Google Analytics 4 – what you need to know and how you can get started with the updates

Google recently introduced a new update to their analytics system. Google Analytics 4 operates in a very different way to Universal Analytics, and so website owners and marketers should be preparing to move from one system to the other. Let’s take a closer look at what this new system can offer marketers.

How to set up the new analytics

Google Analytics 4 can be used with a website, an app, or with both together. This is in contrast to Universal Analytics, which can only be used with websites. There are three ways that you can introduce this new system to your operations:

  1. Start a new site with Google Analytics 4
  2. Start a new site that uses both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics
  3. Add Google Analytics 4 to a site that already uses Universal Analytics

Should you already use Universal Analytics, Google recommends that you add this new update so they are both running on your site. If you wish to make the full conversion from Universal Analytics to the new system, Google themselves recommend that you rethink your data collection as the structure of the two systems is quite difficult.

How does Google Analytics 4 work?

This new analytics system measures its data in terms of events. While Universal Analytics will translate interactions as page views, transactions, or something else, this new system measures them all as events, with no distinction between them.

What the new system does introduce is four categories of events. Automatically collected events and enhanced measurement events are automatically logged. Recommended events with predefined names and parameters and custom events that you define yourself must be added into the code of the web page or app.

How can affiliate marketers benefit from Google Analytics 4?

While this new system is not designed specifically as an affiliate tracking software, there are several ways in which an affiliate site owner will be able to track sales and performance.

Since this system uses machine learning to spot when there are changes in trends, you can use this to measure the success of your affiliate campaigns. A successful campaign will trigger a surge in traffic to your site, which the analytics will pick up on. They can then alert you to these changes, and the insights will begin to predict certain outcomes.

This can help to give a much deeper understanding of specific groups of visitors and can give you more insight into how your customers react to and interact with your affiliate program. This can then be used to fine-tune your future campaigns so they can better meet the needs of your customers.

Though Google Analytics 4 was initially an optional update, it is now the core of many of Google’s processes. Affiliate marketers need to get to grips with this system so they are able to deliver the best results for their programs. If you have not yet made the upgrade, look into doing so soon.

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