Posted: Fri 30th Jun 2023
If you're not familiar with Google Analytics (GA4) and you manage the marketing of your small business, it's about time to get acquainted with it! As of 1 July 2023, our familiar friend Universal Analytics will stop processing data, which means you need to make the switch to GA4 now.
In short, GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics that collects data to track the interactions that users are taking on your company website or app.
GA4 can greatly benefit small businesses by revealing intelligence about your website users and customers, while still protecting their privacy.
Why was GA4 introduced?
The primary motivations behind GA4 were to enhance user privacy and provide multi-platform functionality.
GA4 is more user-centric, helping businesses to establish what users are trying to accomplish, such as the following interactions:
How people use our website or app
What users are doing on it
Where or what they are clicking
How much they are scrolling and engaging
… and so much more!
How to install GA4
The short version is that you need to set up the GA4 property and install the tracking code on your website.
There are plenty of step-by-step resources that I recommend you follow if you're planning to do this yourself:
You can also lean on a digital expert or implementation partner to help you.
If you're an Enterprise Nation member, you can book a free 30-minute GA4 discovery call with Emma Haslam to check what you need to plan for.
How to get the most out of GA4
1. Familiarise yourself with the updated interface
I always say that confidence = competence! You'll build this confidence and competence with the platform by familiarising yourself with the navigation. Have a poke around and explore where your data now resides. You're highly unlikely to break anything.
Keep in mind that GA4 is still a high-quality minimal viable product and is being evolved as you read this.
2. Leverage its machine learning capabilities
GA4 has AI functionality which has been adopted to enrich the data and help you predict future user behaviour. These predictive reporting capabilities give you the potential to become a better marketer by spotting and capitalising on future trends.
3. Learn the new definitions
You may notice that the metrics you see in GA4 look a little different. If you're unsure what they mean, you can get a clearer understanding by reading the new GA4 definitions.
4. Explore the reports
Acquisition: How we acquire users
Engagement: What actions users take
Retention: User engagement
User attributes: Demographics of your users
Technology: Devices and browsers used
5. Get introduced to Events
An event in GA4 allows you to measure a specific interaction or occurrence on your website or app. These are micro-actions that people are taking, and you can customise them for specific interactions that matter to you.
Those events that are considered more valuable to your unique business can be marked as 'Conversions'.
So for example, if you run an e-commerce business, it’s likely that you’ll have 'Checkout purchases' as a conversion as it marks a valuable action.
To support your understanding of GA4 and how it can support your small business, I recommend that you use the abundance of resources that are available on the web.
Here are a few recommendations: