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With more and more businesses relying on their online presence and their digital marketing efforts this year, it is no surprise that Google decided to give a long-overdue update to its analytics platform.

We are still getting used to the new additions ourselves here at Studio 24 however we thought we would share a bit of insight into how these new features have the potential to help improve marketing decisions and increase return on investment for businesses big and small.

Most Google Analytics users still only use the tool to track website traffic and activity, but the more advanced reporting tools can now provide some really powerful insight, especially for eCommerce businesses and those looking to conduct more activity online. Which, in 2020, is basically everybody.

Vidhya Srinivasan, vice president of measurement, analytics, and buying platforms at Google states: By applying Google’s advanced machine learning models, the new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data – like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. Read Vidhya Srinivasan’s post.

The four key features available in the “new” Google Analytics are:

  • Smarter insights that use machine learning to identify trends
  • Deeper integration with Google Ads
  • Customer-centric data measurement
  • More granular data controls.

Smarter insights that use machine learning to identify trends

Machine learning-powered insights in Google Analytics have been available for a while now but the new insights and predictions being implemented here can automatically alert marketers to data trends such as surging demand for a product they sell. It can also be used to predict outcomes, such as churn rates (the rate at which customers stop doing business with you) and the potential revenue a business could earn from a particular segment of customers.

Deeper integration with Google Ads

You can now create audiences for Google Ads based on your Analytics data in order to reach more focused customer segments. You can also now measure app and web interactions together, which means that you can monitor conversions from things like YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google Search, and Google Display campaigns.

Customer-centric data measurement

Google is stating that The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform. It uses multiple identity spaces to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business. You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention.

More granular data controls

This is perhaps the most important feature in this update as it speaks more to how marketers can continue to track their customers whilst still respecting their privacy. Google Analytics now offers more granular data controls that marketers can use to manage how data is collected and retained. These controls can also be used to specify how data should be used as you can choose when to use customer data to optimise ads, and when to limit data use to measurement only.

Given the increased data regulations in 2020 and the fact that tracking via cookies is slowly being phased out, businesses need new ways to track audience activity and attribute the results to their marketing efforts. This latest update seems to be a step in the right direction for Google to catch up with some of the other already GDPR compliant platforms on the market such as Matomo and GoatCounter.

So what do you need to do to get these new features? Well, Google is saying this is now the default experience for new properties. The company will no longer be investing in the old version of GA, so In order to stay up-to-date with future improvements, Google advises creating a new ‘Google Analytics 4’ property (previously called an App + Web property) alongside your existing properties. You can learn more about how to do that in Google’s help guide.