Why You Should Set Up Google Analytics 4 Today

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By Greg Finn

Let's face it. GA4 isn't GR8.

Google Analytics 4 is a work in progress to put it kindly.

However, in these final weeks of 2021 you have an opportunity to get GA4 installed and tuned up, giving your future self a full year of data.

If you listen to the chatter on the internet about Google Analytics 4, you may be dissuaded from implementing the new analytics code on your site:

Please don't read this and panic. While I understand why some marketers are dubious about GA4, the reality is that Google Analytics 4 is the future. Google is implementing GA4 out of necessity (watch below) and it won't be going anywhere. Setting it up today will give you 2022 as a starting point moving forward in the new system. If used right, you can have a full year of data for 2022 that will allow you to analyze your audience and even predict future behavior on your site. If you choose to migrate to a different analytics package down the road - great! If not, you'll always have your full 2022 of GA4 data to fall back on.

We had Sarah Burke on Marketing O'Clock last week to talk about why she is bullish on GA4 and what it does differently than the current Universal Analytics (GA3):

As mentioned in the video, here is a list of some features only available in GA4:

  • Reports that were only available in GA360 such as 
    • Custom funnels
    • User lifetime reporting
  • Data-driven attribution
  • Solutions to a “cookie-less” future - conversion and behavioral modeling
  • Predictive audiences
  • Free Big Query connection
  • Automatic event tracking for some of the most common events you’d want to track
  • Automatic bot traffic filtering
  • Cross-domain tracking without needing additional tags or a custom setup

So, if you are on the fence about GA4, please listen to Sarah and consider implementing it this year. Yes, it is currently worse than Universal Analytics. No, it won't be in a few years.

Cheers to a full year of 2022 data!

Of course, if you need help getting set up in GA4, feel free to reach out and see how we can help.

Categories: Data Analysis
By Greg Finn


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Meet the Author

Head of Performance & Innovation / Partner

Greg Finn

Greg is the Head of Performance and Innovation for Cypress North's digital marketing team and one of the founders of our agency. In 2010, he and Matt Mombrea started Cypress North in Buffalo. Greg oversaw the opening of our second office in 2022, located in his hometown of Rochester.

As Head of Performance and Innovation, Greg co-manages our digital marketing department and works closely with our team to ensure all our clients achieve the best possible results. He is always looking for ways to test new digital marketing techniques and technology, and oversees all teaching and training efforts to ensure our agency stays ahead of the curve.

Greg is also a co-host of our weekly Marketing O'Clock podcast, where he and the team provide updates, insights, and hot takes on the latest SEO, PPC, and social media marketing news. In addition to weekly news shows, Greg hosts our Marketing O'Torial digital marketing tutorials and often co-hosts bonus Marketing O'Talk episodes that bring together panels of digital marketing experts.

With nearly two decades of experience, Greg is a known and trusted voice in the digital marketing community. He’s a contributor for Search Engine Land, a member of the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) programming team, and has been a featured speaker at some of the largest search engine conferences, including SMX, eSummit, and Pubcon. 

When he’s not working or staying updated on the latest trends, Greg enjoys watching his kids play sports and coaching their soccer team. He’s been named the runner-up “Greg of the Year” on Marketing O’Clock’s annual Clockscars Awards four years in a row. While the coveted award has evaded him for many years, Keanu Reeves has not. Greg once saw him at Gabriel's Gate tavern in Buffalo (and noted he was very tall.)