This is the main reason why the American company is investing heavily in the development and implementation of its new tracking tool: Google Analytics 4.
Similar to the development of Looker Studio (formerly called Data Studio), new features are added to the tool every month.
Here are the latest official updates made public in October 2022
Universal Analytics 360 sunset date pushed back
Initially scheduled for October 1, 2023, Google has decided to postpone the date on which Universal Analytics 360 will be deactivated.
This means that owners of the Google Analytics 360 Suite professional licence will “theoretically” have until 1st of July 2024 to migrate their Universal Analytics account to Google Analytics 4.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to set up dual tracking as soon as possible. This is to allow data to be collected with Google Analytics 4 in parallel with the data recorded by Universal Analytics.
Finally, there is no additional information for the free version of Google Universal Analytics.
Therefore, the date communicated for these users remains the same, 1st of July 2023.
New homepage in the GA4 interface
Google Analytics 4 now has a new homepage, which was introduced at the last Google Marketing Live in October 2022.
A dashboard highlighting the most important trends in a website’s traffic. This makes it easier to “take the temperature” and get an overview of the current performance.
It also highlights the most viewed reports as shortcuts, which makes it much easier to navigate during meetings or detailed analysis.
In addition, user behaviour can be seen in real-time. This is important data when launching digital campaigns or a product.
Finally, GA4 now uses machine learning technology to automatically generate and deliver insights and recommendations directly on the homepage.
GA Configuration Assistant Enhancements
In order to facilitate the migration to GA4, Google will offer from 2023, through its wizard, to automatically create new properties based on the options of the Universal Analytics properties present in the account.
As a result, Google will take into account the goals currently defined to create them in the GA4 interface.
Also, the privacy and datas collection options will be imported in the same way as the Universal Analytics profile settings.
Finally, the assistant proposes to connect the same Google Ads accounts.
Of course, this automatic view creation function from Universal Analytics to GA4 can simply be disabled (opt-out).
Customize channel grouping
A very important feature when it comes to digital marketing strategy is for sure channel grouping.
Used in to measure the performance of campaigns and acquisition channels, channel grouping makes it possible to group together different sources of traffic.
Google offers standard channel grouping by default. Direct traffic, organic search, social networks, email traffic, referral site, etc.
However, these default channels limit the granularity of reporting.
With custom channel grouping, it is possible to separate the traffic that comes from social media advertising from the organic part of the social media.
Therefore, it’s possible to analyse in detail the impact of an advertisement and a post on a defined social network.
In the same way, the customization of the grouping of channels makes it possible to consolidate all the search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo, Qwant, Yandex etc.)
And, to make them appear as a source of organic traffic.
This is a new feature that greatly improves Google Analytics 4.
Google Campaign manager 360 integration
Google has announced the integration of Google Campaign manager 360. This means that conversions tracked in GA4 can be integrated and used in Campaign Manager. In particular for the automatic bidding strategy.
Again, a very good thing for campaign management and optimization. Especially for remarketing strategies on conversions generated through channels that are not part of the Google ecosystem.
This makes it very easy to create negative lists on Google Display & 360 Videos for all leads that have already converted through Facebook.
This is unfortunately not possible when using the standard Google Ads pixel.
Aware of the high stakes of tracking and some heated discussions about Google Analytics 4, Google is striving to offer a complete tool that increasingly meets users’ expectations.
If you want to be kept informed of the new features of GA4, don’t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter.
Finally, if you have not yet implemented the new tracking tool, and you need support, do not hesitate to contact me.
I will be happy to discuss your GA4 migration project with you.
I’m a digital marketing consultant with 20 years of experience in digital growth in Switzerland.
I assist small and medium-sized businesses in enhancing their online presence and generating more leads.
Based on research and data-driven approach, I create digital marketing strategies and effectively implements them.
I also train marketers in SEO, SEA (Online Advertising), and Web analytics to enhance their skills.