Tracking Google's Policy Change 2021: Towards an Insightful Cross-Platform & Cross-Device Tracking
To date, for advertisers and online vendors, universal analytics was a default experience to measure, report, and automate data for setting up a new campaign that drives conversion. Now the time has come to shift our focus to a more advanced platform, Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
What is GA4?
The privacy-first initiative by Google demands additional flexibility in data collection and analytics. Previously known as App+Web properties, GA4 focuses on users & event structure rather than a page view.
Netizens and customers who visit your website want to know who collects their data and how their personal information is processed for building connections. Understanding this demand and pointing towards the privacy concern, GA4 makes use of machine learning capabilities to track a holistic view of the entire customer journey without using cookies or other identifiers.
Identifying the Big Shift: Benefits of GA4
The set of additional features in GA4 facilitate analysts, marketers, and developers with ease in tracking, reporting, and measurement. Here are some top-notch features you must understand to set your journey towards the big shift:
1. Unifies Cross-platform Customer Journey
Have you got multiple websites or platforms for your business? Well, rolling up customer data spread across the various platforms is necessary to identify their journeys from browsing to conversion. If a visitor browses your website and jumps to another platform or media, according to universal analytics, it records two visitors. The passing of first-party data is limited in universal analytics.
Thus instead of generating information on the customer journey, the page view mode misinterprets the same user when they shift platforms. That is, the same visitor will become a new user.
In GA4, a single user ID is given to a customer, which reports how the user performs on multiple devices and interacts with your brand. This helps you maintain a unique bond with each of your users by understanding his or her behavior and predicting possibilities of conversion.
2. Facilitates Advanced Analysis Technique
Analysis Hub in GA4 is one of the imperative features in Google Analytics 4. It helps you develop insights on customer behavior through custom report generation and understands the unique need of customers that leads to action.
Moreover, Analysis Hub helps to fill the gap caused by missing data and enriches user information by providing more insights through advanced filters, segments, visualization styles, and quick ad hoc reporting.
Understanding various analysis techniques is necessary to make optimum use of the analysis hub feature in your GA4 account. Here are a few of them:
View your data in a tabular layout or better visualization styles to understand various dimensions and metrics.
Gain insight from the behavior and performance of a categorized audience or group rather than tracking individual data.
Know your customers through a step-by-step analysis (from signing up to conversion) of their performance and identify underperforming customers to develop more value-driven strategies.
A user segment is a record of data based on the users’ demography and product preferences. The segment overlap technique identifies how the various segments are related to each other and help to create new segments to reduce complexity.
Identifying the individual user performance and specific group of the user is crucial to provide a customized experience. The user explorer helps you identify the users who have frequently interacted with your website. These data help you improve the site experience for better conversion optimization.
The path users take to interact with your website or app is vital to determine how your platform navigates users to take the right action. The path analysis technique helps you discover how the users move around your website and the actions they take.
3. Predicts User Behavior & Conversion Possibilities
The first-party consent data provides insights from customer behavior to predict conversion possibilities. The data collected through machine learning and AI provide marketers new engagement metrics to reduce bounce rate and increase overall ROI.
Instead of focusing on the bouncing rate, the new metrics focus on user engagement:
Analyze the session that lasted for more than 10 seconds, with 1 or more conversions or page views.
Engaged session per user
Inspects the number of engaging sessions with respect to the number of users who visited your website or app.
4. Standardize Data Anonymization
IP anonymization is another trending shift in GA4 that yields customer privacy and confidence in interaction. IP anonymization is a choice in universal analytics. But it is a built-in feature in GA4 that automates the masking; the last three digits of the IP address are automatically dropped or anonymized to ensure the security of the visitor.
According to the GDPR ruling, data anonymization has a big hand in ensuring security. It is necessary to prevent IP address sharing that helps in identifying the personal information of the user.
5. Built-in Debug View Report Enhances Measurement Possibilities
Though real-time reporting is available in universal analytics to verify and track incoming data, it restricts the configuration of eCommerce data. When it comes to universal analytics, eCommerce data verification consumes time in processing and generates standard or traditional reports.
But, the advancement to GA4 has made it possible to track data at a more granular level. The Debug View in GA4 helps you view data only from selected devices that you want to focus on. Data from any other devices will be isolated before it is processed for storage. This will help to prevent a bundle of internal data flow that increases complexity in reporting.
GA4 is a developing system. But still, marketers, analysts, and developers can utilize the basics of GA4 along with universal analytics. Google envisions a complete transformation in the near future. A kickstarter plan towards the future reality is necessary to optimize your business towards growth and insightful privacy-enabled analytics.
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