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illustration of a blog post: Google Analytics 4: The Top Four Updates You Need To Know
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Digital Marketing 7 min read

Google Analytics 4: The Top Four Updates You Need To Know

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 17 Jun 2021

In October 2020, Google launched the latest version of its analytics suite, Google Analytics 4. The new property provides a whole host of new features that any business wanting to grow should get excited about. Throughout the first half of this year, Google released several further updates, offering continuous enhancements to the latest iteration of its analytics platform. 

This makes it the perfect time to cover all things Google Analytics 4, from the new features your business should care about, to what’s new in 2021, and why if you haven’t already, you should consider moving over to Google Analytics 4. 

In this article, the digital marketing experts at Galactic Fed explain the key features Google Analytics brings to the table and how each new update can help your business scale while reaching more customers. 

Are you completely new to digital marketing analytics? Then, read our in-depth article on using digital marketing analytics for growth to gain a thorough understanding of this vital concept before diving into our Google Analytics 4 guide. 

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free, online tool that helps you analyze your company’s website traffic.

The implications of Google Analytics on your company’s bottom line are substantial, even though the term ‘web analytics’ sounds like a relatively small section of your digital presence.


Because, for most businesses, your website acts as the central hub for all of your traffic online.

If your business is running marketing campaigns using Google Search ads or ads across social media, people will most likely visit your website at some point along their user journey.

And given your website is the central hub of your online presence, the insight into your website activity can give you a comprehensive view of the effectiveness of your campaigns and whatever product or service you are promoting online. 

In other words, Google Analytics makes it easy for you to track the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. So it’s no surprise over 29 million websites around the world are using Google Analytics:

Audience statistics from United States, Canada, Japan, France, Australia, and Poland.

Source: Wappalyzer

If your company isn’t using it, there’s no time like the present to set up an account and get started.

How does Google Analytics work?

When you set up a Google Analytics account for your business, Google inserts several lines of tracking code into your website. This code can record various actions taken by your website visitors, along with any available data on their attributes (their age and interests, for example.) 

Google collects this data from your visitor activity on your website and presents it among four distinct levels, including:

  • User-level (actions taken by each individual website visitor) 
  • Session level (each individual user visit)
  • Page view level (each page visited by users)
  • Event level (video views, button click-throughs, etc.)

Four critical features ushered in with Google Analytics 4

Google’s latest iteration of its powerful and free analytics tool provides some impressive updates and new features. Galactic Fed’s top four include:

  • Enhanced Google Ads integration 
  • Smarter reporting 
  • Data deep dives using machine learning 
  • AI-powered predictions 

Enhanced Google Ads integration 

Google Analytics 4 provides an impressive new integration with Google Ads, making it possible to create and manage tailored audiences from visitors across both your website and app if you have one. Google automatically removes and adds visitors to new lists as they perform actions on your website in real-time. 

Your business can also view conversions from YouTube, both on the web and the app, alongside other channels, including organic, paid search, email, social, and more. This feature allows you to have a more robust view of the impact of your combined marketing efforts.

Smarter reporting 

Google Analytics 4 Overview GIF

Source: Google

With Google Analytics 4, you can now access a new category of reports that provide a comprehensive overview of the entire customer journey instead of a focus only on acquisition.

Google takes advantage of numerous identity spaces, such as business owner-provided user IDs and signals from users who opted into ad personalization.

Explore how customers interact with your company at different stages of the customer journey. For example, you can see if someone visited your website, followed by a revisit after clicking on a Google Search ad.

Enhanced engagement and retention reporting can help your company better understand whether customers spent some time on your website after making a purchase and what activities took place that made them stick around after converting.

Next-generation data control using machine learning 

With data privacy taking top priority in the digital marketing industry, Google has taken a robust approach to data controls, announcing an end to ads based on specific web browsing data by the end of 2022. To learn how this affects your business, see our recent blog on the topic that details Google’s decision. 

In the context of Google Analytics 4, three features have emerged: 

  • users can control how their data is collected, retained, and shared,
  • users have the option to choose whether and how their data is collected and used for ads personalization,
  • users can delete Analytics data through a request to Google.

Google says that its latest iteration is built to adapt to a future without using identifiers or cookies. Instead, they aim to fill the data gap using AI and machine learning so that businesses can still access accurate data and customize their marketing campaigns using data-backed signals.

AI-powered predictions

Finally (and arguably most impressively,) Google Analytics 4 can identify changes in trends related to your offerings using AI-powered predictions, for example, increases in product demand, and automatically alert you of them as they happen. 

Google’s new AI insights can also be used to predict outcomes, including estimated revenue from specific customer segments and churn rates

Your business will be better equipped to anticipate visitor actions and take action using these new insights to improve your existing marketing campaigns.  

Boost your ROI with intelligent analytics

Through deeper integration with Google Ads and more intelligent reporting, your business can reach more customers and grow faster using Google Analytics 4. Next-generation data control ensures your customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their data. At the same time, AI-powered predictions will help you forecast user activity like never before. 

Galactic Fed’s team of digital marketing experts know a thing or two about Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads, in particular. Most recently, we helped Purpose.Jobs launch Google Ads with Search and Display campaigns. As a result, their click-through rate (CTR) increased by 86.59%: Infographic of the Galactic Fed performance results.

Reach out today with your burning Google Analytics questions; we’d love to help!

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed