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Why Your Business Should Go Beyond Google Analytics 4

If your business has a website, there’s a good chance you’ve used Google Analytics.

The platform allows businesses to track user behavior and gauge their website’s performance. Analytics and data are the heartbeat of any informed decision-making process for a business, and Google Analytics has been a stalwart program through the years.

But the internet is an ever-changing place. Amid privacy concerns, the death of the cookie, changes in consumer behavior, and technological shifts, Google released Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as the next step in processing data and tracking activity on the web. With cookie-less tracking, GA4 uses client-side and server-side data collection, which means a user’s browser and the website they’re viewing collect and trade data.

Let’s examine how GA4 differs from its predecessor, its limitations, why diversifying your analytics is crucial, and what business owners need to know to plan their analytics strategy.


As of July 2023, Universal Analytics (the previous version of Google Analytics) officially phased out. GA4 became available in 2020, but 2023 marked the official end of Google supporting its previous analytics platform. If your business hadn’t switched to GA4 by July 2022, you wouldn’t have an entire year’s worth of data to look back upon reliably.

Universal Analytics was a game changer for allowing businesses to track a user’s behavior across multiple devices. GA4 is another quantum leap forward because it allows for cross-platform tracking, letting companies collect web and app data in a single program.

Instead of tracking simple pageviews, GA4 focuses on the interactions and events users take on a website. This new focus provides a nuanced insight into a customer’s behavior, providing a better look at their customer journey.


While GA4 is an important step forward for analytics and how businesses and marketers use data, it has limitations.

One of the most obvious limitations is the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4. Because GA4 starts with a clean slate, if your business hasn’t already transferred (or didn’t transfer in time), you will have limited historical data to use for comparison. For a business, that means difficulty measuring against past performance and potential issues with data consistency.

Because GA4 doesn’t use cookies, it has difficulty identifying users who behave differently on more than one device. Similarly, offline campaigns — like geo-conversions — can’t be tracked through GA4, nor can you track website viewthroughs (when a consumer is served your ad and then later visits your website).


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to analytics. While GA4 can be a part of your overall strategy, its limitations mean businesses should be proactive about incorporating complementary tools.

Every industry tracks different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), making it crucial to ensure your business is running its own analytics. For many companies, that means incorporating analytics tools through their website or getting data through reporting from a digital marketing partner. Integrating special analytics tools focusing on specific KPIs ensures a more accurate and targeted performance assessment.

Even when GA4 is working well — and if the business updated it on time — there is a potential for data discrepancy. Businesses can cross-verify the data they’re examining and ensure a robust, reliable dataset to make more effective marketing decisions by diversifying analytics tools.

Let’s be clear — we aren’t simply recommending that businesses diversify their analytic strategies. We think it’s vitally important. Businesses must cultivate a holistic analytics ecosystem and recognize that GA4 is just one component of a broader system.

GA4 excels in providing a variety of metrics for businesses to explore, including interactions, traffic sources, and conversion rates. However, it often falls short at capturing the nuances of user behavior and sentiment. Balancing these analytics with first-party data and other analytics tools is critical to seeing the whole picture.

If you’re ready to find the equilibrium between using tools like Google Analytics 4, first-party data, and reporting to make optimized decisions for your business, we can help! We’ll work to help you diversify your analytics tools and guide you toward data-driven insights about your customers and their behaviors. Contact us today to learn more.

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Rory Kemerer

Written by Rory Kemerer

With over 9 years of digital marketing experience, Rory Harris is a leader in the digital playing field. Her passion is clear when she is helping her clients identify their goals or challenges and connecting that to a digital strategy to bring them the highest ROI. Her knowledge not only comes from both branding and lead generation solutions but also the experience she brings to the table to help her clients understand that the data tells a story on what is going on with their marketing.

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