Google Analytics 4 & Its Implications for Your Business
A staggering 75 percent of consumers never scroll past the first search engine results page. As a multi-location business, tracking how your business ranks on Google and website traffic is essential. While your multi-location business can leverage tools like Semrush to see how specific pages rank on Google, you can use Google Analytics for the latter.
While tracking your website traffic is crucial, Google recently announced that as of July 1st, 2023, they will no longer support Universal Analytics (UA). Instead, multi-location businesses will use Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Let’s look at how GA4 differs from UA and what it takes to incorporate it into your business’s localized marketing strategy.
A Look Into GA4
Google launched GA4 to address changing measurement standards that multi-location businesses can leverage to track success. GA4 operates across platforms and does not rely on data from cookies, increasing privacy for both customers and users.
Google explains that GA4 was created to help businesses:
- Understand customers across touchpoints and get a complete view of the customer lifecycle
- Improve ROI with data-driven attribution and understand how your business’s marketing efforts collectively impact conversions
- Measure engagement and conversions with business and compliance needs in mind
- Get more value from the data through machine learning that generates predictive insights
- Address enterprise measurement needs with the ability to customize the structure of your business’s GA4 properties
As you can see, Google created GA4 to help businesses collect more relevant data and get the most out of their marketing efforts on Google.
Implications of GA4 and What It Means For Your Multi-Location Business
Now that you understand what GA4 is and how it can help your multi-location business, it’s time to look at the implications. One primary concern for multi-location businesses is whether they can preserve historical performance data from UA. Unfortunately, Google will not transfer your historical performance data over to GA4. After the sunset of UA, Google will allow users to access their previously processed data for up to six months.
Pro Tip: Google strongly recommends exporting your historical reports during this time.
Another implication is how your business can preserve year-over-year performance in GA4. To preserve year-over-year reporting, your multi-location business must fully implement GA4 by July 1st, 2022. This will allow your multi-location business to preserve a full year of data before the July 1st, 2023 cut-off.
If your multi-location business requires more historical performance data, export or track that somewhere before UA sunsets.
As you can see, while there are many benefits associated with GA4, there are also some implications. Being proactive and ensuring your business exports previous historical data before UA is no longer accessible is vital.
How to Measure the Success of Your Local Search Efforts
Now that you understand what GA4 is and what your multi-location business needs to do before UA sunsets, it’s time to focus on improving your business’s online visibility. Check out SOCi’s local SEO article on what it takes to dominate your business’s local SEO strategy.
And for a more in-depth look at how SOCi can help your multi-location business manage its local search efforts and beyond, request a demo today!