Getting Ready for Google Analytics 4: Read this first!

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

Google Analytics’ most loved version – Universal Analytics, is on the verge of being replaced by its distinctively promising Google Analytics 4. 

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

If you have become comfortable with the current version of Universal Analytics, then this news might have unsettled you a bit. On July 1  2023, the end of Universal Analytics will conclude an era in web analytics

Google Analytics was revolutionary for businesses, developers, and marketers when it was first released in 2005. It has been a foundational piece of the web analytics toolkit for more than 15 years.

It’s tempting to believe that the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA 4) will be painless. However, for many users, the situation is far more complicated. Because GA4 accumulates data differently than Universal Analytics, the tagging for this implementation is novel and the fields and interfaces that hold your data are also unique. 

About the GA4

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

While Google Analytics 4 (ga4), a google analytics 4 property is not a major overhaul, there are significant data-driven changes regarding how you can store, collect, and visualize your data analytics, such as:

  • Connecting behavioral data for providing better analysis and prediction. It means online stores or eCommerce sites will have more chances to divide their customers into groups and customize their experiences and marketing strategies.
  • Marketers and eCommerce owners will be pleased with expanded marketing attribution models.
  • Simpler ways to connect to other Google Suite tools making export, visualization and reporting data easier. 

Why should you switch to GA4?

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

Even though Google Analytics will not officially retire before July 2023, there are three significant reasons why you should consider upgrading to GA4 sooner than later. Here are some significant reasons to switch to Google Analytics 4. 

  • GA4 may soon become the standard for data collection and data analytics. Since new features will also be available, Google will almost certainly add them to GA4 instead of older software versions.
  • If you want to compare year-over-year data, you should use GA4 as soon as possible. GA4 does not support backward data. So, if you don’t start collecting data now, you won’t have enough to compare the years.
  • Google will keep supporting older versions until July 2023, so you might as well use that time to learn more about GA4, the account and property of Google.
  • It raises the value of your analytics-based data. Machine learning gives you accurate and essential user behavior insights and conversion. It also helps you to build new groups of users who are likely to buy or leave, automatically showing you necessary insights that can help you improve your marketing.
  • It boosts your data-driven analysis and predictive metrics. Attribution credits are assigned to multiple clicks through analytic-driven data. This is great for knowing how your marketing efforts are influencing sales. Interestingly, these analytics can be exported easily to the Google Marketing Platform and Google Ads for campaign optimization.
  • You also get Display and Video 360 and Search Ads 360 in Google Analytics to aid you in conversions and campaign performance.
  • This update gives the ability to cater to 125 custom dimensions, 50 conversion types of each property, and 400 audiences. 

Where to get training and support?

Click here for complete Google Analytics 4 training and support. 

How to prepare for the big shift?

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

From July 1, 2023, onwards, universal analytics property shall no longer be able to process new hits. Universal Analytics properties will be available after October 1, 2023. Even if you don’t stop processing right now, take the time to get to know the upcoming system 

Here are the steps we suggest for you to make a smooth transition to GA4.

Recalibrate Your Data Layer for UA to GA4 migration

Data layers track your eCommerce site’s conversion funnel. GA4 has more data fields and more options for other data fields. So, if you’re converting your data layer from Universal Analytics to GA4, you’ll need to change the structure of your data layer to take advantage of these new options.

Update your GTM (Google Tag Manager)

It’s essential to set up GA4 tags for the new conversion funnel. Google Tag Manager users must develop new data layer variables to pass as parameters to GA4 eCommerce event tags. 

Server-side Implemented Tag Management is the future of tag management. Server-side tagging hosts a GTM container on your server. Google Tag Manager receives client-side tracking data on that server, processes and manipulates it and then delivers it to third-party providers, analytics tools, and databases. 

Tag management has several benefits, and they are: 

  • Reduced page load control vendor information
  • Reduces ad blockers’ impact
  • Accurate data.

Install and connect with BigQuery

BigQuery is a central repository in the cloud that helps you see and manage your data. By connecting your GA4 data to BigQuery, analysts can join other data sources to your Google Analytics data and create advanced reports. And, because BigQuery and GA4 are both Google products, the setup will be simple.

The BigQuery data connection is now included with GA4 (as opposed to the GA360 price of $150k per year to connect to BigQuery), allowing you to access raw data. All you’ll have to pay to use BigQuery is a small storage fee. You can connect to BigQuery as your primary data warehouse or via a third-party API connection to your current data warehouse.

Why Are Some Marketers Wary of Moving to GA4?

After ten years of Universal Analytics, some experts find Google Analytics 4’s interface significantly different from what they are accustomed to. Filtering data, according to some, is more complex than the features available on UA.

Getting accustomed to a new tool takes time; not everyone can readily adapt to every update. However, if we had to pick just one “good” significant change, it would be the user-centric, multi-device approach. GA4 provides marketers with more precise and helpful user behavior data. However, there are a few changes in reporting with GA4: some key metrics disappear to make way for others that are more relevant to how websites and web applications work today.

Get future-ready with Google Analytics 4

Getting Ready for Google Analytics: Read this first

Should You Migrate today?

It depends on the structure of your website – how big and complex it is. If it has very few goals, migration won’t be a problem. 

Is your site complex?

If it is, migration might not happen that simply. GA4 is still in its development phase, which means that if you upgrade now, you’ll have to set up many things manually. However, you can get a migration tool from GA4 to help you out. 

Everything matters when it comes to data, from how it is collected and stored to how it is analyzed and leveraged. 

In other words, data must be treated as a valuable asset, and GA4 will be the tool that will help make that happen, both now and in the future.

