Google Analytics/GA4 vs. ClickMagick
GA4 is not a good choice for performance marketers. Here's why ...
Patrick KellyClickMagick Founder
February 3, 2024Created on
8 minutesEst. read time
Hi, I’m Patrick — the founder of ClickMagick.
Google Analytics is used by more people than any other marketing analytics product or service. Plus it’s free.
But is it the right choice for performance marketers, and your business?
I’ll cut to the chase — if you’re an entrepreneur or small business looking to maximize your ad budget, scale your ads, and grow your business, it’s a horrible choice.
Using GA4 for “free” will cost you more than you can imagine ...
... and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Here’s why ...Patrick Kelly, Founder
GA4 Is One Big CompromiseGA4 is simply not accurate enough for performance marketers.
According to Google, GA4 “provides a next-generation approach to AI-based predictive data, privacy-first tracking, and cross-platform measurement.”
But let’s be real ...
The main reason Google created GA4 is because they are under constant pressure due to their privacy practices ...
To the point where the previous version of GA was deemed illegal in the EU.
The bottom line is that Google Analytics can no longer accurately track individual users as they make their way through your sales funnel.
Google is forced to use lots of AI, machine learning and data modeling ...
... which are all just fancy names for guessing.
Performance marketers require more precision. Accurate tracking and conversion attribution are non-negotiable.
GA4 is meant for data analysts.The #1 complaint is the steep learning curve — it takes weeks to learn.
There are multi-day courses that teach how to use GA4 for a reason.
GA4 is best used by data teams and high-level data analysts working with massive data sets for predictive modeling ...
Not small businesses trying to get the most from their ad budget.
In addition to not giving you the accurate data you need, GA4 is almost certainly the most complex software you’ve ever seen in your life.
It literally takes weeks or months to learn how to use, and there’s zero support provided with the free version of GA4.
Just Google things like “GA4 problems” ...
You’ll find 1,000s of performance marketers and small business owners pulling their hair out trying to use GA4.
GA4 IsClickMagick reveals every detail for every click and conversion.
A Black Box
GA4 tells you what’s happening on your website, but the data they provide is anonymous and extremely fragmented.
If your sales funnel includes things like nurture sequences, webinars, or sales calls, you need a solution that ties the entire customer journey together.
With GA4 you can’t see any details or verify anything ...
All they’ll tell you is that you got 18 sales today, and you have to trust them.
ClickMagick on the other hand gives you every detail about every click and every conversion, down to the customer’s name and email address.
For each and every visitor you can visually see the entire visitor journey, and all their activity is attributed all the way back to the source.
GA4 Stats & Reporting IssuesOnly ClickMagick's stats are based on what really happened.
When it comes to GA4 stats and reports, the first problem is “thresholding.”
This is where GA4 withholds certain data if the number of visitors or customers involved is less than the minimum requirement, or data threshold.
And they don’t tell you what this is, so you never know what you’re looking at.
It’ll take a week to learn how to use their reports, which are delayed by 1-2 days, and they’ll only include your cost data from Google Ads, so you won’t get important metrics like ROAS for your Facebook ads or anything else.
I could go on, but this is just not acceptable for a performance marketer.
ClickMagick on the other hand provides everything you need in real-time ...
All based on your actual clicks and conversions, exactly as it happened, for all of your free, paid and organic trafic.
GA4 Conversion AttributionWith GA4 conversion attribution it’s just one problem after another.
Conversion attribution in GA4 is where everything just falls apart.
First there are all the technical issues, like the fact that you need a dedicated “thank you” page for every event or sale you want to track ...
... which is often impossible to do for things like order bumps and upsells due to limitations in the other apps you use and your specific tech stack.
GA4 will also record duplicate conversions because GA4 sessions timeout after 30 minutes, and they’ll record additional conversions each time people re-enter your funnel or reload your thank you pages for any reason.
You can’t track any phone sales or other offline conversions ...
And some conversions just won’t be tracked at all due to GA4’s limited 30-90 day attribution window, which also ruins tracking of repeat customers.
