We were recently chatting with a car dealership that felt they were paying an extraordinary monthly engagement for their marketing agency but weren’t confident that they were getting value in the relationship. As we often do with a solid lead, we asked if we could access their Google Analytics account, and they added us to the account.
We logged into Google Analytics and were shocked… Google Analytics 4 was never set up. As a result, the dealership had no data tracking on their site since July 1, 2023, when Universal Analytics stopped collecting data. This is truly unconscionable for a marketing agency that’s charging any significant monthly engagement. In this case, the agency was handling multiple channels for the client, including Google Ads. Without analytics properly configured, they’re just throwing money down the toilet. My advice was to fire their agency immediately.
Google Analytics 4
We’ve been sounding the alarms on GA4 for quite some time and continue to do so. While not even having your GA4 account up and running is shocking, you have to configure some additional setup. Unlike UA, without configuring GA4, you will have some serious downstream issues when you look to analyze your business’ performance online.
Here are the top mistakes that companies are making with the Google Analytics 4 launch:
- You have not configured the data stream correctly. The data stream is how GA4 collects data from your website or app. If you do not configure the data stream correctly, you may not collect all of the data that you need.
- You have not migrated events to GA4. This is a critical mistake, as you will lose event-driven insights. It is essential to migrate your events to GA4 as soon as possible so that you can start collecting data on the new platform.
- You have not updated the data retention to 13 months. By default, GA4 only retains data for two months. This is not enough time to collect meaningful insights, so updating the data retention to 13 months is essential.
- You have not removed unnecessary UA code. Once you have migrated your events to GA4, remove the old UA code from your website or the tags from Google Tag Manager.
- You have not set up goals in GA4. Goals are essential for measuring the success of your marketing campaigns. If you do not set up goals in GA4, you cannot track your progress and optimize your campaigns.
- You haven’t set up custom dimensions and metrics: Custom dimensions and metrics allow you to track data specific to your business. This can help get insights you would not be able to get with the default dimensions and metrics.
- You are not enabled enhanced measurement: This setting enables Google to collect more data about your users, such as their device type, operating system, and location. This data can be used to create more accurate reports and insights.
- You have not enabled collecting demographics and interests: This setting allows Google to collect data about your users’ demographics and interests. This data can be used to create more targeted ads and marketing campaigns.
- You haven’t integrated Google Ads: This integration allows you to see how your Google Ads campaigns are performing. You can see which campaigns are driving traffic to your website or app, and how much revenue those campaigns are generating.
- You haven’t integrated Google Search Console: This integration lets you see how your website performs in Google search results. You can see which keywords are driving traffic to your website and how your website is ranking for those keywords.
- You haven’t integrated Google Firebase: This integration allows you to track data from your mobile apps. This data can be used to understand how your users are interacting with your apps, and to improve the user experience.
- You haven’t integrated Google Marketing Platform: This integration allows you to connect GA4 with other Google marketing products. This can help you to create a more holistic view of your marketing data.
- You haven’t integrated Adobe Analytics: This integration allows you to connect GA4 with Adobe Analytics. This can help you to consolidate your marketing data from different sources.
- You haven’t integrated Social Media Ad Networks: Integrations with X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and LinkedIn allow you to connect GA4 with Facebook. This can help you understand how your social media ads are performing and to improve your targeting.
- You haven’t created reports and dashboards: Reports and dashboards allow you to visualize your data and identify trends. Make sure to create reports and dashboards that are relevant to your business goals.
- You haven’t used the analysis hub: The analysis hub is a powerful tool that allows you to explore your data and identify patterns. Use the analysis hub to get the most out of your data.
Please contact Highbridge if you need assistance. We can audit your implementation, help your company implement GA4 correctly, back up and report against historic Universal Analytics data, and incorporate some great reporting tools to fully leverage the platform.