Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is revolutionizing the world of web analytics and marketing. With its advanced features and capabilities, advertisers can gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of their website and app interactions.
We provide a solid walkthrough of GA4 here, but in this article, I want to dive deeper into three key features that are critical for tracking and analyzing customer behavior:
- Google Signals
- Google Ads account linking
We will highlight what makes these features unique to GA4, explain why they are essential for boosting the performance of your marketing campaigns, and provide step-by-step guidance on how to implement them in your GA4 account.
Get ready to unlock the full potential of your web analytics with Google Analytics 4.
When you activate Google Signals on the Analytics platform and the user has Ads Personalization turned on, Google can gather more information about the user as they navigate your website. This information, which may include the user’s location, search history, YouTube history, and data from sites that partner with Google, provides aggregated and anonymized insights into cross-device behavior (as we know, privacy is a growing marketing trend).
It’s important to note that the cross-device data will only become available when the feature is turned on in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and is not retroactively applied.
How to enable Google Signals
To enable Google Signals, follow these steps:
- Go to the GA4 Admin section.
- In the property settings, click on “Data Settings.”
- Select “Data Collection.”
- You will now be on the Google Signals data collection page.
- Switch the toggle button on the right to “On” to activate Google Signals and location/device data collection.
Imagine you are standing on a cliff, looking at a vast landscape. You can only see a small portion of what’s happening in the area with your naked eye. But with binoculars, you can see far more and get a clearer view of what’s happening. Similarly, Google Signals allows you to see beyond your website and track your audience’s interactions across multiple devices and platforms, including Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform.
With this information, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your advertising efforts, target specific groups of users with personalized messages, and track the performance of your campaigns.
How to use predictive audiences in GA4
GA4 offers a significant advantage over Universal Analytics (UA) (which it is replacing) by including predictive audiences. The predictive audience list is generated by incorporating one of the following predictive metrics into the audience definition:
- Likely 7-day purchasers
- Likely first-time 7-day purchasers
- Likely 7-day churning users
- Likely 7-day churning purchasers
- Predicted 28-day top spenders.
Google Signals enables you to take your audience targeting to the next level. For example, when you have Google Signals helped and sufficient data within the designated date range, you can enhance your audience targeting through demographic filters.
It lets you precisely define your target audience, creating a more optimized marketing strategy. With Google Signals, you can better understand your audience and create highly targeted, effective advertisements.
As a digital marketer, you know the importance of leveraging data to inform your strategy and optimize your campaigns. By linking Google Analytics and Ads, you’ll access a wealth of valuable PPC metrics such as cost, clicks, impressions, and more.
This integration provides new insights into your data. In addition, it simplifies setting up conversion tracking for your Google Ads campaigns by allowing you to import conversion events from Google Analytics.
Establishing this integration is simple and quick and can be achieved in three straightforward steps. So let’s dive in and see how it’s done (be sure to avoid these conversion tracking mistakes!).
GA4 feature #3: User-ID
In GA4, User-ID tracking allows you to assign a unique identifier to each user, which can then be used to track their behavior across multiple devices and sessions. This provides a more complete and accurate picture of your users’ behavior, as you can see the full journey they take on your website or app, rather than just isolated sessions.
In UA, tracking user behavior across multiple devices and sessions can be challenging, as it requires session stitching to be done client-side, which can be complex and prone to errors. GA4 eliminates the need for session stitching by using User-ID tracking, which reduces the complexity of tracking user behavior and improves the accuracy of your data.
Additionally, GA4 allows you to create user-based metrics rather than just the traditional SEO metrics, such as lifetime value, which take into account the entire journey of a user across devices and sessions. This provides a more comprehensive view of your users’ behavior and can help you make better decisions about how to engage with your audience.
In GA4, User-ID tracking allows you to assign a unique identifier to each user and track their behavior across multiple devices and sessions. As a result, it provides a more complete and accurate picture of your user’s behavior, as you can see their entire journey on your website or app rather than just isolated sessions.
In UA, tracking user behavior across multiple devices and sessions can be challenging, as it requires session stitching to the client side, which can be complex and prone to errors. GA4 eliminates the need for session stitching by using User-ID tracking, which reduces the complexity of tracking user behavior and improves the accuracy of your data.
Additionally, GA4 allows you to create user-based metrics rather than just the traditional SEO metrics, such as lifetime value, which take into account a user’s entire journey across devices and sessions. As a result, it provides a more comprehensive view of your user’s behavior and can help you make better decisions about engaging with your audience.
Start taking advantage of GA4 features.
Google Signals, Google Ads account linking, and User-ID provide advertisers with a complete view of their website and app interactions, enabling them to track and analyze customer behavior more effectively and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. So start using them today and harness the power of GA4 to achieve your marketing goals!