Jan 31, 2023 | Hotel Marketing | Reading Time: 4 minutes
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is not merely a Universal Analytics update or upgrade. The way we all gather and analyse the data from our websites will alter thanks to this brand-new platform, which you may consider the next generation.
One of the key distinctions is that GA4 will gather information for applications, but even if you don’t have a proprietary app, GA4 is made to offer more insightful data that will help you understand how users engage with your website.
Smarter insights seem wonderful, don’t they? Who hasn’t wondered at some point which of the several reports accessible on UA they should be paying attention to?
Why has Google made this change?
The term GDPR first entered our marketing lexicon in 2018. Because of the requirements set forth in this European implementation of data privacy and security regulations, Google Analytics is now regarded as illegal in France. Google had to review and alter the way it collects, keeps, and transfers data when other nations started to implement their own data privacy rules.
Google’s reaction to this evolving, cookie-free world is thus GA4. Even more, Google has stated that GA4 was “designed for privacy.”
It will allow business owners to collect crucial first-party data and monitor performance using an event-based data architecture.
Do I need to switch over to GA4 right now?
The accurate response is, “Yes, you will need to manually push some buttons to make the switch over to GA4 before July 1, 2023.” The short answer is, “No, you don’t have to drop what you are doing and switch over right this very minute.”
Google’s reassuring “we are sunsetting Google Analytics” mailings exclude an essential detail: you can open a GA4 account right away and do nothing with it. Although you can keep using Universal Analytics, once you’ve set up a new GA4 account, Google can (and will) begin gathering information about your property and incorporating it into the new reporting system there as well.
What happens if my hotel doesn’t create a new Google Analytics 4 account?
This is a thoughtful query. According to Google, Universal Analytics will eventually be totally phased out. Therefore, you will lose access to UA and any previously recorded historical data if you have not set up a GA4 account that has been collecting data on your hotel concurrently.
It is reasonable to say that you can open a GA4 account at any time in the future, but why wait until the very last minute when it is unclear exactly how and when Universal Analytics will be discontinued?
The only reliable timeline we have is as follows:
- The characteristics of Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023.
- You can utilise and gather new data in your UA account up until July 1, 2023.
- You will have access to all previously processed data after July 1, 2023, for a minimum of six months. Google advises you to export any previous reports at this time.
After I set up my hotel’s new GA4 account, do I need to do anything with it?
There is nothing urgent you need to do as soon as the modification is made, in the odd event that you find yourself with nothing to do and plenty of time to examine the inner workings of GA4.
Over the upcoming months, a lot of hotel owners and marketers will keep using Universal Analytics as their main measurement standard. But given that UA will eventually cease to exist after July 1, 2023, it does make sense to allow some time to figure out where crucial KPI data may be accessed on your GA4 account.
What is the main benefit of GA4 for my hotel?
The new events-based approach that GA4 includes makes it simpler to understand more about the behaviours of your target audience, which can help you concentrate your marketing efforts on the customers that generate the most money for your company.
Basically, you may raise your bottom line by making more educated judgments about room rate hikes if you have a better understanding of the demand for a certain room type online.
You should be able to gain better informed insights about cross-platform performance using this events-based methodology. The extra information that will be offered to visitors who view your website on a mobile device, but book on a desktop, is an illustration of this.
A more streamlined reports menu is also included in GA4. You can find trends and tendencies using summarised data, which will take the place of the tedious and mind-numbing data tables with scorecards and simpler overviews.
Another aspect of GA4 is an easier Google Ads integration. Naturally, this is to persuade you to spend more on advertisements, but it also aligns with efforts to personalise the information provided to website visitors depending on their interactions with your site.
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Here are two instances of how it may improve conversions:
1. If a site visitor spends time on your family room page, a pre-created Event in GA4 may add them to an audience for your Google Ad campaigns that is linked to families. As a result, if they didn’t finish their reservation on their initial visit, you can continue to show them relevant family-related adverts throughout the following days or weeks.
2. You can remove website visitors from the retargeting audience in your Google Ads campaigns if they complete the “Book a Room” Event you created in GA4. As a result, they will no longer receive advertisements for your hotel rooms.
About Umi: As a digital-first hotel marketing agency, we tailor our service around the demands of hospitality owners and managers to create a seamless process with tools and technology to make your life easier. Our priority always revolves around generating direct bookings away from the Online Travel Agents so that your Hotel, Hostel, Restaurant, or other hospitality business can create a reliable and loyal customer base. The million hits on our servers every month generate significant amounts of data, on which we base our hotel marketing and design decisions. The last decade of data has given us significant insights into how to win at hospitality and travel marketing, and we look forward to making a significant impact on your business. [Get in touch with Umi]
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