Google Analytics 4 Builds on the Promise of Web + App Conversion Tracking

Google Analytics 4 makes a massive promise to SaaS companies who market both mobile app and web products – the opportunity to unify the customer journey across web and app data.

This is the most significant advancement we've seen from Google Analytics in years. Prior to this, SaaS marketers with app products viewed data from web and mobile apps in separate silos. And of course, this is anything but customer-centric, considering users' common cross-device usage across web and app.Let's take a closer look at this significant update and what it means for SaaS marketing.

App + Web Property for Cross-Device Measurement

The new Google Analytics builds on the foundation of the App + Web property that was introduced in beta last year and marks the first major step in evolving beyond Universal Analytics.

This can be crucial for SaaS companies that have both a mobile app and a web app. It has been very hard to figure out cross-device attribution, as many of the people who convert and download your mobile app most likely have been exposed to some of your marketing on the web.

They chose to convert by downloading the mobile app, and that is actually the most common conversion path that we see with our SaaS clients that have both web and mobile going. Tracking and attributing this conversion correctly is a challenge that the new version of Google Analytics will try to solve.

The platform will unify at the property level the conversion analytics, and attribution between web and mobile. This should give SaaS marketers a better understanding of customers across devices and platforms.

Smarter Insights on Trends to Improve Your Marketing Decisions

While machine learning-powered insights in Analytics have been available for some time, Google Analytics 4 will automatically alert marketers to data trends such as surging demand for a product they sell.

The expanding list of predictive metrics can be a powerful tool for marketers. The platform can calculate churn probability, for example, or the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. Here is an example of churn probability in the Analysis module of the new Google Analytics.

Deeper Integration With Google Ads

Google Analytics 4 promises a deeper audiences integration with Google Ads. This should allow marketers to build and maintain audiences from their visitors across the web and their mobile app.

What this means in practice is that if a user was on your web audience list, and then completed a purchase within the app, for example, the list would be automatically updated to remove the user so that they’re not retargeted with ads.

In addition, Google Analytics 4 includes conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app, not only on the web, in reports.

Cross-Channel View of the Customer Lifecycle

Another goal the new Analytics keeps working against is enabling businesses to see the combined impact of all their marketing efforts. The platform provides customer-centric measurement across the entire customer lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention.

The newly organized reports can provide insights on any part of the customer journey marketers are interested in. “For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting,” the announcement states.This is done by using multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalization.

How Will GA Function Once Third-Party Cookies Are Gone

Since Google Chrome announced their plan to replace third-party cookies with browser-based tools by 2022 to answer the demand for privacy, marketers have been anxious to know how Google Analytics will function with much less data.

“The norm is that we’re going to have a mixed set of data: We’ll have event data but not necessarily a user identifier associated with it. We’ll have gaps in data altogether and this is going to be true of all of all measurement providers,” Russell Ketchum, Group Product Manager, Google Analytics, told Search Engine Land.“

We don’t have any specific announcements on this today, but as we get into next year, we’re going to be using machine learning modeling to support various modes of analysis in Google Analytics,” Ketchum added.

We Use Google Analytics 4 to Help You

We're helping some of our SaaS clients migrate over to Google Analytics 4, and are anxious to report our findings in the months ahead. Stay tuned and keep reading us at Hop Online.

Delcho Stanimirov

Head of Paid Media

I lead the PPC and Analytics teams. My professional goals are happy clients and colleagues. Also I love numbers, charts, and data-driven decisions.