For many website operators Google Analytics for years now central tool for analyzing user and customer behavior. For a few weeks now, Analytics has been available in the vversion online and brings a host of innovations with it. This article shows the most important new features of Google Analytics 4.
Predicting user behavior with machine learning
Built into the new version of Analytics are some machine learning-based metrics that can help site owners predict certain trends in their data. Based on this, site operators will be able to better predict customers' usage patterns in the future and get a more accurate answer to the question of when which customer spends how much. In addition, the new machine learning tools are also able to calculate a customer's likelihood of churn. With the help of this information, site operators can focus much more specifically on retaining individual customers.
Interlocking with Google Ads
Another innovation of Analytics is the stronger integration of Google Ads. With this approach, Google wants to support online marketing experts in taking a holistic view of their marketing measures and optimizing their ROI. Companies can now see when users first discovered their company on the Internet through an ad, installed an app and made a purchase. The stronger integration of Google Ads and Analytics thus allows a significantly better tracking of conversions.
Understanding the Customer Journey
An important objective that Google is pursuing with the new version of Analytics is to enable a better understanding of the customer journey. To this end, reports have been reorganized and simplified. The new reporting on Analytics now allows online marketers a more intuitive operation that makes it easier to find relevant information. The Acquisition report shows which channels customers use to come to the company. And from the engagement and retention reports, companies can infer what interactions are coming from users and whether they are sticking around as customers.
More data control
An equally important topic that is increasingly addressed with Analytics 4 is data control. In the new version of Analytics, site operators have more control over which user data they want to collect, store and process at what time. This makes it easier for online marketers to decide when to use data to optimize ads or limit data usage.
In addition, the new version of Google Analytics prepares for a future in which third-party cookies and other identifiers may hardly or not at all be used for the analysis of user behavior. Against this backdrop, Analytics includes machine learning-based modeling to compensate for data gaps created by cookie bans. For example, the modeling algorithms should be able to track conversions across different device types - even in cases where no direct assignment to individual users is possible. This intelligent modeling is intended to support site operators in planning and analyzing their online marketing activities, even in times of increasingly restrictive data protection regulations
Google Analytics 4 scores with some new and above all intelligent features. Nevertheless, site operators should not switch to the new Analytics version without thinking about it, but should deal with the innovations in detail beforehand. It is important to know in this context that the type of data collection has also changed. When switching to the new version, this can lead to breaks in comparability. In order to keep historical, current and future data comparable, it is therefore better for site operators to set up a new Google Analytics 4 property and run it in parallel with their old property for a certain period of time