GA4's Data-Driven Attribution ModelGA4 guesses — ClickMagick shows you exactly what really happened.
But GA4’s “data-driven” attribution modeling makes it even worse:
“Google uses modeling to estimate online conversions that can’t be observed directly. Modeling allows for accurate conversion attribution without identifying users (for example, due to user privacy, technical limitations, or when users move between devices).” From [GA4] About attribution and attribution modeling
It may be their fanciest “AI attribution” model yet, but at the end of the day it’s still just guessing and making predictions because that’s all GA4 can do.
I guess that’s better than nothing if you had no other choice ...
But ClickMagick’s attribution is 100% accurate because it’s based only on your actual clicks and conversions, with no guessing.
GA4’s Limited Attribution ModelsClickMagick’s multi-touch attribution reveals what’s really working — top, middle and bottom of funnel.
The only other attribution model that GA4 offers aside from data-driven attribution is the “last click” attribution model.
Last click is generally good at showing you what gets people to buy ...
But it doesn’t give you any insight into top and middle of funnel performance, so you can’t rely only on the last click model either.
You can't scale cold traffic acquisition campaigns with last click, for example.
In addition to last click, ClickMagick provides advanced multi-touch attribution models — like Linear, Position-Based and Time Decay ...
... which provide even deeper insights on how the different pieces of your marketing are performing, and help you scale like never before ...
Because you’ll be able to fully optimize the different steps in your funnel independently, rather than your entire funnel as a whole.
Bad Data Destroys Ad OptimizationWe send your true conversion data to all your ad networks in real-time, so they can better optimize your ads.
I could go on and on but hopefully you get the picture — you can’t rely on GA4.
Growing your business with paid ads is a simple matter of scaling what’s working and killing what’s not, but you just can’t do that effectively with the inaccurate tracking and stats provided by GA4.
And to make matters worse, GA4 pushes all this bad data to Google Ads, and then the ads AI algorithms use it to try to find you more customers.
But because they’re using bad data they can’t properly optimize your ads ...
... which means they end up showing your ads to people who are less likely to engage with your business, and your ROI suffers.
And if you want to send your GA4 conversions to Facebook Ads?
You’ll then need to set up server-side tagging with GTM, which based on Google’s recommended set up will cost you about $150 a month ...
All just to send the same inaccurate data to your other ad networks.
It’s a simple math problem
ClickMagick wouldn’t exist if you could rely on GA4 for accurate tracking and conversion attribution.
And your choice is really just a simple math problem ...
All these issues with GA4 are costing you a small fortune, and the reason we’ve helped over 100,000 small businesses is because we fix it all for about 5 bucks a day. ClickMagick just makes sense.
ClickMagick TrueTracking® gives you best-in-class tracking and conversion attribution ...
Every click. Every conversion. Every journey in between. Exactly as it happened ...
You can finally optimize your marketing based on your actual results ...
And we’ll automatically send your true conversion data back to all your ad networks in real-time ...
Leveraging first-party data collected on your website or in your online store ...
Which leads to improved ad optimization, and more conversions at the lowest cost possible.
And if you have any questions, feel free to email me personally — firstname.lastname@example.orgPatrick Kelly, Founder
P.S. ClickMagick offers tons more I haven’t even talked about ...
One-of-a-kind stats like ROAS24 which tells you if you’re making or losing money on the frontend of your funnel.
More visual reporting than GA4, and a detailed “user journey” for every visitor and customer.
Best-in-class bot filtering, click fraud protection, bit.ly style tracking links, affiliate marketing tools ...
And the best customer support you’ve ever experienced. I guarantee it.
Over 122,000 accounts created worldwide
“It's not often that I'm blown away by a company - especially an internet marketing company. This is a company that actually listens to it's customers, and makes constant improvements based on the actual needs of the customer.”
“I'm not exaggerating one bit when I say ClickMagick is one of our most-loved apps we've ever used at our business, and it has really helped us to take things to the next level. You have managed to take things that drove us crazy — tracking, split-testing, etc. — and made them easier and more effective than ever!”
