GA4 is Coming…is Your Hotel Ready?
- July 2023: the date that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is scheduled to replace any previous version of Google Analytics as the default analytics platform for all businesses, including hotels.
- Driven entirely by privacy concerns worldwide, GA4 is Google's answer to the phase-out of third-party cookies.
- GA4 has been designed to help marketers navigate the challenges of a complex digital landscape with inevitable data tracking and measurement gaps.
- And, with the old Google Analytics sunsetting, all the historical data your hotel has accumulated since its installation (which is likely years ago) will go with it.
Meet the new family that’s ascending the marketing worldWhile Google has done a nice job underplaying the to GA4, upgrading to GA4 is not necessarily an update, it's a complete replacement of tools. Every single aspect is different about the GA4 platform, including the user interface and reporting tools. As an entirely new platform, it’s the next ruling family in the marketing world that will change how we all collect, analyze, and report data.And despite Google’s efforts to make the "transition" to GA4 sound like a simple update, it's not. This may be an easy switch for advanced users, but it will be much more difficult for basic users to understand. In other words, integrating GA4 sooner rather than later will allow you to spend time learning the GA4 platform. That is if you want to make it work for your hotel’s digital marketing efforts in the future.
The trusted new king—first-party dataWith third-party cookies fading away, first-party data will be king and will rule the marketing monarchy for the foreseeable future. Whether you know it or not, thankfully, you've been collecting first-party data for years. First-party data is the data your hotel collects directly from your owned sources, or the data your visitors provide when they engage with your hotel directly.First-party data can include data from your hotel's:
- Guest check-ins and guest preference indicators
- The POS
- Property Management System
- Online reviews
- Website and mobile app
The new queen—User IDsWhen it comes to tracking users, GA4 has three ways of identifying people who visit your hotel's website: User IDs, Google Signals, and the device. The "device" means first-party cookies, or the king of the monarchy. uses data from people who use Google Accounts and have enabled ad personalization. But, the queen of these three types and the most accurate way of identifying visitors is in the .One of the most significant benefits of using the User ID approach is GA4's ability to across platforms, fixing the cross-device attribution issues. Instead of data broken down by page views, GA4 is (finally) user-centric, focusing on the user's complete online journey and overall engagement with your hotel's digital presence. Simply put, you'll have a much more comprehensive view of how users interact with your hotel digitally.But, not surprisingly, there's a bit of a catch when it comes to using User IDs... For starters, User IDs are not exactly created automatically. There are several ways to develop User IDs that GA4 can use to collect and measure user behavior, but that’s for the . There are several other nuances when it comes to creating and optimizing data for User IDs, which is where our solution to all your GA4 questions and concerns comes in...
The new House of Parliament—your digital partner
Moving to GA4 will be challenging for any hotel. Still, the earlier you integrate GA4, get familiar with it, and utilize data from it, the further ahead your hotel will be when the previous versions of Google Analytics are no longer usable. But undertaking this transition will be challenging even for the most seasoned hotel marketers. That’s where a strong digital partner comes in, to provide the expertise you need to make a successful shift to GA4. Contact💖 Shift Digital today, so our team of hospitality and digital experts can help your hotel excel in this exciting new marketing landscape.
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