Author’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
How Marketers are Experiencing the Transition to GA4
For those marketers, an abundance of data has always been at their fingertips, ready to be harnessed and utilized in formulating a potent digital marketing strategy. A key player in this arena is none other than Google Analytics, a tool that has proven its worth time and again.
With the recent phasing out of Universal Analytics, it’s time to turn our attention to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). The next generation of Google’s web analytics platform offers many new features, including improved data collection, better reporting tools, and a super easy-to-use interface.
The Future with Google Analytics 4
The way forward is clear – it’s all about consent and first-party data. There’s an old saying in marketing that’s never been more relevant: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. With privacy changes affecting visibility, marketers have been grappling with a need for insight into how people interact with their ads and platforms. This has made it challenging to accurately measure and optimize digital investments.
Rising to the occasion, GA4 offered a solution to future-proof marketing strategies amidst growing concerns around regulatory changes and online privacy protection. With the switch to GA4, marketers can now track prospective students’ trends and behaviors like never before.
GA4 now provides a more comprehensive view of user behavior across different touchpoints and devices, which can be crucial in understanding how students interact with your website. Its advanced data analysis capabilities allow you to gain insights like what devices students are using, what their demographics are, and what events are moving down the student funnel.
GA4 was initially released in October 2020 to provide deeper integration with Google Ads and more predictive insights into performance across devices. Since then, as consumers have become more attuned to the importance of data privacy, Google has continued to update GA4 with new privacy-safe features and enhancements, while Universal Analytics has remained essentially unchanged.
Google Analytics 4 Features
At first glance, data analysis appears more limited with GA4. However, compared to Universal Analytics, GA4 provides enhanced data collection capabilities and tracks user behavior with greater reliability across multiple sessions and platforms. Additionally, unlike UA, which is built on a privacy-unsafe platform of cookie-based measurement and IP address tracking, GA4 sets marketers up for compliance and privacy safety into the future.
GA4 has implemented several features to address privacy concerns, including IP Anonymization, Data deletion, Consent Mode, No User Identifiable Information, Data Minimization and Enhanced Data Controls.
Add GA4 to your marketing mix. GA4 represents the future of analytics, and most higher education institutions have readily embraced it, leveraging all the features it offers. Continue to become familiar with the platform’s capabilities and layout. GA4 is the most powerful and advanced version of Google Analytics yet, and it offers a wealth of features that can help you improve your business performance.
For inquiries on how to best utilize GA4 in your higher education marketing efforts, EDDY’s team of marketing experts is ready to assist.