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What is Google Analytics 4 and should my professional services firm be using it?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is live, and there is no escaping it if you are a professional services firm looking to get the most out of its digital marketing and analytics, writes Jamie Stevens, Head of SEO at Conscious Solutions

GA4 is the latest version of Google’s web analytics platform, replacing Universal Analytics (UA). It is designed to provide firms with a comprehensive understanding of their website performance, user behaviour, and marketing effectiveness.

GA4 offers advanced tracking capabilities that allow firms to collect and analyse data from multiple touchpoints, including websites, apps, and offline interactions. It utilises machine learning algorithms to provide insights and predictions about user behaviour, customer journeys, and conversion opportunities.

GA4 also offers enhanced cross-device tracking, privacy controls, and deeper integration with Google Ads and other Google Marketing Platform products.

What are the differences between GA4 and UA?

There are quite a few differences between GA4, and UA and the way data is tracked and presented, so it’s worth having someone who knows where everything is, talking you through the platform or setting enough time aside to have a play around.

Some of the differences between GA4 and UA include:

  • Differences in how users are tracked
  • Differences in how goals/conversions work
  • ‘Bounce rate’ is no longer a metric used, and has been replaced by ‘engaged sessions’
  • There are no longer separate ‘views’
  • As mentioned above, there is better integration with other Google services
  • There is now automated tracking of certain user interactions
  • There is better prevention of spam referrals in place

If you’d like to read more about the differences between GA4 and UA, you can do so in this blog post.

What are the benefits of GA4?

Some of the benefits of using GA4 include:

  • introducing audience triggers, which enable businesses to create more complex rules for events and segment their audience effectively.
  • leveraging machine learning algorithms to fill in missing data and provide more accurate insights.
  • allows the building and application of funnels to historical data, enabling firms to track user journeys and optimise conversion paths.
  • providing advanced analysis capabilities for all users, allowing firms to gain deeper insights into their website and app performance.

Should your professional services firm use GA4?

Overall, GA4 helps firms gain valuable insights to optimise their digital marketing strategies and improve the user experience, so it’s a good idea to set up and utilise GA4.

If you are making the switch from UA or another analytics tools platform, there might be some learning that needs to be done to understand which reports are useful and how to access information that was once called another thing. But GA4 can be a tool that helps your firm thrive, so I’d recommend setting it up.

Jamie Stevens is Head of SEO at Conscious Solutions.

Matt Baldwin
Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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