Google Analytics is one of the most popular web tracking tools available and its latest version, Google Analytics v4, promises to revolutionise the way website owners track and analyse their data whilst meeting the challenges of an ever more strictly regulated aspect of running a website.
- Event-Based Tracking: Unlike the previous version of Google Analytics, which relies on page views and sessions to track user behaviour, Google Analytics v4 uses event-based tracking. This means that website owners can track specific actions taken by users on their website, such as button clicks, video plays, form submissions, and more.
- Cross-Platform Tracking: Google Analytics v4 allows website owners to track user behaviour across multiple devices and platforms. This means that website owners can get a more comprehensive view of their website’s users, regardless of the device or platform they are using.
- Privacy-Centric: Google Analytics v4 is designed with privacy in mind. It offers better control over user data and provides website owners with more options to comply with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act).
The biggest change is that it focuses on machine learning to help website owners make sense of their data. This means that the tool will be able to identify patterns and insights in the data that humans might miss, and it will be able to make recommendations for how to improve website performance. For example, Google Analytics v4 will be able to suggest new audiences to target based on existing data, and it will be able to provide insights into which pages on a website are most likely to lead to conversions.
In addition to the machine learning capabilities, Google Analytics v4 also offers more granular data controls, which will allow website owners to choose exactly what data is collected and how it is used. This is particularly important for investment management websites, which often collect sensitive information about their clients. With Google Analytics v4, website owners can ensure that only the data that they need is being collected and that it is being used in a responsible and ethical manner.
However, there are also some specific considerations that investment management websites need to keep in mind when it comes to web tracking. First and foremost, these websites need to ensure that they are complying with all relevant regulations and laws, such as GDPR and CCPA. This means that they need to be transparent about what data is being collected, why it is being collected, and how it will be used.
Another consideration is that investment management websites often have a highly targeted audience, which means that they need to be careful about how they use web tracking data. For example, if a website collects data about a user’s financial situation or investment preferences, it needs to be very clear about how that data will be used and who will have access to it. This is particularly important given the potential for data breaches and cyberattacks.
How we’ve used GA4 for our clients in investment management
We first implemented GAv4 for clients two years ago. This was set to run parallel to existing tracking implementations so that we could learn how to use this new iteration but also compare the data collected by both old and new. What we found is a platform more capable of meeting regulatory challenges due to its more granular approach to data collection and built-in privacy approach.
We also found the new setup easy to use and more powerful with a level of flexible reporting tools available and relatively easy to get up to speed with. The most useful area for us was the availability of custom metrics which enabled us to connect the preferences set up on our sites to power custom audience to allow for reporting on a single dynamic website by a visitor’s chosen preferences.
The deadline for adoption of v4 is fast approaching with the current date provided being the 1st of July 2023 and while Google will now automatically convert universal profiles to version 4, we’ve created profiles for the majority of clients to ensure on the switch-over-date our clients are ready to get the full benefits of the new version.
Overall, the future of web tracking looks bright with Google Analytics v4, as it promises to provide website owners with even more powerful tools to make data-driven decisions. However, it’s important for investment management websites to be mindful of the unique considerations that come with collecting and using sensitive financial data. By being transparent and responsible with their data collection and usage practices, these websites can ensure that they build trust with their clients and maintain compliance with regulations.
I’m excited to reveal that this article was written with the help of ChatGPT, a cutting-edge language model that uses AI to generate human-like responses. Working with ChatGPT was an eye-opening experience and I was amazed by how in depth I was able to explore the world of website tracking using the tool. I can’t wait to keep exploring the possibilities of AI in our future work.