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Google Unveils Several New Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Updates 

Google has announced several new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) updates designed to make it easier to transition to the new platform and deliver better results through machine learning solutions.

A smoother transition

The transition to GA4 has the potential to be very stressful for some marketers and brands, especially those without big staff numbers, to help smooth through the process.

To help users transition easily, Google has launched new resources and tools. One of them is the step-by-step guide. A second tool is the Setup Asssistant.

Russell Ketchum, Director, Product Management, Google Analytics

“Our step-by-step guide helps you complete the entire setup of Google Analytics 4 at your pace and customise it to your needs. Or, if you prefer a more automated experience, you can use the Setup Assistant in the admin section of your Universal Analytics property.”

If you don’t opt out of Setup Assistant, it will begin to create a new GA4 property based on each standard property in your Universal Analytics. Using Setup Assistant, you can pick which goals you’d like to move across and will track the progress of the move. Setup Assistant will also let you set goals and create Google Ads links.

Russell Ketchum, Director, Product Management, Google Analytics

“For example, the Setup Assistant lets you… copy desired Google Ads links and audiences, and add users who have access to your current property.”

Using the step-by-step guide would work well for those with time on their hands and who want more of a manual migration. But for an automated experience that does a lot of the heavy lifting, consider running with Setup Assistant.

No matter your chosen method, making a move promptly is essential. The earlier you transition, the more historical data and insights will be available in GA4.

But don’t just take our word for it; here’s what financial services giant Suncorp had to say.

Mim Haysom, Chief Marketing Officer, Suncorp Group, via Google

“When Universal Analytics stops collecting data in 2023, we will have over two years of insights and reporting in Google Analytics 4. This is critical for a business like us to ensure we have a robust foundation of data to inform decision making.”

Google previously stated that Universal Analytics will be sunsetted from July 1, 2023. However, larger organisations using Universal Analytics 360 properties have been handed an extension until July 1, 2024. That doesn’t mean you should dilly-dally, though. As Suncorp’s CMO says, get your transition in early and reap the data rewards.

Behavioural modelling gets more power

We’re living in a world that values data privacy more preciously than ever before – which has impacted the level of insight some advertisers can get from analytics. That’s why Google has been working on its behavioural modelling program.

Behavioural modelling uses machine learning to help you understand customer behaviour when identifiers like cookies aren’t available. You’ll be able to use it in real-time reporting, which Google says will give marketers “a complete view of the customer journey as it happens.”

Nestlé is another big company feeling the benefits from the upgrade.

Jaime Rodera, Privacy & Consumer Data Manager, Nestlé

“Behavioural modelling with Consent Mode in Google Analytics 4 drove a 23% increase in the observable traffic in analytics reporting on European and UK websites.”

Behavioural modelling will give marketers a complete view of a customer’s journey, letting them make better decisions they can back-up thanks to real-world data.

Better data, more readily available

A new home page experience will highlight key trends, real-time behaviour and other data that will be useful to marketers.

It will help with campaign planning by using our old friend machine learning to look for trends and any information that will assist you in planning your future campaigns better, reaching the right people in the right places and improving your return.

Google has updated Data-driven attribution

Lastly, Google is updating its Data-driven attribution (DDA) to include custom channel grouping, which lets advertisers compare cost-per-acquisition and return-on-ad-spend across different channels based on data-driven attribution.

For example, you can now compare the performance of paid search brand vs your non-brand campaigns, which will lead to better decision-making and enhanced performance of your campaigns.

You can also integrate with Campaign Manager 360 to better view your performance alongside web and app metrics.

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