Google has just unveiled several new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) updates, including a new homepage experience, real-time behavioral modeling reports, and custom channel grouping.
Insights through machine learning
Behavioral modeling. Behavior modeling with real time reporting will give advertisers a complete picture of user behavior as it happens, in a privacy-centric way.
Behavior modeling uses machine learning to fill in the gaps of your understanding of customer behavior when cookies and other identifiers aren’t available.
Real-time updates will be available in the near future to give advertisers a complete view of the customer journey as it’s happening.
The new home page experience. Originally previewed at Google Marketing Live and available to all advertisers as of today, is personalized for customers, highlighting key top-line trends, real-time behavior and their most viewed reports. Additionally, it uses machine learning to look for trends and insights and surfaces them directly to advertisers on the home page.
Integrations and solutions to power better ROI
Data-driven attribution (DDA). DDA was introduced into GA4 earlier this year, after becoming the default for all ads conversions last fall. Soon, Google will launch custom channel grouping, a feature that lets advertisers combine different channels to compare cost-per-acquisition and return-on-ad-spend based on data-driven attribution. For example, businesses will be able to compare the performance of their paid search brand with their non-brand campaigns.
Integration with Campaign Manager 360. With this integration, you’ll be able to see a more complete picture of your campaign performance alongside web and app behavioral metrics.
GA4 Setup Assistant updates
Universal Analytics (UA) is sunsetting in 2023, so to help advertisers complete the transition easily, Google is rolling out an update early next year that will automatically help standard UA users set up their GA4 properties.
Google’s step-by-step guide will help you migrate to GA4 on your own if you choose to opt out of using the Setup Assistant. If you choose to utilize the Setup Assistant, you can access it in the admin section of your UA property.
Beginning early next year, the Setup Assistant will create a new Google Analytics 4 property for each standard UA property that doesn’t already have one. It should also be noted “the new GA4 properties will be connected with the corresponding UA properties to match your privacy and collection settings. They’ll also enable equivalent basic features such as goals and Google Ads links,” Google said.
New migration deadline for 360 customers
Google is also pushing the migration deadline for 360 customers from October 2023 to July 2024, to ensure a successful setup:
“We recognize that setting up Google Analytics 4 to fit your needs takes time and resources, in particular for large enterprises with complex Analytics 360 setups. To allow enterprise customers more time to have a smoother transition to Google Analytics 4, we’re moving the Universal Analytics 360 properties’ sunset date from October 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024.”
Dig deeper. You can read the full announcement and more details on the features on the Google Marketing Blog.
Why we care. GA4 has been an inconvenient thorn in the garden of marketing. Maybe that’s being dramatic, but most advertisers are putting off implementing the new Analytics property to the last minute. This is a bad idea.
If you haven’t set up GA4 yet, get started on it ASAP. Use the Setup Assistant to begin collecting data, then go back later and customize your dashboard and create additional views.
These new features are only helpful if you’re actually using the product.
More resources. Check out these additional resources to help you set up and get the most out of GA4:
- 11 steps to setting up a successful GA4 property
- GA4 now has an enhanced measurement option for Form interactions
- Your guide to Google Analytics 4 attribution
- Google Analytics 4: A breakdown of Demographic and Tech details reports
- Google Analytics 4 integration now available for Ads Manager
- How to migrate to Google Analytics 4: A step-by-step guide