Data is powerful because it allows you to make improvements as you go. Not only does it help you understand your customers’ behavior, but it also enables you to predict market behavior, streamline processes, and answer many of the questions you really need answered as a business.

Although data is powerful, consolidating it when it’s scattered around can be challenging to say the least. This is where Google Analytics comes in: It helps you measure your advertising, website, and social channels’ ROI in one single space. Additionally, Google maintains its king of the search engine market because it adapts and adjusts according to change. Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is Google’s latest addition to its impressive gallery of analytics.

GA4, published in October 2020, marks the software’s most significant change in its history. There’s a lot to learn from it because of its substantial advancements. Although there has been no indication that conventional GA might be phased out any time soon, most businesses are now using GA4. You may be wondering how this will affect your law firm. Its potential effect on your firm is why learning about Google Analytics 4 is both valuable and necessary.

The following sections cover the basics of Google Analytics 4:
● The difference between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics
● Top GA4 features
● “Do I need GA4?”
● Making the switch to GA4

Is Universal Analytics the same as Google Analytics?

Both Google Analytics and Universal Analytics are session-based recommendation models. Without getting into the technology behind them, these models’ main intention is to understand a person’s preferences and find new, desirable content based on their likes, feedback, actions, etc.

However, Universal Analytics is a version of GA that focuses on hits, whereas GA4’s focus is on converting all hits into events. Here’s a quick look at GA4’s new metric:

So, with GA4, every action becomes an event with the purpose of creating more accurate reporting. In addition, GA4 now changes ‘goals’ to ‘conversions.’ Google’s previous limit of 20 goals has changed and increased to a capacity of 30 conversions.

Top GA4 Features You Can Expect

Although GA4 has many features, these are the most groundbreaking:

● Event-based tracking: As noted earlier, GA4 focuses on events rather than sessions, page views, etc., and the new metric’s focus is solely on events and parameters.
● Combined App + Web view: The time has come for those who have been looking forward to consolidating their reporting on web and app performance in one place! With GA4, there’s no longer a need to pull these reports from different locations.
● Predictive reports: Predictive reports rely on ML, a branch of AI (artificial intelligence), which uses data to understand human behaviors better and gradually improve accuracy.
● Privacy: As well as collecting data, you can hand-pick which users to collect data from while ensuring you remain compliant with privacy laws and regulations.
● Free BigQuery Report: BigQuery is a cloud data warehouse that lets you run highly performant queries on large datasets. Before, this was only available for Google Analytics 360, but today even free users can leverage BigQuery.

“Do I need GA4?”

Perhaps this is the question running through your mind now. Although the answer may be yes, it
really depends on what you use GA for now.

However, if you have any of the following, or a combination of the following, chances are you
should opt for GA4:

  • Website
  • Social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • An app
  • Emails, newsletters, for example.
  • Paid advertising efforts
  • Organic search results
  • Affiliate marketing / partnerships

If you said yes to having any or a combination on the list, then you should probably opt for GA4. This raises the next question, how can firms make the switch?

Here’s How Firms Can Make the Switch to GA4

Are you or your digital agency using Google Analytics? If so, there is good news: the analytics property that you are accustomed to will stay unchanged and continue to collect data. For example, the admin panel will still allow you to access your Universal Analytics view.

With that said, here’s how to create a new GA4 data stream for your Universal Analytics account:

1. Go to your Google Analytics account
2. Select ‘Admin’ in the bottom left-hand sidebar
3. Check the correct account is selected in the ‘Account’ column (to the left)
4. In the ‘Property’ column (to the right), select the Universal Analytics property collecting data
5. Click ‘GA4 Setup Assistant’
6. Below ‘I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property’, click ‘Get Started’
7. Select ‘Create Property’

It’s that simple to create your new GA4 property.

Takeaway:

As a law firm, analytics is one of your most powerful marketing tools because the data speaks specifically to your firm. GA4 will give you even better answers to questions such as what your target audience is like, how they behave, and how they travel around your website, among others.

At the end of the day, better analytics insights mean better and smarter marketing and business decisions. Ultimately, this is what drives big search engines like Google to constantly adapt and evolve over time.

If you decide that moving to GA4 is in your firm’s best interest, now’s the time to switch, and we can help you get the most out of your new data