As it slowly progresses towards a cookie-free web environment, which will change the way data can be processed and attributed, Google’s looking to add more machine learning tools into Google Analytics, as well as additional insights elements to help marketers better understand their web performance.
First off, Google’s looking to add more search insights, with a new integration with its Search Console platform.
As explained by Google:
“Search Console provides detailed information about your website’s organic Search performance, including the site’s rank in Search results, queries that led to clicks, and post-click data, like engaged sessions and conversions. With the new Search Console integration, you'll be able to understand the role that organic Search plays in driving traffic to, and engagement on your site, relative to other marketing channels like Search ads, email, or social.”
Analytics has always incorporated various search insights, and for many, those will be enough to provide a picture of how Google search is driving traffic to your site (or not). But for those looking to further optimize their SEO processes, the new Search Console integration will provide more specific data, which could help you develop a more all-encompassing, and engaging, SEO optimization process.
In addition to this, Google’s also adding data-driven attribution, with no minimum threshold requirements, to Google Analytics 4 properties.
“Google’s data-driven attribution models give you a better understanding of how all of your marketing activities collectively influence your conversions, so you don’t over or undervalue a single channel. Unlike last-click attribution, where 100% of the credit goes to the final interaction, data-driven attribution distributes credit to each marketing touchpoint based on how much impact the touchpoint had on driving a conversion.”
Google’s working to move away from last-click attribution wherever possible, as it’s not an accurate indicator of overall digital marketing performance. In line with this, Google also recently announced that it’s making data-driven attribution the default attribution model for all new conversion actions in Google Ads, and its addition to Analytics further integrates that approach into its broader marketing toolset.
And finally, Google’s also looking to counter the loss of attribution data, amid the shift to more data privacy controls, by adding new modeling prediction capacity to Analytics.
“Using Google’s advanced modeling technology, the new Google Analytics allows you to fill gaps in your understanding of customer behavior when cookies and other identifiers aren’t available. It analyzes vast amounts of historical data, identifies correlations and trends between key data points, and uses those insights to make predictions about the customer journey.”
Increasingly, as Apple’s new data privacy changes take effect, and Google itself looks to more data privacy control options for users, that will mean less data for marketers to go on, and Google, along with Facebook, is hoping that it can replace those lose insights with accurate modeling and prediction tools, based on user behaviors over time.
It remains to be seen just how effective each option can be, for each brand and business, but new modeling options will now be available in Analytics, with conversion modeling in attribution reports, and behavioral modeling coming soon.
Google Analytics remains a key tool for marketers, and these new options look to better align the platform with the latest shifts, ensuring that it remains a key data provider to help inform and guide your strategic thinking, on various fronts. It’ll take some time and testing to measure the benefits of each, but they do give you more options to help you roll with the changes.