Moving to an event-based tracking model enables more accurate capturing of user behaviour across multiple platforms (website/app etc) and more simple reporting. GA4 provides enhanced data collection and deletion controls and works with or without cookies using AI to cover the gaps where cookie data isn’t available.

Insights

Machine Learning is built into the core of GA4 which enables generation of improved insights with less effort and simplified reporting. It also includes more out of the box tracking facilities and can link to BigQuery enabling pulling out to a data warehouse.

GA4 Out of the box features

As standard GA4 enables you to capture data on: page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, on site search results, engagement with video embedded on your site and file downloads. You can set it up and run it in parallel with your current Universal Analytics account whilst in this transitional time.

GA4 Web Vitals

GA4 has introduced the Web Vitals initiative to unify what good looks like in terms of delivering a great user experience on the web. This initiative includes website speed and accessibility becoming ranking signals for Google search results from June 2021.

Websites are getting larger and slower, but slow websites provide a poor user experience which jars and causes drop-off. Amazon estimate that a one-second delay in their webpage loading can cost them over $1.6 billion in lost revenues every year! It has also been proven by businesses like Mozilla that increasing the speed of their webpage load by 2.2 seconds has resulted in 60 million more downloads in a year. Website speeds are also dependent on the bandwidth achievable in the geography of your audience, so you need to build and optimise in consideration of where the majority of your audience are concentrated.

Getting ahead with page speed is worth doing whatever. But what is good page speed? There is no simple answer other than faster than your competition. Try Googles PageSpeed Insights to gain an understanding on where you can improve.

Common page speed issues
Common issues often centre around the use of images or media. Most CMS platforms don’t compress your images automatically. To combat this you can simply use images that are the size that you need (not the highest res you can get your hands on!). You can use facilities like tinypng to compress images simply and effectively. If your site features auto playing videos, these can present significant issues with performance so consider carefully if they are adding value.

Platform impact
Platforms like Wix, Shopify and Squarespace don’t have as much flexibility to optimise performance. Template based sites (WordPress, Magento etc) commonly use themes but not all themes are well optimised, so consider carefully the themes you use and get developer recommendations as to well optimised themes.