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For most websites, Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics tool available today, and it has been a staple in most internet marketers’ toolboxes since its release in 2005. But not long ago, Google announced that version 4 of their analytics platform would soon be released to replace version 3, and webmasters were buzzing with excitement about what this change would mean for their businesses.

Now that v4 has officially launched, there are even more reasons to love it than before! Here are some great reasons why you should upgrade to Google Analytics 4 right away...

Create Audience Segments

When you create new audiences within your web analytics software, you can target specific users with various messaging, landing pages and calls-to-action. Creating new segments doesn’t take much time but can have huge impacts on your conversion rates.

Once you create a segment—like repeat customers or people who abandoned their cart—you can test messages and see what works best for that group of users. Then, when they visit your site again, you can serve them with an ad (or email) designed specifically for them. It’s one of many ways you can reengage users and help turn them into loyal fans.

Monitor Engagement Reports

The Engagement report (formerly known as How engaged is my site?) is where you can learn about how your visitors use your site. See how many new visits come from repeat vs. new users, as well as getting insights into what pages they're viewing on your site and how long they stay there.

It's also a great way to figure out what percentage of users are returning without ever visiting pages beyond your homepage or welcome page; if that number is low, you should work harder at getting new visitors to enter different parts of your site. If all of their time on your site is spent on just a couple sections, you'll want to know why—what do they do once they get there?

Segment by Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are becoming a major part of our internet experience. Last year mobile traffic finally surpassed desktop traffic and is now on track to make up nearly 50% of all web traffic in 2017. In some countries, mobile devices already make up over 80% of total web traffic. This shift has posed an immense challenge for companies trying to reach customers through their websites.

GA4 makes it easier than ever before for site owners and marketers to track consumer behaviour across multiple channels and screens so they can deliver an excellent experience across every device.

Use Event Tracking on a Single URL

While standard hits are all well and good, they aren’t very insightful. After all, if you have a hundred people on your site in a day, but all of them hit one page, what does that tell you? Not much. By using event tracking and an Events tag within GA (as described above), you can capture far more meaningful information about how people interact with your site. If someone fills out a form? You can track that. If someone watches a video? Yep! It’s possible. This data allows you to analyse every step of users' journeys through your website, giving you valuable insight into where users might be getting stuck or what could be confusing them.

Assign Custom Dimensions to your Forms

If you want your customers to submit specific data with their forms, you can now do so in GA. Custom dimensions are fields that will appear alongside your standard form metrics like goal completions and conversions.

For example, if you have a form on your site for users to sign up for a newsletter, you can choose from any of GA’s predefined custom dimensions (which include anything from industry-specific terms like automotive and health care to more general names like location and age) or create a new one based on what data is most important for evaluating form performance.

You can even create custom combinations of these values—for example, by creating a custom dimension called visitor type—to get really granular with segmentation in GA.

Advanced Segments and Filters

There are two new segments in analytics, called advanced segments and advanced filters. Each of these allow you to filter your data a little more than before. For example, an advanced segment will allow you to define certain criteria for visitors that pass through that segment. If you have a lot of traffic coming from mobile devices, but only want to see how they convert compared with desktop users, you can create an advanced segment.

In addition, if you want to further drill down by state or city or industry sector in which your company operates, you can also do so here. Advanced segments are powerful tools because they're something non-Google analytics users just don't have access too—at least not yet.

Get insights using Audience Overview

Google Analytics (GA) is a great place to start when analysing your traffic data. It provides an overview of how much traffic your site receives, where that traffic comes from, and how long visitors stay on your site. In GA v4, there’s a new feature that allows you to access all these insights in just one place—Audience Overview—which makes them easier than ever to understand and act on.

Audience Overview gives you a bird’s-eye view of your analytics data using interactive graphs and tables. This post covers what you can do with Audience Overview, why it’s better than any other summary page in GA, and how you can make use of Audience Overview today.

Enhance User Experience with Goals and Goal Values

One of my favourite new features in Google Analytics is Goals and Goal Values. As a web developer, I’m always looking for better ways to engage users and help them find success on our website. Previously, setting goals in GA was difficult; you had to either a) set up events (which can be expensive from a code perspective), or b) use virtual pageviews which don’t give you very useful data when reporting on site activity.

With Goals and Goal Values, all that changes. You can now define your own goals at any point on your site (you no longer have to set up events) and track actual conversions rather than just pageviews!

Say Goodbye To UTM Parameters

UTMs will still be supported in GA4, but you no longer have to use them. In fact, they could work against you. This means that if you're looking at a data set in GA3 and want to go back and track UTMs as variables in GA4 (or vice versa), there is a method for doing so. To keep your tracking data uniform across both versions of Google Analytics, consider upgrading slowly.

Consider picking one parameter (like source or medium) and only tracking that on a certain page of your site for a few weeks. You can then gather those first week results with that limited data set and compare them with weekly results from before when you were using UTMs. From there, you can adjust accordingly! How long does it take?

In Summary Why You Should Upgrade to GA4

GA4 offers a streamlined interface that is more user-friendly. It also allows you access to a slew of new reports and features that will help you improve conversion rates, optimize your site, and even better understand your target audience. GA4 has some great built-in tools, such as conversion funnels, where you can see how users interact with different elements on your site.

Once you've installed GA4, set up these funnels and watch how things change in real time as you tweak sections of your site or add new pages. With all these improvements—and so many more—it’s worth upgrading from 3 to 4.

Just remember that Google has announced they are sunsetting Universal Analytics in July 2023, so make sure the switch has been done before then if you aren’t sold on changing over just yet!

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