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The 5 Top Benefits of Google Analytics 4 For Senior Living Community Websites

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Most senior living marketers deserve a pass for being unaware that Google rolled out the next generation of analytics, Google Analytics 4, in October 2020. After all, the events surrounding the pandemic of 2020 commanded marketer’s full and undivided attention at developing and deploying all kinds of new digital channels to engage senior living prospects and their influencers. What was happening behind the scenes with Google was far from a primary concern.

However, for those marketers, particularly digital marketers who follow Google’s moves closely, this was exciting and long overdue news. Google Analytics 4, affectionately known as GA4, is replacing Universal Analytics (UA), the long-running web traffic analytics program launched in 2005. As Andrew Miller; digital marketing industry expert, nationally-renowned speaker and founder of digital agency Workshop Digital; points out:

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is an entirely different product than the Universal Analytics that we all know and love. The transition period might be a bit daunting but the benefits of adding GA4 will be worth the extra effort in the short term. Companies that embrace the change now will gain a long term advantage as GA4 eventually becomes the standard.’

At Solutions Advisors, we’ve already started the process of onboarding the next generation of Google Analytics and are seeing the unique benefits this platform will deliver for monitoring website performance. Here are our top 5 benefits of switching to GA4:

  1. No more using cookies for tracking. Due to constantly evolving privacy policies, cookies for tracking purposes will likely be a thing of the past soon. GA4 utilizes AI and machine learning to predicatively fill the data voids that cookies once provided.
  2. Event-based tracking versus session-based data modeling. Currently, UA collects information based on sessions users have with a website within a given time frame. GA4, in contrast, will now collect information as ‘events’ instead of ‘goals completions’. This change will allow for a greater collection of behavioral and demographic information which will allow for more complete metric comparisons.
  3. Tracking of more digital properties. UA has been a reliable platform for tracking website performance, but it wasn’t keeping up with new digital channels. GA4 allows marketers to track both websites and mobile apps, which allows for more clarity into consumer behavior across differing devices.
  4. You don’t have to give up UA. Both UA and GA4 can be set up for your properties and be collecting data for analysis and comparison without being in conflict. In fact, running both platforms concurrently is a smart move due to GA4’s inability to display historical data. You can continue utilizing UA until GA4 is fully developed and adopted.
  5. Enhanced visualizations. While a bit simple, the reporting visualizations in UA have become very familiar and comfortable for digital marketers. But it was a time for a change for the better. The new reporting visuals in GA4 are much more engaging, providing more insights, more quickly. The Analysis Hub provides stimulating representations of deep data dives in the areas of Exploration, Custom Funnels and Pathing.

Is it time for your organization to switch to GA4? According to Marybeth Parker, SEO Specialist at Solutions Advisors,

“There hasn’t been a timeline set by Google to sunset Universal Analytics. In fact, there are still a lot of important features, including the capture of historical data, that GA4 hasn’t made part of their platform. However, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t make the switch to GA4 as soon as you can, particularly since the two analytical tools can be run together without interfering with tracking of results.”

If you would like more information about transitioning from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, feel free to contact us to set up a time to discuss your unique situation.