Google Releases Google Analytics 4 – What Does it Mean to Dealers?
Fall is here which means it’s time for companies to be talking about new models and upcoming releases. Google is no different announcing today the release of “Google Analytics 4”. According to the press release, Google Analytics 4 “has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.”
Any good product release will bring questions, namely “Why does it matter to me and my website?” The Google Whisperer is here to help answer all of those questions as we travel the tricky path of attribution.
The first question everyone is having right now is “What happens to my current Google Analytics account?” The good news is that everything will still be the same in your current Google Analytics set up. Data is still flowing in, your goals are still firing and your segments and filters are still working. When you log into your Google Analytics account today you’ll still see all the same reports and screens you are used to seeing.After that answer, the follow up question I get most is “if nothing changes today why is Google doing this?” While nothing is changing today for your current analytics, things are changing in the digital analytics landscape. As we all start to move into the cookie-less world there’s less data out there and we are not getting it back. Google Analytics 4 is a solution to help with all of that. Google Analytics 4 is going to be the tool for attribution and ROI in the cookie-less world we are all headed towards. GA4 will also have built into it new machine-learning models for attribution based on your own website data. For example, it’s going to help you start to compare the engagement of shoppers who come from Cars.com vs. Autotrader.com and then help predict when each of those shoppers will convert on your website.
Now that we know nothing is changing today to your Google Analytics, you must be wondering what should you do today? For now the Whisperer recommends to set up a new Google Analytics 4 property for your website and then just let it run and collect data. Set yourself a calendar reminder to go look at the new property after 30 days. You can then start to compare the different set ups as you start to understand your data in Google Analytics 4. By starting off now you’ll have time to be prepared for whenever Google makes GA4 the standard for everyone. At Sincro, we see the importance of transparency around data and will be migrating our reporting over to Google Analytics 4 in 2021. We will also continue to support all additional installations of Google Analytics, including GA4.
If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. In the next months I’ll have a whole new series of Google Whisperer guides to all the sections of GA4. And don’t worry. If I lost you in the land of attribution, reach out and I am happy to help anytime!