Next-level marketing leads the pack in the move to Google Analytics 4 and online privacy laws
MIAMI, November 17, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As someone who has worked with Google algorithms since Google considered calling itself “Backrub” says – times are changing.
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Next Level Marketing is pioneering a new method of data collection and first-party advertising following Google’s announcement to discontinue Universal Analytics in place of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). (Graphic: Business Wire)
It’s no secret that businesses around the world are being held to stricter standards for online data privacy. With sweeping guidelines like GDPR and ever-changing iOS updates, more and more online platforms are using this overriding feature to switch to protection policies that impact the collection of personally identifiable information ( PII).
Now the godfather of all online data collection, Google, is following suit with the rollout of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). On July 1, 2023, Google will permanently retire Universal Analytics for GA4 to take its place as the primary source of truth for event and parameter-based data collection. But what does this mean for the future of websites and online advertising? What does this mean for your business? Let’s go.
Preparing for the move to Google Analytics 4
Discontinuing Universal Analytics (UA) in 2023 is not optional. When the term “sunset” is used, it’s just a sweet way of saying that on that date, UA will no longer process data on the websites, period. Only a small handful of agencies specialize in intensive measurement strategy and GA4 setup, one of them being Next Level Marketing. Founded and operated by visionary CEO, Michael Tate, Next Level saw the unique opportunity in this disruptive change and how it could truly lend itself to giving customers a competitive advantage in the future of cookieless advertising if it is proactively addressed.
Tate was quick to configure GA4 for all Next Level Marketing clients to work alongside Universal Analytics, knowing that the delay in data collection that would result from the wait would be detrimental not only to its clients, but to the agency. A true “OG” in the world of Google advertising, Michael Tate was one of the first 50 people in the world to be Google Ads certified in 2004, and yes, he was also around when Google was still planning to make a name for itself. . like “Backrub”.
Around this time last year, when GDPR, CCPA laws and ePrivacy regulations were all over the news, Tate was approached by the Department of Justice to advise a team of over 20 attorneys on how Google and Facebook collect data online. His expertise in the matter also landed him in the Wall Street Journal in 2002 in an article relating to Google click fraud. It is this expertise that has also been behind Next Level Marketing’s groundbreaking measurement strategy and configuration offerings for new and returning customers, enabling businesses to have confidence in the data they collect and be assured that they are in compliance with these complex new online privacy laws.
With proper website and GA4 setup and segmentation, you can gain a deep understanding of what is influencing your KPIs. Drive more conversions by identifying the type of performance for each conversion channel as well as the content or marketing campaign that works best for specific product/service ad serving methodologies.
Electronic Privacy Laws, Cookies, and Your Business
It’s important to set up and configure your analytics to work as hard as you do, but there’s also something more insidious at play when we talk about the future of cookieless advertising. In parallel, let’s look at the online ADA compliance movement that made headlines last year.
In what feels like an overnight change, every website has been sued under new accessibility laws guided by the ADA. Overnight, businesses large and small were being sued for non-ADA compliant websites, and many of those business owners weren’t even aware that these laws had been adopted. Imagine you’re a small business owner, waking up to a legal notice about a non-compliant website, and suddenly facing punitive fines that could bring you and your business to your knees.
You’ll notice that no major lawsuits have been filed against mainstream businesses for these new electronic privacy laws…yet.
Configuring GA4 with a comprehensive measurement strategy with conversion events relevant to your business will not only avoid a huge backlog in data collection, but also allow you to confidently navigate through recent changes in cookie policies. and privacy regulations without affecting the performance of any assignment. -critical applications on your website.
More than just a new analytics platform
GA4 is where the data resides, but how it gets there makes all the difference. This is where the importance of server-side tracking comes in through Google Tag Manager (GTM) as well as a private cloud service. When GA4 was initially rolled out, it was done alongside updates to GTM and Google Cloud to enable this first-party data collection in the first place. It works in perfect synergy with platforms like Big Query, to act as a kind of data clean room that is used in conjunction with data collected through GA4.
How is all this first-party data used? It can be used to understand everything from traffic trends to individual user behavior patterns, and perhaps most interestingly, to calculate offline conversions and deploy more accurate customer match lists. Offline conversions answer the million dollar question: a user comes to your site, engages, clicks on it… what happens next? Offline conversions allow for a better understanding of user behavior after online conversion, allowing you to “feed the machine” of Google with insights into your encounter with those customers after they click.
By providing Google with information such as “how much was this conversion actually worth once this customer entered my pipeline?” and by using a relatively simple mathematical equation to tell Google precisely how much your conversion values are, you can provide much more comprehensive information to guide Google’s algorithm in understanding user demographics and behavior patterns at target. And yes, all of this can be done with first-party, compliant, and clean data collected from server-side tracking through GA4.
Ultimately, to migrate to a cookieless configuration, the GA4 configuration is only the beginning. Staying compliant is more than just an effort to avoid being sued or potentially shut down by online advertising platforms. There is incredible power in owning your own first-party data. The reason companies need to accept cookie consent on their website in the first place is because they don’t control their data. Although they theoretically only follow it for their use, there is no way of knowing or controlling what a third party might do with it. When you control your data with server-side tracking, you can avoid getting caught up in ad blockers and be in control when it comes to making informed data-driven decisions.
GA4 setup and measurement strategy with next-level marketing
The future of data strategy is now. Next Level Marketing’s comprehensive analytics and value-added reports enable your marketing and IT teams to ensure accuracy, establish the right baselines for resource planning, and offer an informed action plan for future of your business in a world without cookies.
Next Level Marketing is an industry-leading Google Premier Agency Partner, leading the movement toward data-driven, e-privacy compliant advertising. Their comprehensive measurement strategy and setup program not only offers proper GA4 setup, but also server-side tracking, segmentation and analysis, measurement frameworks, and world-class digital marketing consultation.
Leverage the power of offline conversions, enhanced conversions, and (legal) collection of your own first-party data to inform business-critical decisions. The most notable difference in GA4 is the switch from “session-based” tracking to “event-based” tracking. This enables a new level of understanding of the user journey that goes beyond what a user does during a single session on your website (i.e. come to your site, browse , then leave). The power of GA4 and measurement frameworks gives you new visibility into specific interactions (or events) occurring throughout your site and customer journey.
As privacy laws are updated, it’s more important than ever to make sure your business is prepared. Next Level Marketing is leading the pack in moving to GA4, and they can help you do the same. With their experience and expertise, you can be confident that your data will be collected and processed in a manner that complies with the latest updates in privacy laws and contributes the most actionable insights to your privacy initiatives. digital marketing. Don’t risk the future of your business – contact Next Level Marketing today for more information.
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