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Google Analytics 4: the latest developments

Google introduced a new version of Google Analytics in 2020, named Google Analytics 4. This version is still in development but it will follow the current version Universal Analytics. The introduction of Google Analytics 4 brings a number of significant changes, including expanded data predictions, deeper integration with Google Ads, data collection across platforms and devices, focus on engagement and user privacy.

Let’s take a closer look at these new features!

1. Machine learning for expanded data predictions

Google Analytics 4 uses machine-learning, which will allow advertisers to understand campaign data even better and translate it into important insights. Machine-learning ensures that user trends in the market could be identified based on website or app visitor behavior. Based on this, future actions of customers could be better predicted, such as chance of purchase, churn rate and yield prediction. These indicators could be used to estimate revenue of a segment. This allows advertisers to create custom target groups, in order to reach customer groups with a higher order value. This is not possible with Universal Analytics.

2. Deeper integration with Google Ads

Moreover, Google Analytics 4 includes a new integration with Google Ads. This makes it easier to translate the more extensive insights, that could be obtained through Google Analytics 4, into improvement of your campaigns. As your target groups become even more clear, campaigns around these target groups could be built with more relevant advertisements and landing pages. Need help with your Google Ad campaigns? Our advertising specialists are always open to help you further with your Google Ad campaigns.

3. Event-driven data model

In contradiction with Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 focuses on user interactions with the website rather than sessions. This is also called the event-driven data model. Google Analytics 4 saves user interactions as events and provides insights into what is happening on the website. Herewith, each desired single event could be measured, such as users scrolling, watching videos or search queries on your website. Universal Analytics measures sessions, in which it is not always exactly clear what happens in one session. Thus, Google Analytics 4 collects more accurate data from your campaigns.

4. Cross-platform and device user identification

Google Analytics 4 transcends device and platform, which means all interactions that users have with your website – on different devices and platforms – will be measured by means of the complete user profile. Does your customer adds a product to chart via smartphone and pays via desktop? Google Analytics 4 assures a more accurate count of users. Does your company have a website and an app? No problem, both data sources will be linked by Google Analytics 4.  This gives your company more complete and relevant insights into the customer journey of your customer. Need help with your Google App campaigns? Our advertising specialists are always open to help you further with your Google App campaigns.

5. User privacy

Lastly, Google Analytics aligns with an important movement in user privacy. In the future, more and more cookies will be blocked by different browsers. This makes it more difficult to track user behavior on the internet. Google Analytics 4 complements the incomplete information, as a results of the (partial) disappearance of cookies, by means of the aforementioned machine-learning model. Within Google Analytics 4, it is also possible to submit a data deletion request where the data of a visitor could be deleted. These data gaps will also be filled by machine-learning. With this, Google Analytics 4 helps your company to easily comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In short: the advantages of Google Analytics 4

  1. Google Analytics 4 contains machine learning, which enables Google to make predictions and fill in missing data gaps, providing more comprehensive insights and more accurate information about your customers. This makes creating target groups easier, so advertisements and landing pages could be set up in an even more relevant way;
  2. Google Analytics 4 includes better integration with Google Ads, which makes it easier to translate insights into improvement of your campaigns.
  3. Google Analytics 4 focuses on user interactions instead of sessions, which helps to collect more accurate data from your campaigns;
  4. Google Analytics 4 measures interactions of your customers across all devices and platforms, providing you more complete and relevant insights;
  5. Google Analytics 4 is future proof because as much data as possible is collected without the use of cookies. Also, it anonymizes user data and thus respects user privacy, which helps you as a company to comply with the GDPR.

Why should I integrate Google Analytics 4 now?

Ultimately, Google Analytics 4 will become the standard version of Google Analytics. It is not exactly clear yet when the definitive switch will take place. The difficulty for you as a company is that data from Universal Analytics won’t switch along with the update of Google Analytics 4. This means that already collected data does not end up in your Google Analytics 4 reports retroactively, so the data collection process in your account actually starts from the beginning. By switching to Google Analytics 4 now, while Universal Analytics is still active, you prevent loss of data. Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 will run side by side, so data is loaded into Google Analytics 4 while you could continue analyzing your data with Universal Analytics until the switch will take place.

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Mathias Aaftink

Author Mathias Aaftink

Geïntrigeerd door klantgedrag, performance marketing en klantervaring en de manier waarop organisaties daarop inspelen. Met mijn ervaring voel ik me thuis in de wereld van (digitale) marketing en branding. Ik ga nieuwe uitdagingen met veel plezier aan en voel meteen een groot verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel om er een succes van te maken. Projecten waarbij ik mijn ondernemende vaardigheden en mindset kan inzetten geven mij veel energie en dit is waar ik voor u van toegevoegde waarde kan zijn.

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