So, how eager are you to switch to Google Analytics 4?

6 Best SEO Tools That are Free!

6 Best SEO Tools That are Free!

With more and more brands going digital everyday, it’s extremely important to maintain your online presence amidst the hundreds of other brands out there offering the same service or product to the same consumers.

That’s why it’s not enough to just have a simple marketing strategy. Whatever content you put out online should also be optimised for search engines to get yourself the exposure you seek. Search engine optimisation (SEO) allows you to show up in more results when consumers look for certain keywords, therefore increasing the chances of them clicking into your content.

There are plenty of SEO tools out there to help you get started. We know it may seem overwhelming to decide amongst the numerous tools — therefore we’ve put down a list of free SEO tools that you can try out before you decide to commit to a paid one, if at all. Here are the SEO tools we think are not only helpful, but great for beginners.

1. Google Analytics

5 Google Analytics Loopholes to Close ASAP

Before you can even plan out an SEO strategy, you need to know what are the areas you should improve on. Google Analytics helps you figure out where the traffic flow to your website is coming from so that you can capitalise on it. Furthermore, you can also look at where traffic flow is in a lull so that you can work harder on the SEO for that particular platform.

With Google Analytics, you would be able to gather in-depth details about your website visitors such as the bounce rate, the amount of time they spend on your website, which page content attracts more visitors, and more. These real-time data can also tell you whether your SEO strategy is effective or not, even as you’re optimising it.

All you need is a Google account to sign in to Google Analytics and connect it to your webpage. You can even pair it with Google Search Console, which helps you understand how Google indexes your site. When you use Google Analytics together with Google Console, you can find out information such as the ranking of the content of your webpage, the keywords consumers are using to find your website, as well as the click-through rate for those keywords. You can even diagnose what, if any, technical errors there are on your website!

2. SEM Rush

SEMrush - Review 2019 - PCMag Asia

SEM Rush assists webpage owners with keyword research, content optimisation, SEO audits, rank tracking, and many more. All their functions are accessible with just an account, which is free to create. Features such as their backlink analysis and link building tool can help by giving you an insight into your backlink profile on your webpages.

Although the free version only allows up to 100 domains in the link building tool, you can still use the data to figure out which are the domains and backlinks that have the highest referral score. This enables you to find out the areas in which you need to improve your link building efforts. With time, you can decide if you want to upgrade to the paid version if you find their features extremely helpful.

3. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest, an essential keyword research tool

Just as its name suggests (no pun intended), Ubersuggest helps users generate content ideas and keywords for you to employ on your website. This is extremely useful for when you’re running out of content ideas for your website and need some fresh suggestions to fill your content calendar.

Ubersuggest also has a feature that can give you an overview of the keyword you’re focusing on. It will not only suggest content ideas based on your keyword, but also show you related keywords that you can use in your content.

4. Rank Math Plugin

RankMath Review - The #1 Exciting WordPress SEO Plugin

If your website uses WordPress to publish its content, Rank Math is a great add-on to have. It allows you to add meta titles and descriptions to your URLs so that people can see the concise version of your web page before clicking in. It also helps you optimise your content and structure your data more efficiently.

To use Rank Math, you simply need to install the plugin to your WordPress website and let it do the work for you. If you indicate which keyword you’re targeting, Rank Math not only suggests ways for you to improve the keyword ranking, but also gives your content an SEO score. Win-win! You can even identify dead links on your site and redirect URLs to new pages with this add-on.

5. Google Trends

How to Use Google Trends for Better SEO | Step-by-Step Guide

Similar to Ubersuggest, Google Trends can help you generate new content ideas by showing you what are the current trends and topics in your industry. Using this knowledge of popular market trends, you can better craft a content marketing strategy and optimise it based on what would draw the crowd.

In fact, Google Trends can also show you how trends change over time and the search patterns involved around it. All you need to do is enter a keyword, and the tool will show you how much interest was generated around that topic, which regions showed the most interest, as well as other related keywords consumers were using. With Google Trends, you can easily compare various trends over an extended period of time.

6. Ahrefs

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Ahrefs offer plenty of free tools, from Content Explorer, to Rank Tracker, to Backlink Checker and more. Ahrefs Backlink Checker works in a way that it analyses a website and shows you the top 100 backlinks of that particular website just by entering an URL into their search bar. You can also view additional information such as the number of backlinks, the domain rating, and the number of referring domains.

They also have a Keyword Explorer and Keyword Generator tool which helps you analyse the ranking difficulty of a particular keyword and calculate their traffic potential. Similar to the Backlink Checker, the Keyword Generator will show you the top 100 related keywords or ideas when you put in a particular keyword that you wish to target. You can also find out their search volume as well as the keyword difficulties for the first 10 keywords on that list, and the top 50 questions related to said keyword.

If you find Ahrefs tools helpful, you can even upgrade to the paid version to unlock more features. However, the free version is a great start to understanding the industry trends and SEO for your own strategy.

Having a great SEO strategy not only increases the discoverability of your brand, but also helps you gain more visibility online. After all, it has been found that 88% of consumers research a brand online before making a purchase. Consumers are now getting smarter and more wise about their purchases, and many are increasingly doing their research online. Therefore, it is vital for a brand to keep their online presence strong with an effective SEO strategy so they can reach a wider audience.

Planning and implementing SEO strategies are but one of the services that MIU provides. If these free SEO tools are not cutting it for you, you can also contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help your business. From digital strategies, to branding, to design, we offer a plethora of services that suit your needs. Click here for more information on what we do and the services we provide.