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Unleashing the Power of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for Businesses & Community Banks

Digital Marketing

Unleashing the Power of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for Businesses & Community Banks

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of DigitalRCP.com, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.

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Summary:

In today's digital landscape, harnessing the power of data is crucial for community banks striving to achieve success in their online endeavors. Google Analytics has long been the go-to tool for understanding your bank’s website performance, but with the arrival of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), community banks have an even more powerful solution at their fingertips (but things are different, so it’s certainly not the same as what “UA (Universal Analytics)” has been). 

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of GA4 and explore how community banks can leverage this cutting-edge platform to gain valuable insights and optimize their digital marketing strategies. This version of analytics will be the standard starting July 1, 2023 and the old UA version will stop collecting new data as of that date - so you better be prepared!

What is GA4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) represents the latest iteration of Google's web analytics service. Designed to provide website owners with a holistic view of visitor behavior across multiple devices and platforms, GA4 offers enhanced tracking capabilities and valuable insights. By adopting a user-centric approach and leveraging machine learning, GA4 enables businesses (such as community banks) to make data-driven decisions with much more precision than prior versions of analytics.

Key Advancements in GA4

  1. Enhanced Measurement: GA4 offers community banks more accurate and comprehensive data by incorporating cross-device and cross-platform tracking capabilities. This means you can gain deeper insights into how users interact with your website across different devices, improving your understanding of their journey. However, the big question is WILL your other platforms (such as mobile banking, online mortgage applications, online deposit applications, etc. support this ability.
  2. Predictive Insights: Powered by machine learning algorithms, GA4 identifies patterns and trends in your data, empowering businesses to make proactive decisions. With predictive insights, you can better anticipate customer behavior, identify potential opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition.
  3. Customer-Centric Reporting: GA4 focuses on individual users, providing you with a deeper understanding of customer behavior and engagement. By tracking user interactions across various touchpoints (again, assuming that your partners are supporting this type of cross-platform tracking), GA4 enables you to gain valuable insights into customer preferences and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
  4. Enhanced Google Ads Integration: GA4 seamlessly integrates with Google Ads, providing community banks with comprehensive data on their advertising campaigns. With this integration, you can gain valuable insights into ad performance, optimize your ad spend, and maximize your return on investment.

Getting Started with GA4

Hopefully by now you’ve already got GA4 setup and configured for your website. But if you don’t have that done yet and you're ready to harness the power of GA4 for your community bank, here are the key steps to get started:

  1. Set up a GA4 Property: First, create a GA4 property within your existing Google Analytics account to begin using the platform. Chances are when you log in you’ll be prompted to do this with their setup guide and you can follow along to complete the process.
  2. Install the GA4 Tracking Code: Implement the GA4 tracking code on your website to start collecting valuable data. The tracking code allows GA4 to monitor user interactions and gather insights and can be added natively, or via Google Tag Manager.
  3. Configure Data Streams: GA4 allows you to configure data streams for different types of data, such as web data, app data, and offline data. Setting up the appropriate data streams ensures you capture the complete picture of user engagement.
  4. Set up Conversion Tracking: Define your conversion goals and set up conversion tracking in GA4. This enables you to track crucial metrics like purchases, form submissions, and other valuable actions that you want to make sure you know about when they happen.
  5. Explore the GA4 Interface: Pic, around and familiarize yourself with the GA4 interface to unlock its full potential. Navigate through the various reports, dashboards, and features to gain insights into your website's performance and user behavior.

Or, Partner with GA4 Experts

To make the most of GA4's capabilities and drive optimal results for your community bank, you may want to consider partnering with GA4 experts to help ensure that you’ve got things set up the right way and the platform is producing relevant results. If that’s the case, then we’ve got some good news! At WSI, our team of digital marketing experts can help you navigate the complexities of GA4, provide guidance on strategy implementation, and empower you to make informed decisions based on data insights.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) presents community banks with a revolutionary opportunity to understand their website visitors, optimize marketing strategies, and drive growth. By embracing GA4 and its advanced features, community banks can gain a competitive edge, make data-driven decisions, and achieve remarkable success in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Sign up for our upcoming GA4 webinar or get in touch with our digital marketing team to unlock the full potential of GA4 for your community bank today!

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