2022 was always going to be a year of change. In what is now becoming a ‘post-lockdown’ world, the re-opening of society and the challenges that brought has driven intense change in our world.
However, as well as the physical world changing, the digital world is ever evolving with that. And in 2022, as Ryan Hill, Senior Account Manager at Hampshire based agency MRS Digital, explains, there’s plenty of change on the horizon.
What Changes Are Happening This Year?
This year alone, there’s been a whole host of changes announced already, and more will inevitably be announced in the coming months.
Digital landscapes change on a daily basis, from small algorithm shifts to bug repairs and it’s something marketers should be used to. However major shifts in algorithmic processing, substantial product offering moves and fundamental changes in the way a software or system operates are something no marketer can predict, and can’t always adapt to instantly.
One such change is Google’s sunsetting of Universal Analytics (GA3) in July 2023. While that date seems a while off, for marketers who rely on year-on-year data for seasonality, there’s really not much time left to make the move to GA4.
This move to integrated search leans perfectly into how GA4 works, which is by default based on data driven attribution.
The Sunsetting of Universal Analytics (GA3)
When Google announced the end of Universal Analytics (GA3), the marketing corner of the internet went into a collective meltdown. For many years, UA/GA3 had been a dependable friend to lean on when setting up a website or for wanting to check how your work was doing.
While it seemed all doom and gloom initially, there are some benefits to GA4. As well as being more GDPR compliant, there’s access to all the tools from what was previously Google Analytics 360, such as machine learning based attribution modelling and BigQuery, meaning that analytics is getting advanced.
GA4 has been available since October 2020, but its starkly different interface meant that marketers were initially slow to adopt. GA4 also uses a data driven attribution approach with machine learning, which means that user journey is mapped, and conversion points are weighted based on how much they impacted the user.
Integrated Search in 2022
Integrated search creates a search approach that is more user focused, generates additional top of page visibility and consistently delivers better performing outcomes. By combining SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) strategies, the conjoined approach allows for effective budget allocation, increased insight to conversion points and deeper understanding on what content is converting best for certain keywords.
This, combined with data driven attribution that GA4 brings, means that those who choose to use an integrated approach are rewarded with deeper insight and can take away greater learnings. Integrated search strategies will be more beneficial with GA4’s approach to analytics, as the focus on the user’s journey can be easily amended and streamlined by one team, over two separate companies or groups.
Here’s what you should be preparing for:
- The move to GA4. Make sure you’ve correctly set up your account and are noting the data differences between the two.
- Integrated search strategies, which combine your PPC and SEO for one cohesive approach.
Barney Packer, Digital PR Manager – MRS Digital