With a new edition of Google Analytics coming soon, many businesses will be evaluating their analytics implementations and looking to maximise value for analysis and reporting on their digital offering. Analytics from Google is probably the most widely used reporting tool, tracking an unfathomable volume of behavioural and analytical data for millions of businesses and websites worldwide – as well as being straightforward to set up and link to your website, apps, and more. It’s primarily used to track website traffic and user behaviour on-site, but as the go-to home for many digital marketers, it’s become increasingly useful in monitoring the impact of other important marketing channels, often influencing a business’ digital KPIs.
So how can you best utilise this incredible free tool to your businesses advantage? With its next version of Analytics, Google is looking to create a durable, privacy-first and user-centric cross-channel measurement platform that balances predicted results with actionable metrics:
- Improved Customer Journey & Engagement Tracking – allowing you greater awareness of exactly how your users are interacting with your business online
- Simplified Goals and Events Setup – allowing you quick access to conversion data and ROI evaluation
- AI & Analytics in a Cookie-less World – helping you to keep track of your users whilst maintaining compliance with privacy laws
- Enhanced Visualisations and Reporting – giving you greater awareness of your metrics, successes, and areas for improvement
- A Plethora of Parameters – making sure that your KPIs are representable with your data visualisation
Improved customer journey & engagement tracking
Analytics is very much focused on giving marketers a more complete understanding of the customer journey across devices., becoming more granular and accurate when it comes to measuring the end-to-end journey, as opposed to relying on users to marry up individual metrics across web/mobile, devices, pages, segments and so on.
From acquisition to retention, Google Analytics allows businesses to see all of their website data brought together in one place, scalable to their needs – without the complex set-up often required by third party platforms – all of which can be included in customisable reports.
Simplified goals and events setup
Termed ‘Event Editing and Synthesis’ by Google, this enables users to really hone their goal tracking and get granular behavioural data with little-to-no requirement for editing code – changing and optimising goals and event details within the new UI. This extends to cross-domain measurement as well. Previously a complex process, this is particularly useful when transactional functions are hosted on a sub-domain or third party site, maximising efficiency and accuracy.
Previously requiring manual set up, some default options include clicks, scroll behaviour, transactions, file downloads and a user’s first visit – the great thing about this is the ability to simply toggle these on as goals/conversions, saving a huge amount of time and boosting the speed and efficiency of changes.
AI & analytics in a cookie-less world
With the GDPR and the enhancement of other privacy laws, as well as some browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox, it is becoming harder and harder to cookie-track users around your site and across platforms.
With machine learning as a contributor to data measurement, Google Analytics can use modeling to extrapolate from existing data and make assumptions about site traffic and user behavior. Where you may lose data due to privacy legislation, this modelling allows marketers to extrapolate from what they do have to fill in the gaps – and has the potential to drive huge insights into how the digital side of your business works.
Enhanced visualisations and reporting
Whilst a lot of the UI has remained fairly similar within the platform (as dull as it is, it’s pretty functional and a big change might cause some uproar), there are a range of new visualisations and reporting functions in the property which may prove valuable.
Existing visualisations such as ‘Real Time’ are enhanced, and a wide range of reporting templates are on offer, charting exploration, funnel analysis, segment overlaps and path analysis, and more. These help to simplify some more complex cross-dimensional metric reporting which would previously have required screenshots or multiple analytics instances to fully demonstrate.
More valuable reporting can be gained through specific ‘Use Case’ and ‘Industries’ views, which generate templated reports based on typical metrics users would want to see in these areas.
A plethora of parameters
With any analytics platform, having the right data and granularity for certain metrics is absolutely vital to be able to draw value from them. Whilst more data doesn’t always mean better data, having the right parameters is a benefit. Parameters are additional metrics that give more context to each event.
In an e-Commerce context for example, parameters can be used to attach the value of a purchase, where the purchase was made, the referring URL, as well as the device used and more. Google explain:
In Google Analytics 4 properties, you can send parameters with each event. Parameters are additional pieces of information that can further specify the action the user took, or add further context to the event. For example, parameters can be used to describe the value of purchase, or to provide context into where, how, and why the event was logged. Some parameters are sent automatically. In addition to the automatically logged parameters, you can log up to 25 parameters with each event – with parameters for everything from scores to content types and more.