Does your CMS-based website still rely on Universal Analytics? It’s time to switch to the “next generation of analytics” – Google Analytics 4. It collects event-based, real-time data from websites and apps, providing valuable insights into your website traffic and audience behavior. But more importantly, this powerful web analytics tool will replace Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023.
So, if you haven’t made the switch yet, here’s everything you need to know about powering your CMS website via Google Analytics.
Why Switch From Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4?
Even though Google Analytics 4 will replace Universal Analytics in 2023, there are four key differences that make the switch more worthwhile.
- Predictive metrics: Google uses a machine learning model for real-time predictive analysis that aids in accurately projecting user behavior in the future.
- Multi-platform measurement: Google Analytics 4 allows you to collect and analyze event-based data from your website and mobile apps, including Android and iOS.
- Event-based tracking: Unlike session-based data tracking, Google Analytics provides event-based tracking that helps measure user behavior on your website or app and conversions. This provides a comprehensive view of your customer journey.
- Privacy configurations: The advanced privacy controls ensure that user data can be collected ethically and discretely.
Why Set Up Google Analytics 4 For Your CMS Website?
For any business or app owner, it is crucial to keep a track of their website/app traffic and user behavior. However, measuring consumer behavior and deriving meaningful insights from it requires powerful analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Here’s why you should consider Google Analytics 4 setup:
- Includes New Features: Google Analytics version 4 comes with notable features such as data importing, event editing, migration tools, life cycle reporting, and cross-domain reporting.
- Customer-Centric Data: GA4 now comes with more sophisticated and advanced reporting that helps capture smarter insights from a user’s interactions with your website. It enables you to track a user – from acquisition to retention and through conversion. The information can be highly effective in developing a proven marketing or branding strategy.
- Analytics Based on Machine Learning: The foundation of Google Analytics 4 is Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. This helps to identify the trends based on deep analytics and enables you to make informed decisions.
- Audience Integration with Google Ads: Using GA4, you can build and integrate audiences from across the web as well as the internet. The audience list gets automatically updated to add, qualify or remove a user based on their activity on your website or app. This helps ensure that if a user is removed from the list, he or she is not retargeted with Google Ads.
- Granular User Data Controls: GA4 features a more granular consent mode for websites that require collecting end-user consent for data capturing and analytics. It allows obtaining separate consent opt-in for Google Ads and Google Analytics.
- Codeless Event Tracking: If you have been using Universal Analytics, you’d know that any type of event tracking would need additional processing. This involves some kind of latency and the data may not be available on the same day. However, GA4 introduces codeless features that make it simpler for website owners to track and analyze in-app and on-site actions in real-time. Additionally, you would not require setting up event tracking or adding a code in Google Tag Manager.
- More Organised Reporting: Unlike Universal Analytics, the reports are more organized in Analytics 4. Google has reorganized all the reports that were there in the web beta as well as the app, aiding in faster and more informed decision-making. It has also made a few additions and is not more focused on a customer’s lifecycle.
The modern reporting system allows users to dig deep into specific elements of a customer’s journey. For instance, you can use the user acquisition report to identify the primary channels that are directing new customers. Again, you can use the retention and engagement reports to analyze different actions that the customers take during this journey.
Learn more about Google Analytics 4.
Which Platforms Support Google Analytics 4?
What If My CMS Platform Does Not Support Google Analytics 4?
Despite that it has been two years since Google Analytics 4 was introduced, only a handful of CMS platforms support it. If your website is built on a CMS platform that does not provide native support, here are a few steps you can follow to set up Google Analytics:
1. Open your CMS platform’s or website builder’s custom HTML feature and tag your site manually. However, that does not mean you will simply paste the “G-“ ID into the field that the CMS-Analytics integration platform provides.
Each platform has a different set of instructions that you need to follow for Google Analytics 4 setup. Find your CMS platform from the list and follow the instructions step-by-step to set up GA4 for your CMS platform.
2. Once you complete the steps, you can set up the website by manually pasting your Google Tag (gtag.js) snippet into your CMS platform’s custom HTML field. However, it is better if the platform extends native support and accepts “G-“ ID. For this, you will need to get in touch with the technical support team of your CMS platform and specify that you want the platform to support GA4 through a modern Google tag. By getting native support from your CMS platform, you can leverage any Google Analytics-related improvements that the platform may offer in the future. However, if your CMS platform or website builder does not provide a custom HTML feature and requires a “UA-“ ID, then you will need to set up a Universal Analytics property. With this, you will get a unique “UA-“ ID that you have to enter into your CMS platform’s Google Analytics field.
The new and advanced Google Analytics 4 gives website owners and marketers a more comprehensive view of how audiences engage with their businesses across different channels and devices. It takes a holistic and multi-channel view of a customer’s journey and provides the data for predictive marketing. This enables building more efficient and workable marketing strategies around these insights.
Google Analytics 4 is poised to be the future of analytics and therefore, migrating your CMS website to this platform may deliver valuable insights. Additionally, it will be mandatory to switch to Analytics 4 from July 1, 2023, onwards. For Google Analytics 4 setup, get in touch with an expert.