It can be easy to ignore change when we are accustomed to our daily habits or fully committed to the systems we already use. This article is a reminder that if you ignored the request to switch over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) from GA3 (UA), you may be falling behind on what you can accomplish. On July 1st, 2023 Google will transition all Google Analytics accounts to GA4. For those who did not opt-out by February 28th, it’s a good idea to customize your setup now before the transition occurs.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
Google Analytics has been around since 2005. GA4, or Google Analytics 4, is the latest version of the web analytics platform. It provides advanced tracking and analysis of user behavior across websites and mobile apps, with an improved focus on privacy and cross-device tracking. Some of its new features allow it to be a more flexible data model while bringing the power of the old version with it.
Google Analytics allows the user to gain a better understanding of who the website’s audience is as well as how to pinpoint areas where improvements can be made. By analyzing how a customer behaves online, business owners can strategize their SEO practices and marketing campaigns.
How does GA4 differ from UA? What’s new?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers several new features and improvements compared to Universal Analytics (UA.) One of the biggest differences when comparing GA4 to its predecessor is the key changes in event tracking. In GA4, event tracking is more flexible and customizable, allowing for better tracking of user interactions on your website or app. In the new GA4, both website and app data are tracked in the same property. UA tracks these separately. GA4 also has roll-up reporting built in, which makes it much more accurate.
Another new feature is that GA4 exports to BigQuery for free, while UA requires you to use the expensive Analytics 360 to have that ability. Another change is the way GA4 lists user metrics. In UA, there are only two user metrics: total users and new users. GA4 adds an additional metric: active users. Active users are people who are currently on your website at the same time GA4 is pulling data. Additionally, GA4 has implemented new strategies to focus on privacy. GA4 has a stronger focus on user privacy, with new features such as consent mode and data deletion requests. This allows compliance with GDPR and CCPA in a more integrated way. Finally, the integration ability has been simplified tremendously with Google Ads. GA4 offers better integration with Google Ads, making it easier to track the impact of your advertising campaigns.
Why should you make the switch now?
Overall, GA4 is definitely an upgrade from its previous versions. It has more accurate reporting and allows users to view everything in one place. If you’re currently using GA3 (UA), it’s worth considering transitioning to GA4 now to take advantage of its new features. To get started, check out Google’s migration guide and make a plan for transitioning your tracking and reporting.
If you need assistance with your website’s analytics or want to learn how to make GA4 work best for your business’s needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Black Raven today.