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In this week’s PPCChat session, guest host Krista Seiden focused on Google Analytics 4. Experts expressed their views on implementing GA4, Any aspects of GA4 which excites them, The difference between GA4 & the one they are using now, and more.

Q1: Prior to this chat – were you aware of Google Analytics 4? If so, what did you know?

Yep, but only because of the constant nagging and notice screens from Google. @ynotweb

I was aware of it but haven’t looked into using it yet. So super excited we are diving into it more today! @jord_stark

I wasn’t, but I was aware of App + Web. Now that I know they’re the same thing, I have a bit more context. @JuliaVyse

I tried to enable it across all our clients, just to see what’s up. That said… I must have not done it right, because I’m seeing no traffic in the GA4 beta properties. @ferkungamaboobo

Aware of it, yes. Understand what it fully means, what I need to do, plan for, etc. – not really. I did know that like when Universal Analytics came out, you have to run parallel. @NeptuneMoon

Yes, was aware. We have had internal agency discussions about it and are starting to test it. @markkennedysem

Con’t: my client enabled in order to measure their app, and none of us know how to migrate the web data over, so we currently have two accounts running. @JuliaVyse

I heard about it, no real idea what it meant. @JonKagan

I was aware of it but didn’t know much about it. I implemented it for our site but I haven’t had a chance to take it for a spin yet. @adwordsgirl

Q2: Are you doing any planning or implementation of GA4 currently? Have clients asked you about it?

Once again, I plead ignorant, I really don’t know what it does. @JonKagan

Clients haven’t asked for it mainly because I don’t think they’re aware that it exists right now. I would rather tell them about it when we have a better handle on it ourselves. @adwordsgirl

We are testing it in a few select accounts. In new accounts we are turning it on as well, but still running the old version, too. So no accounts are just running GA4. @markkennedysem

I have clients not willing to test it because it’s new – Do you have any reasons to avoid launching it? @andreacruz92

Not at the moment. Other priorities have presented this year, and most of my clients are dealing with urgent vs important – like we all are. @JuliaVyse

In planning stages, hoping to be testing before end of month. Would be nice to know what our deadline is for replacing UA. @ynotweb

Right now, the best approach is to dual tag – i.e. run both Universal Analytics and GA4 in tandem. That way you can get used to the new data model and take advantage of new features available in GA4, but not lose your source of truth from UA. @kristaseiden

No current planning for GA4. Too busy getting through BFCM and rethinking everything else in life and how that already impacts all our clients before we turn to overhauling analytics solutions as well. @PPCKirk

Just starting to wrap my head around it to be able to understand it enough to discuss with clients and help plan for what will be needed. Will implement on my sites first to get a feel for it. @NeptuneMoon

No clients have asked about it – and tbh I’d be really surprised if any did because even marketers tend to only use <50% of UA’s features. But I’m all about moving deck chairs to get a better handle of what’s coming down the pipe (and using the newest pipes) @ferkungamaboobo

I dread the day clients ask about it. @ynotweb

Right now just going through Q4 and BFCM. It’s on my radar, but it’s a very low priority. @AskYisrael

I am still in the research phase on this one. @jord_stark

What are the biggest differences in GA4 from what we are used to?

You need to study up on the data model, the limits, and how things translate from 1 system to the other. Best example is Events in UA are a unique combo of Category/Action/Label, in GA4 events are not unique, you should reuse, and parameters help distinguish. @kristaseide

Q3: Now that you know a little more about GA4, is there a particular aspect of it that is exciting to you? Concerning to you? Confusing to you?

Will we ever be required to use GA4 (sunsetting current GA) – Because the phrase “rethink everything” is terrifying, even for someone that normally jumps into everything new. @armondhammer

This seems to recontextualize Google Analytics to where “everything is an app” and you’re setting up unique events vs. “everything is a web page” with pageview as the core event. Someone, please tell me if that isn’t right? @ferkungamaboobo

Definitely not excited. Concerned about all the reports that seasoned professionals are not finding it easy, that its not showing data, etc. Also concerned some client is going to rush in and “convert” without setting it up properly. @ynotweb

I think the attribution modeling is my biggest question. Privacy rules prevent too much data availability, but we want to see the journey from YT through to in-app purchase. @JuliaVyse

From what I have read on the @Brainlabs site – the free BigQuery export. I am excited by anything reporting related, to be honest. Confusing – probably everything else, coz I’ve never been good with GA in the first place. @MarketingAnu_

Q4: What do you hope is included in GA4 that is not in the current version of GA?

Mostly it’s been app data that I’ve hoped would be managed in analytics, and we could look at user behaviors across platforms. So, I kinda got what I wanted for Xmas this year! @JuliaVyse

Better tracking of sources. For instance, GMB not being lumped with Direct. LOL @ynotweb

Say it with me now, Audiences, based on app install/usage/demographics that I can build and then post back to the Google Ads UI = chef’s kiss. @JuliaVyse

I don’t have a wish list per se, I just want it to work right. Google tends to rush these things and then make them mandatory (or remove old versions) before they are bug-free. @markkennedysem

All the Search Terms… @Realicity

Make it easier to share things with other account users (like custom reports). I know they want us to use Data Studio and all, but… @NeptuneMoon

Custom Reports, Filters, Goals, Audiences, etc that can be shared easily between accounts. @Realicity

The biggest thing for me is bot filtering I spend SO much time clearing out stuff that in about 60 sec I can ID as bot traffic, and then 6 hrs explaining how that bot traffic got recorded But if the events are bespoke, then you don’t have a default event to ping? @ferkungamaboobo

And that’d all be fine and dandy, but Analytics has become the “single source of truth” for a lot of businesses, which means that my comfort with nothing adding up doesn’t help that it’s supposed to add up. @ferkungamaboobo

Anomaly detection, particularly as it relates to end goals. It’s great to know that something rose, but did it do so because more traffic, better conversions, or performance within a group. @armondhammer

I’m excited about the new event tracking in GA4 – less custom code needed for some events we always needed to set up manually like tracking clicks to external files. @timothyjjensen

Q5: Do/have you used Big Query? It is included in GA4 – will you try it?

Nope. And not if I don’t need to. Ultimately we try to keep things as simple as possible for clients, so they can still access information simply, even without us. @ynotweb

I haven’t used it. @andreacruz92

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