B2B Articles - March 23, 2023
Ironpaper Growth Specialist Daniel Traicoff recently sat down with Content Specialist Scott Dame to discuss the next generation of Google Analytics and what that means for digital marketers and B2B organizations.
On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data; new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties. What does this mean for B2B businesses?
It means that it's going to be essential to add the new Google Analytics to your website. Many benefits come from GA4, but one of the most significant advantages is that you can use GA4 across different websites, subdomains, and even apps. So, especially for some larger B2B enterprises, you can follow your customer's journey through HubSpot landing pages, Pardot landing pages, and the main website instead of having many places where Google Analytics exists. If there's an app that your business uses, you can also track their engagements through there. So it enables you to create a more holistic audience.
How will linking GA4 to Google Ads help businesses handle the loss of third-party cookies?
We're all still learning about what a cookieless world will mean for advertising. But linking GA4 and Google Ads will let you create high-intent audiences. Google Ads will use Google's first-party proprietary data. So you accept cookies on a website, and since the website has Google Analytics 4 and we're advertising on Google Ads, your data isn't shared to third-party services. With GA4 and Google ads, you can start advertising to people who have been on your site for more than two minutes, who have scrolled, and who have engaged with certain kinds of content. The connection will help us remarket using first-party data.
Are there any other important steps marketers should take?
Make sure you import your current Google Analytics goals, events, and audiences because there is a very different setup with GA4; it's a complete rewrite of the product. If you last updated your goals or audiences a while ago, now would be an excellent time to take a step back and consider:
What is the difference between session-based data and event-based data?
Session-based data includes dates, times, and the duration you're on the website and/or the app. Event-based data is the holistic view and the specific actions you take. For example, if you clicked on a page, scrolled 50% of the page, then submitted a form. All of that information is what builds audiences for Google Analytics 4.
Why is creating high-intent audiences in GA4 so important?
For Google Ads, it's critical to make high-intent audiences because you can remarket, create display ads, and/or adjust your search ad bids for people who may have been on your site for a while but weren't ready to submit a lead form. For B2C businesses, a typical example is when you place an item in the shopping cart on a commercial website but don't check out, and then you start seeing ads for that item.
B2B marketers are looking for different signals, such as people who watched a video for a minute or engaged with written content. Since it's all first-party data, you get more when creating remarketing lists from HubSpot or LinkedIn. When you are trying to match a lead from Hubspot, you have to hope that their email or phone number is associated with a Google Account, leading to lower match rates. Providers often encounter issues with audience matching in these cases.
Will there be increased privacy controls with GA4?
Yes. GA4 is more secure and private because it doesn't track your IP address. There are also built-in ways to remove user behavior. GA4 will also make progress toward privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although GA4 may not be fully compliant, its privacy features are more advanced than those of Universal Analytics.
What should an organization do if it lacks the resources or expertise to utilize the new GA4 functions?
In our experience, it's not simple to ensure proper conversion tracking implementation, so reaching out to experts might streamline that process for you. Often, the most challenging part of using GA4 is defining your business goals. Remember, you're communicating with a computer, not a human. How do you take your business goals and implement them in a way that's sustainable and that a computer can report on and understand?
The one thing you don't want to do is integrate everything before you set your goals, because then it's likely that you'll have to redo your work. Understanding conversion value and ensuring that your goals are achievable – and not just aspirational – can be a complex process. Many companies find that KPIs and SMART goals align well with Google processes, and it's easy to import them into Google ads and Google Analytics.
A company that thoroughly understands B2B audiences and GA4 can help you streamline your digital marketing. Even if it's just during an initial call, I think most firms would be happy to share some initial insight into how they manage the GA4 integration.
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B2B Marketing and Growth Agency.
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