Make the Switch Now
Now is the time to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), especially because once the switch to GA4 is made on July 1, 2023, all data that is currently in Universal Analytics (UA) will not be available in GA4. So switching now will allow you to begin acquiring and storing data in GA4. Google has stated that third-party cookies will remain active on the Chrome browser until 2024, but the sooner you get accustomed to the new way to acquire and store data, the better.
When we originally wrote about GA4, the overall reaction from the search marketing community was frustration, and they were very resistant to the idea of change. However, there have been new and positive changes for GA4 that we are pleased about.
GA4 Brings Positive Changes
The most positive change is a change in data storage. Google originally had 2 months of data storage by default within GA4, with an option to only hold historical data for 14 months. This has now been extended to 50 months.
This is a huge deal because having access to more historical data allows us not only to compare data year over year but compare performance over time.
Another positive change is Search Console now supports GA4. Search Console is a tool designed to help businesses and SEO experts understand how audiences discover their site’s content and what resonates with their audiences. Search Console allows us to present our clients’ up-to-date information on their websites and plan ways to improve their content.
The final positive change is the addition of bounce rate, UTM term and UTM ad content and conversion rate to GA4. In our previous article, we stated that bounce rate was going away in favor of “engaged sessions.” Now, bounce rate is back and is defined as the percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions. This means that any user who visits your homepage for less than 10 seconds and leaves without triggering an event or visiting another page, it will count as a bounce.
UTM term and UTM ad content have had new dimensions added which are user-scoped and session-scoped. Dimensions provide information about where your traffic originates from, how someone arrives at your website or app and the specific marketing strategy used to drive that traffic.
Conversion rate has been updated for any event. This includes both the user conversion rate, which is the percentage of users who triggered any conversion event, and the session conversion rate, which is the percentage of sessions in which any conversion event was triggered.
The Healthcare Industry & GA4
One of the most common concerns we hear from our clients is how this change will affect their industry, specifically, the healthcare industry due to the changes to user privacy and personally identifiable information (PII). There are many moving parts in healthcare, and such a change can cause confusion. However, we believe this change to be a positive one in the healthcare industry, especially with more development in services such as telemedicine.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, what the healthcare consumer expects has completely changed. Many things that were in-person or over the phone have now moved online or to mobile. GA4 allows you to analyze both web and app data in the same place.
What’s even better is if a user has a Google account, Google Signals, a tool that collects data from users who have turned on Google’s Ads Personalization, can identify and deduplicate users across devices. This means that both our clients and us as marketers will have a better understanding of how users interact with their website across multiple devices.
Another positive to come from GA4 is the fact that marketing campaigns are now way more trackable. Cross-domain tracking is easy to set up, unlike its UA counterpart, and businesses are now able to segment audiences. This means we can now group users based on interactions and time between events.
Overall, the benefits of GA4 will help healthcare professionals save time by gathering better and more accurate data than UA. This allows healthcare businesses to see better return on investment and gives digital marketers the tools needed to assist healthcare businesses in becoming more modern and up to date.
TruStar Marketing Can Help
In a world like ours where everything is constantly changing, we know how difficult it can be to try to stay on top of it. However, here at TruStar Marketing, we strive every day for excellence and to become a digital marketing leader. Allow us to help educate and assist you with making the swap to GA4 with a free preliminary SEO Audit.
About TruStar Marketing
TruStar Marketing, LLC fuses the art and science of marketing to help clients succeed – measurably. The digital marketing firm specializes in health care, insurance, and industrial and tech businesses, serving other industries as well. TruStar Marketing is renowned as a leader in analytics, SEO, and search engine marketing (SEM) as well as web design and development. Call 615-371-6112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a brief introduction.