By July 2023, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will replace Universal Analytics (UA). Since 2005, Universal Analytics has been the holy grail of website and marketing performance tracking. While Google has made enhancements and additions to the platform over the years, it recently announced it would phase it out to reduce cookie dependency.
Although change can seem frightening and overwhelming, it is for your own good! With the new functionality, businesses will be able to analyse data in an improved and advanced manner, improving their processes and achieving their goals.
What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s popular web analytics platform. GA4 offers several new features and enhancements over earlier versions, including more robust data modelling, enhanced machine learning capabilities, and support for tracking across multiple devices and platforms.
With GA4, businesses can gain valuable insights into their website & app traffic, user behaviour, and conversions, helping them to make data-driven decisions and optimise their online presence.
Google Analytics Highlights
Google Analytics 4 is not just an improved version of Universal Analytics. The system is designed to meet current and future reporting and privacy needs in a unique way.
Here are some of the features:
- Enhanced data modelling: GA4 offers more robust data modelling capabilities, allowing businesses to create more flexible and comprehensive views of their data.
- Machine learning capabilities: GA4 uses machine learning to automatically identify patterns and trends in your data, providing insights that would be difficult or impossible to uncover manually.
- Multi-platform support: GA4 can track users across multiple devices and platforms, providing a more complete picture of their behaviour and allowing businesses to better understand the customer journey.
- Rather than using session-based data, it uses event-based data
- Privacy controls include cookie less measurement and behavioural and conversion modelling
What is different from Universal Analytics
The most significant difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 will be the measurement model.
Here are a few essential differences to keep in mind:
There are still all the typical functions in GA4 like user and engagement reports, insights panels, and campaign information, but it is much more intuitive and user-friendly with clearer navigation, categorising, and labelling what matters most to businesses.
Direct connection to Big Query – Big Query is an integration that allows exceptionally large and complex data sets to be queried very quickly. Google Analytics 360 was the only service that offered this feature, but it now comes free with the latest version.
In addition to tracking pageviews, GA4 can also track outbound links, scrolling, YouTube videos, and other interactions.
The GA4 now measures a single user journey across devices based on different user identifiers, which makes cross-device tracking easier.
Google Analytics 4 has introduced several additional reporting tools for analysis, including ad-hoc funnels and pathing, which were previously only available to GA360 users. When it comes to understanding your users, this type of analysis can make an enormous difference.
Migrating to Google Analytics 4
To build the necessary historical data before Universal Analytics stops processing new hits, you should plan a migration to GA4 as soon as possible. As a result, the migration to GA4 will be smooth and orderly.
Start the transition sooner rather than later, implementing the switch in stages, to ensure that your analytics will be sailing into this new platform next year with ease.
How does Google Analytics 4 affect my Google Ads
Data flows between your Google Analytics 4 property and your AdWords account when you link them. You can view your Google Ads campaigns in the Acquisition overview report.
You should switch to Google Analytics right now; GA4 is a far smarter, logical, and organized data architecture that is far more future proof than Universal Analytics.
Need help switching over to GA4? Don’t worry, WebSightSEO has you covered. Contact us today!