Google Analytics 4: What You Need to Know
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest version of Google’s widely-used web analytics platform. As of July 1, 2023, Google will no longer be recording data via the previous Universal Analytics, so it’s important to get up to speed on Google Analytics 4 right away if you haven’t already.
Keep reading to learn the fundamentals about GA4, including how to set it up, the main features to use, and how to track your data more efficiently.
What Is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is a free web analytics tool that helps businesses track and analyze user behavior on their websites. GA4 measures site traffic, events like conversions, and time spent on page–among other metrics–that help businesses understand their customers better. GA4 offers a more complete view of customer behavior across multiple devices and platforms, including mobile apps.
Key Features of Google Analytics 4
GA4 comes with several new features that make it even more useful. One of its key functionalities is the ability to measure common event types without configuration. Events are user interactions on a website, such as clicks, video views, and form submissions.
Another key feature of GA4 is improved data-driven attribution. Previously, GA primarily offered “last-click attribution,” which states the final channel someone interacted with got credit for a campaign’s result. With Google Analytics 4, users have a more comprehensive view of the channels and marketing initiatives that led to a conversion. Using your findings on a regular basis simplifies the decision making process for future marketing campaigns.
GA4 also provides more valuable integrations, including Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, and Google Ads. Instead of hopping back and forth between multiple dashboards, see all of your most important Google advertising data in one tool.
Setting Up Google Analytics 4
If you are a Dentalfone client, we have already taken care of this for you. For others, setting up Google Analytics 4 is simple and relatively quick, as long as you’re following the right process. The first step is to create a Google Analytics account (if you don’t already have one). You can do this by going to the Google Analytics website and following the prompts to create an account.
Once your account is created, you need to create a new property for Google Analytics 4. Click on the “Admin” button and select “Create Property.” Continue following the onscreen prompts to finish setting up your GA4 property. When you’re done, you’ll see a confirmation message.
Once the property is created, it’s time to add the tracking code to your website. This is a string of code that’s added to the backend of your website to ensure GA can properly collect data from your site. If you need help installing the tracking code, follow Google’s setup guidelines and you’ll be set in just a few minutes.
Understanding the Google Analytics 4 Interface
For Dentalfone SEO customers, you will have a custom portal that provides a simple interface for understanding and tracking your site's performance. For others, the GA4’s interface is designed to be more user-friendly and customizable than the Universal Analytics interface. It has a more modern look and feel and is organized into three main sections: Home, Analysis, and Configure. Here are details about each section:
- Home: Provides a high-level overview of key metrics, such as user behavior, traffic sources, and user demographics.
- Analysis: Offers deeper insights into user behavior, including user journeys, events, and conversions.
- Configure: Allows you to customize your Google Analytics 4 account, including creating custom reports and dashboards.
Differences Between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics
Google Analytics 4 is different from Universal Analytics in several ways. One of the main differences is the tracking method. Google Analytics 4 uses an event-driven model, while Universal Analytics used a pageview-based model.
Another difference between the two is the reporting system. GA4 provides more advanced and customizable reporting options than Universal Analytics. It also provides deeper insights into user actions, like reporting on engaged sessions instead of just site bounces.
Yet another difference is that GA4 provides better cross-device tracking, making it simpler and faster to understand customer behavior across multiple devices. This data helps your web development team implement changes faster, your marketing team understand campaigns earlier, and your sales team capitalize on testimonials better.
What to Know About the Transition to Google Analytics 4
If you’re already a Dentalfone SEO client, rest assured we’ll handle all aspects of your Google Analytics transition for you. Our web development team has completed thousands of site maintenance and migration tasks, and this is no different.
If you have questions about the transition to Google Analytics 4 or need help, please contact us.
The Bottom Line
Google Analytics 4 is Google’s latest and greatest iteration for understanding your site and app visitors and the actions they take. Integrating your GA4 account with other Google tools, such as Google Ads and Google Tag Manager, provides an even more powerful view of user behavior.
Are you looking for an agency you can trust your dental practice marketing with? Request a free quote now. We’ll help you transform your practice into the success story you’re dreaming of!