In the tech space, the tools at our disposal and the associated terminology fluctuate more than the late, great Prince decided to change his stage name. This time up, the “Artist Formerly Known as Universal Analytics” had a career makeover and would prefer to go by “Google Analytics 4” moving forward. However, the name is just the beginning of the new look and “sound” of Google’s metrics tool, and their new album drops sometime in July of 2023. After next summer, Google will phase Universal Analytics out and retire it forever. As the deadline for this pivot approaches, let’s talk about what this means for your law firm, how this change may benefit your marketing efforts in the future, and what simple steps you can take to prepare. Keep reading for a breakdown of everything you need to know about Google Analytics 4 for Law Firms.
Google Analytics 4 for Law Firms
Your Session is Up. See Ya Next Week…
At inception, the primary deficiency of Universal Analytics was not always a weakness. When Google dropped this release, Universal Analytics’s method of collecting data for your marketing team to interpret was a strength. At its launch, UA was revolutionary. Technological advances have given way to more effective means of acquiring data and led to the antiquation of Universal Analytics. Why? Because Google Analytics 4 uses event-based tracking, as opposed to session-based.
When a user visits your website, Universal Analytics records this data as a “session.” The “session” can encompass a window of several hours and include other users. On the surface, this sounds fine, but within these “sessions” are potential clients who may not be interested in your law firm. Before Google Analytics 4, it was hard to figure out how to weed these undesirable user impressions.
Now, Google has switched to an “event-based” model, which records users’ interaction with a website as a unique individual “event.” The metadata associated with these “events” are logged, and you can target ads to people you and your marketing team feel would be your ideal client.
The Angel is in the Details
Referencing some of the issues raised with tracking “cookies,” Google created this new platform to address security and privacy issues among their users and improve your ability to advertise effectively, leading to more frequent media buys. (There has to be something in it for them, right?)
The “session-based” model is somewhat incomplete as more websites push to keep the information about who visits their site private in a bid to uphold the public trust. If you envision the user experience as a destination on a map, it’s like drawing a line between two points and erasing random sections. You may see a path from a distance, but it’s incomplete and valuable data lies in those gaps. Additionally, on that map, you may see the course of other users overlap with the path you’re focused on, and it muddies the waters.
The “event-based” model tethers one user’s activity to a thread that tracks them, their devices, and their habits in a resolute way. This allows you to target ads to someone without Google revealing the user’s identity until they’re knocking on your law firm’s door. Hopefully, you’ve attracted a qualified lead in the process without breaking user trust. This “event-based” model draws the path of a potential client with a fat magic marker and erases the tracks of other users who may not be an ideal fit for your law firm’s area of expertise.
Why Do Today What I Can Put Off Until Tomorrow?
You may be asking yourself, “Should I switch to Google Analytics 4?” The answer to that question should be an emphatic “yes,” so imagine someone screaming it in your ear. The future is here, and Google’s July 2023 caveat is not like the rolling deadline to convert your driver’s license to RealID. Your law firm needs to be prepared to bid bon voyage to Universal Analytics when next summer hits. Taking the time now to talk about the future means you’re ready to stay ahead of the competition and learn how to reach your ideal clients before your competitor knows how.
As of July 2023, Google will phase out Universal Analytics in favor of Google Analytics 4, switching from a session-based to an event-based tracking model. This shift changes how Google records data, treating each instance of a user’s interaction with a website as its own timestamped “event” rather than a “session” that may encompass several hours and many other users. These “events” are unique – to a degree – and revamp the session-based model that targets potential clients with users of different habits in your ads through nothing more than the limitations of the programming itself. Now, advertisers can target ads with more precision using data that reveals more about a user while maintaining their privacy and upholding trust with your firm. The result is an ad campaign that may reach more potential clients because the data holds the secrets of generating impressions that leave an impression on the right people.
As Google Analytics 4 is integrated into use, so will Good2bSocial’s ability to help ease the transition for your firm. To learn more about how we can help your firm, don’t hesitate to reach out today.