Google Analytics 4 (GA4): What you need to know as a business owner
Understand the ways GA4 will aid in your marketing strategy in this simple guide
As Google’s next-generation measurement solution that’s phasing out Universal Analytics on July 1st, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has already become popular with over 11 million websites and counting currently using GA4. 
For business owners, new marketing and data analytics tools like GA4 can be intimidating and overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to learn the basics to conduct business in today’s market, while leaving the complexities up to your in-house or outsourced digital marketing team.
Keep reading to learn what businesses need to know about Google Analytics 4 without getting into the intricate details.
What is GA4?
As the next generation of Google’s free website analytics service, GA4 is a powerful tool that can help you (or more likely, your marketing team) understand and analyze your website’s performance. It can provide valuable insights into how visitors are interacting with your website, your most popular pages of content, and how users are converting into clients or taking specific actions.
Imagine you have a physical store, and you want to know how many people visit, which products they’re most interested in, and if they make a purchase. GA4 works in a similar way, but for websites.
When will GA4 be required for all websites?
Although GA4 was initially launched in 2020 as the successor of Universal Analytics, it will only soon become the face of Google Analytics on July 1st, 2023.
According to Google this means that, “On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You’ll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 properties.” 
As a business owner, you can check with your marketing team to make sure they migrate your website to GA4 from Universal Analytics before July 1st to ensure there are no gaps in data collection.
What are the main differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics?
It’s important to understand that GA4 is not simply an update to Google Analytics—it’s a new model that collects, stores, and filters website data for its users.
However, for those that are familiar with Universal Analytics, some of the major differences you’ll notice on GA4 are:
- Utilization of event-based instead of session-based data: By offering an event-based model, GA4 can provide more accurate and specific tracking of user behavior on your website, while will provide you with better information when measuring success and setting goals.
- Better privacy controls: GA4 prioritizes user privacy while still providing marketers with the strategic data they need. For example, GA4 offers cookieless measurements to track user behavior and does not store IP addresses like Universal Analytics.
- Usable predictive capabilities: GA4 offers user-friendly machine-learning capabilities that can offer next-level insights on user behavior and conversions.
- Improved understanding of the customer journey through the collective of website and app data: Whether your users are on a desktop, phone, or tablet, GA4 will give you a view of your customer’s journey on your website, all in one place. For example, if someone visits your website on their phone and then later makes a purchase on their computer, GA4 can connect those interactions to give you a comprehensive view of the customer journey.
How will my marketing team utilize GA4?
Your marketing team will use GA4 to see how visitors are interacting with your website, and then use those insights to see how they can make improvements to attract more visitors, increase conversions and achieve your digital marketing goals. Those goals could be building your email list, getting a certain amount of online leads per month, or increasing visits to a specific website page.
Overall, GA4 provides data-driven insights that enable its user to make informed decisions and optimize websites for better performance and user experience.
Seeking support for your marketing strategy?
Whether it’s GA4 migration, content marketing, social media management, or another service entirely, our team at Different Perspective is here to help your business achieve all of your marketing goals with our ongoing agency support, website design, and branding services.
As a leading Orlando advertising agency, we’re here to give you back time, enhance your sales efforts, and offer actionable advice through carefully considered, results-driven marketing strategies.
Ready to transform your marketing?