If you’re a small business looking to get more insights into your website visitor’s needs and behaviors, this post will let you know what you can expect from using Google Analytics and why it’s essential. It will also inform you about the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) release, why it matters for your business, and how to get started. Let’s dive in!
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next-generation Google Analytics with numerous changes and features. Google will retire the current Universal Analytics (UA) in July 2023. If you have been using Google Analytics to track your website’s performance, you must upgrade to GA4 and reconfigure your settings.
If you haven’t been using Google Analytics, perhaps this is a great time to start.
Google Analytics is free to use and easy to set up. We install and connect Google Analytics to each of our client’s new websites. Still, I had a hunch, which I recently verified with statistics from Google, that many small business owners, and I would speculate that includes the majority of our clients, have not been taking advantage of the information this valuable tool can provide.
- You can find out your page load times, bounce rates, and exit rates which you can use to improve your website’s performance. You may not even realize your site isn’t functioning optimally. Any issues found by reviewing these numbers can often get resolved quickly, improving your visitor’s experience on your website so they stay on your site rather than bouncing away.
- Google Analytics will show the amount of traffic to your website, log the number of visitors your site gets, show how visitors found your site, what pages were visited, and what actions were taken.
- Google Analytics provides insights into visitor demographics, such as age, gender, location, and interests which you can use to tailor the content on your website to improve your marketing efforts.
- Google Analytics shows which pages and content on your website are most popular with your visitors, which will help you create more targeted content and improve overall engagement.
- You can measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns using Google Analytics to track the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions generated from each ad.
Now using GA4, you can
- Track user events such as page views and clicks on specific webpage elements like buttons or images.
- See which devices your website visitors use most frequently and view detailed reports about each device type—including mobile phones and tablets for valuable insights into customer behavior on different devices.
- Segment your website traffic by different criteria, such as location or age group, allowing you to effectively target your marketing efforts at specific audiences.
Why is Google making the switch to GA4?
The current version of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, was introduced in 2013 when desktops accounted for more than 72% of internet traffic. Mobile usage has since taken the lead over desktops, and people are now constantly switching between mobile browsers, apps, tablets, personal computers, and work laptops. Data is being collected by both app and web platforms, making syncing data more challenging. Google needed to find a way to unify all this data in one analytics platform.
At the same time, data and privacy protection laws worldwide have recently been implemented that must be adhered to. Universal Analytics could no longer meet the demands of businesses and users.
Additionally, new technologies exist, such as machine learning algorithms, that can detect user behavior patterns that were previously difficult to identify. That’s where Google Analytics 4 comes in!
How Can You Get Started With GA4?
Getting started with GA4 is easy! Create a new property in your existing Google Analytics account and follow the setup instructions in the Setup Wizard. Once you have completed the setup process, you can use a WordPress plugin such as https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/ by Monster Insights or https://sitekit.withgoogle.com/ by Google to connect the GA4 account to your website to start tracking data.