Our Google Analytics 4 Journey: “Your Menu Options May Have Changed” - DeanHouston+

Digital Marketing, Inspire, Marketing Automation, Web

Our Google Analytics 4 Journey: “Your Menu Options May Have Changed”

Back in March 2022, Google shook the marketing world with the news that Universal Analytics (UA) would be phased out and replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

That’s when the DeanHouston team quickly went to work.

We ensured our clients had a full year of historical reporting data by front-loading setup efforts and fine-tuning GA4 accounts with essential reporting and tracking specific to each client.

Since then, we’ve immersed ourselves in GA4, overcoming hurdles to stay ahead of the digital curve and better help our clients.

What have we learned about GA4?

GA4 is designed to be simple to use, but it’s not an easy change.
To drive more user-centric analysis, GA4 has simplified its User Experience (UX), recategorizing and reprioritizing elements as opposed to Universal Analytics. For example, what’s considered fundamental reporting is placed on pared-down overview pages. However, this makes navigating to more detailed data a little tricky.

GA4 makes changes irregularly and without warning.
Since its launch, GA4 has had slight, yet significant, changes in its UX and measurement capabilities. For example, Bounce Rate, considered a crucial metric in Universal Analytics, was not made available in most reporting for GA4. Recently, Bounce Rate was reintroduced as a redeveloped metric, measuring the percentage of sessions that were not “engaged sessions” rather than just sessions with no page interaction.

How do we actually simplify GA4 for our clients?
When the GA4 transition was finalized, many of our clients weren’t acquainted with GA4. So, we spent time with those who needed a guiding hand and led them through the platform essentials. It was throughout this process that we developed a tiered approach to different user data requirements.

  • Standard Users need essential data in easy-to-find, easy-to-interpret formats. This is someone who might check their new client dashboards daily or even just occasionally.
  • Data-Curious Users are familiar with finding data in Universal Analytics. They will regularly be logged into GA4 and need versatile and detailed charts.
  • Proficient Users need to understand the complexities of data discrepancies and the various customization options available. They want to dig through data to find the treasure.

GA4 provides reporting options for the above levels of data familiarity.

For clients with expansive data needs, we can create custom elements and reporting views. While everyone doesn’t need to be an expert, being able to navigate the detailed reports is recommended for most users.

As mentioned, GA4 is regularly evolving, testing, and refining its features — and doing so without warning. That’s why we constantly check on these updates and update our procedures, documents and reporting instructions for all our clients.

Even though the full impact of GA4 has yet to be seen, DeanHouston is ready for what’s to come and determined to help our clients along the way.

Need help staying ahead of the digital curve? We’re here to lead you through your journey!

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