Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Advantages & Disadvantages

Not too long ago, in October 2020, Google created the newest edition of Google Analytics—Google Analytics 4(GA4). In sum, Google Analytics 4 is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, and it has features that are sure to help any business better market its products or services.

Today, we’re going to discuss Google Analytics 4, and after an explanation of what the service does, we’ll discuss why it’s vital for you to use it—because it is.

Let’s get started.


What Are the Basics of Google Analytics 4?


Unlike other software, Google Analytics 4 completely re-thinks what it means to collect data and analyze data. When you have a product or service that you’re trying to market, you probably have a website. Of course, the first step is to create a website, but the important thing—that Google Analytics 4 does—is to constantly analyze the statistics and data that come from your website.

Google Analytics 4 looks at the data that comes from your website, to give you statistics about the demographics that shop with you. Google Analytics 4 stays on top of the engagement of your demographic, the monetization of your demographic, and the retention of your demographic.

All of these things are important if you’re trying to secure conversions. To clarify, the word ‘conversions’ refers to the people who convert from site browsers to people who make a purchase on your site.

In order to have the most paying customers possible, you need to stay on top of your data, and with the plethora of incredible features that Google Analytics 4 offers, the software will help you secure more customers.

Let’s go over a few advantages of Google Analytics 4.


What are Some Advantages of Google Analytics 4?


It Tracks Data on Apps and Web Browsers

One of the best things about Google Analytics 4, is that the software is able to track data across your website and your app, so you aren’t confined to data from strictly web browsers. This is a problem with other software, like Google’s old software Universal Analytics, which oftentimes can only track traffic on a website.

This is an important perk of Google Analytics, because these days, many customers will browse and shop on their mobile devices. Because of this, it is incredibly important that you are able to see the analytics of shoppers, who opt to use mobile devices. If you want accurate data, you need all the data.


It Can Export Data to BigQuery


Furthermore, you are able to export your information into BigQuery, with Google Analytics 4. And when you do this, you’re able to get even more detailed information about your data.
Big Query is a data warehouse that will provide you with in-depth information about your company’s data. The software has been running since 2010, and it is incredibly useful that you can easily export your data into this software when using Google Analytics 4.

More specifically, the fact that Google Analytics 4 has integrated with Big Query is exciting, because you’ll have more storage for your data analysis, with access to Big Query. Also, the advanced analysis that BigQuery provides you, is only available when you use an external connector, on other programs like Universal Analytics.

To put things simply, if you’re in need of advanced data analysis technology, using Google Analytics 4 is a must, because it blows its competitors out of the water, in terms of its ability to provide advanced data analysis services.


It Gives You Better Insights


Also, you’re going to get much better insights, when you’re using Google Analytics 4. Google Analytics 4 uses machine learning so that the software can provide better insights. So, with Google Analytics 4, you’re going to get a bigger picture understanding, of the people who use your sites.

If you have ads on different sites, like Google and Facebook, for example, you’re going to be able to see how both campaigns are working, on Google Analytics 4.


It Can Better Predict the Probability of a Purchase


When you’re trying to sell your product or service, it’s vital that you’re marketing in a way that will secure a conversion. One of the most important things to figure out is what your customers want to see and what will convince your customers to make a purchase.

With Google Analytics 4, the software is able to predict the probability that your customers are going to make a purchase, and the software is also able to predict how likely it is that a customer is going to decide to cease using your product.

When you know the probability of your customers buying your products and the probability of your customers losing interest in your products, you’re going to be able to better target your customers. This information is vital, for scoring conversions—maybe even repeated conversions!


What are Some Disadvantages of Google Analytics 4?

As with all things, there are some disadvantages to using Google Analytics 4. Here are a few not-so-great things, about Google Analytics 4:

The Interface Isn’t User-Friendly

One of the biggest problems that people in the marketing industry find with Google Analytics 4, is the fact that it has a new interface that is complicated to navigate. In Universal Analytics, the software uses hit types, when handling statistics.

Google Analytics 4 does not use hit types, so if you’re used to Universal Analytics, you’re going to have to adapt, to be successful on the new software.

There Is a Lack of Custom Channel Groupings

In Universal Analytics, users are able to create custom channel groupings, but this feature is not available in Google Analytics 4. Instead, users are forced to use the default channel grouping settings, that are built into the program.

There Is a Limit on Custom Dimensions

A custom dimension is a feature that allows users to look more deeply into their data. For example, custom dimension features can allow a marketer to look at the data of a specific
the audience, to see more detailed information about the data of this demographic.

Google Analytics 4 does allow marketers to look at custom dimensions, but there is a limit on to the amount that a user can use. Specifically, you can only use 25 user-scoped custom
dimensions, and up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions, per account.

So, Why Should I Make the Switch to Google Analytics 4?

If the cons of Google Analytics 4 are not dealbreakers for you, the software is a great option for marketers.

Despite its handful of flaws, Google Analytics 4 is a huge improvement when compared to other software, like Universal Analytics. Google Analytics 4 is much more accurate, much more
powerful, and much more exciting.

Between all the exciting features that are available on Google Analytics 4, and the fact that Google is continually adding new features to the program, it’s a no-brainer that any competitive
the company would want to make the switch to Google Analytics 4.

There is one more important thing to think about: Google announced that the company is going to discontinue Universal Analytics in 2023. So, if you’re someone who uses that program, you
don’t want to lose your data when the software goes under.

That means, it’s best if you choose to make the switch to Google Analytics 4 now, to avoid any possible data loss in the future.

Final Thoughts

When you’re trying to stay relevant in your industry, it’s important to stay on top of understanding your data and the analytics of your data. Regardless of what you’re marketing, using Google Analytics 4 is a game changer.

There are new features and capabilities on this platform that are not currently available on UA, but teams will have to learn how to use them.

About the Author:

Deedra Hughes

Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.

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