“The support is outstanding. In terms of my business, I'm delighted with the results. With ClickMagick I can now see every step a prospect takes on their way to becoming a buyer, and I'm able to target my ad spend to the ad sets and creatives that are actually generating buyers. And the impact of this is enourmous. I highly recommend both the platform and the outstanding support team.”
“I'm a big fan of ClickMagick. Flat monthly rate not based on revenue, you don't have to hop on a sales call and I found the event match quality for the Conversions API to be great. I have it configured for a GHL funnel with order bumps, upsells and downsells. It's been great for optimizing our pixel with accurate attribution and helping us create more winning ads. The dashboard and reports are also easy to to use.”
“ClickMagick has really helped me take my business to the next level. It's incredibly easy to use, has some awesome one-of-a-kind features, and I have received very prompt and friendly support when needed. I recommend ClickMagick to everyone.”
“I would say this is the one tool that's irreplaceable in my business. It gives me a great overview of what's working and what's not working. The support is top notch. If you have an issue you'll hear back sometimes within minutes, always very quickly, and always with an accurate and useful answer. I highly recommend it.”
“After generating millions of dollars online, I've seen what works and what doesn't. And for a very long time I struggled with the techie stuff that usually comes with tracking ... But I can confidently say ClickMagick is by far the most accurate, fun and simple way to track your clicks — with all the advanced features you'll ever need. This is a MUST HAVE tool.”
“The customer support have gone above and beyond for me. Just in terms of helping me set everything up. They go in to so much detail, they really know their stuff, and can help to simplify tracking and attribution - which as we all know can be quite a daunting task. The ClickMagick team obviously really care about their customers.”
“I have found ClickMagick to be an invaluable tool in building my business online. If you're not using ClickMagick you definitely should because it will really help you scale your business, and it's the most affordable solution of its kind.”
“I've used lots of different tracking tools in the past, and nothing compares to ClickMagick. It's got an extremely easy to use interface. Everything is laid out right there in front of you with just a few clicks. With ClickMagick, tracking is just 100 times easier and more efficient.”
“Let me tell you this is an awesome tracking app. ClickMagick is one-of-a-kind because not only does it track everything, very accurately, but it also gives you lots of extra tools that no other tracking software has out there. I definitely recommend it, and I'm going to be using it for a long, long time.”
“I always thought, when I create my own company, I'm going to make sure the support is spot on, because there's nothing worse than bad support. ClickMagick's team must live in the support desk because you always get a competent answer, you don't have to keep going back and forth, and you get help fast every single time.”
“ClickMagick is awesome. Their support is top notch too as they actually do listen to your feedback, and they are constantly adding new features on a monthly basis. All in all, highly recommended for newbies AND advanced users.”
“ClickMagick is by far the best ad tracker on the market. The creators of the software are constantly taking suggestions and implementing upgrades. It was super easy to switch from my old tracking software to ClickMagick. This is a great product and I recommend it to anyone looking for a tracking solution.”
“I'm beyond grateful to be using ClickMagick. It's exactly what I had been looking for. What really separates ClickMagick from the other services is the great level of feedback that is accepted. I've suggested several features and they've implemented them quickly. Do your business a favor and sign up. Like... now.”
“Anyone who is running an online business knows that ad tracking is crucial to making more money online, and ClickMagick helped me to do just that. Totally awesome! All I can say is R.I.P. other link trackers ... ClickMagick is one-of-a-kind and can't be beat.”
“Where else can you find a link tracker, rotator, geotargeting, fraud detector — plus on top of everything top-notch dedicated customer support that I haven't experienced anywhere else — at such a reasonable cost? I must admit I left ClickMagick to find a cheaper and better alternative but quickly returned to using ClickMagick.”
“ClickMagick is an awesome tracking service that helps you to track your ads and focus on where your most profitable clicks are coming from. This has been a game-changer for me, and the support is awesome as well. I would recommend ClickMagick to any serious marketer who is wanting to take their online business to the next level. This is the real deal.”