition to GA4, now might be a good time to look at the key metrics you track within your system. If you pull weekly or monthly reports on your performance, review these publications to make sure they depict an accurate, useful picture of your business. Here are a few ways to evaluate your analytics reports.
- Look at different reporting windows.If your customer journey takes two months on average, look at 90-day or six-month windows rather than 30-day reports.
- Choose relevant periods to compare your progress. If you have a seasonable business that ebbs and flows throughout the year, it might be better to compare this June to last June instead of this June to this May.
- Eliminate vanity metrics.Vanity metrics make your business look good without actually providing insight into your performance and actions that affect the data. Look for vanity insights that can distract you from real issues.
- Remove metrics that don’t change.There’s a common misconception that the more data you include, the better the report is. However, irrelevant data can be distracting. Eliminate metrics that rarely change and review them quarterly or annually to see any trend changes.
- Add new insights that you learn about.Talk to your peers within your industry and follow marketing blogs to learn about key metrics you might benefit from tracking. These audits aren’t just for removing information; you can also add data collection elements.
Additionally, make sure you provide context to your reports. If you don’t already, add a commentary section so someone can review the report without needing an in-person explanation about the trends. A few bullet points that outline notable metrics (for example, there was a jump in traffic on June 26 from a viral TikTok video) can help you document your efforts and improve the quality of the reporting.
Develop A Strategic Mindset with Google Analytics 4
Better analytics reporting can’t solve your problems. Instead, you need a strategic marketing team that can review these metrics and develop solutions (or identify opportunities) with the results they present. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers that analytics reports produce without thinking about the next steps you take because of the information.
Make sure you have a trusted marketing partner that will constantly push your business to do better. At Local Digital, we strive to outsmart — not out-spend — your competition. We can look for untapped opportunities to maximize your budget allocation. Contact us today and take the first steps toward embracing a more analytical and strategic future.