The time has come—Google announced it is shuttering its Universal Analytics platform by June of next year. For users that have been hesitant to switch to Google Analytics 4, time is ticking. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation of Google Analytics and a vital piece of the Google Marketing Platform widely used by marketers and analysts worldwide.
GA4 is a privacy-first product with cross-channel data measurement and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven predictive analytics. Everything you know about GA will be different in GA4, so we recommend learning more about it before updating your account. Here are some quick things you should know before you make the leap to GA4.
Google Analytics 4 Vs. Universal Analytics: What’s The Difference?
There are many differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, beyond just a fancy new dashboard. Keep reading to discover the most pertinent changes you can expect.
- Expanded reporting= GA4 enables you to report activity on both websites and applications, which is crucial for accurate reporting as customers bounce around between mobile apps and websites frequently. Web and app data is now reported in one property.
- A new dashboard= The first change you will notice about GA4 is its new dashboard. The GA4 dashboard is cleaner and organized differently. For example, the navigation bar to the right contains home, reports, explore, advertising, configure, and library.
- New metrics= GA4 includes new metrics to track like:
- Engagement sessions
- Engagement rate
- Engagement time
- Predictive insights= Understanding what users are likely to do can be extremely helpful for remarketing campaigns. With predictive insights, you can view:
- Purchase probability
- Churn probability
- Revenue predictions
- More control= GA4 gives marketers more control over how their dashboard looks and what reports they would most like to see.
Google Analytics 4 Is A Privacy-First Product Built Around Events, Not Just Page Views
Another major shift users will experience with GA4 is that it prioritizes “events,” not just page views. In GA4, events are the fundamental building blocks of your analytics. You can think of an event as something that happens on your website or app—when a user clicks a button, submits a form, or makes a purchase. You can also group multiple events into an “event path,” gauges how users interact with your product over time. For example: when someone returns to a site after clicking on an ad and then later signs up for their newsletter via email signup form (two events), you’d want to see how many people did both actions in one visit (an event path).
GA4 was built from the ground up around this idea of an event – from how they’re created, tracked, and reported on – we call it Event-Driven Analytics (EDA). With EDA at its core, Google Analytics 4 offers more accurate insights into what’s happening on websites and mobile apps than ever before.
If you are familiar with event tracking, you can learn how to set up and use events in Google Analytics 4. If not, here is a quick rundown: Events are things that happen on your website or app that you want to track.
GA4 Standard Events:
- First visit
- Session start
- User engagement
- Page view
- Outbound link click
- Site search
- Video engagement
- File download
Google Analytics helps you gain insights into your customers and how they use your website. This information can help you make informed decisions about promoting your products or services. For example, if your goal is to increase sales and conversions, Google Analytics will provide insights into how many people visit your website, where they come from, what pages they visit on your site, what actions they take, and more. You can then use this information to improve the visitor experience on your site and increase conversion rates.
Google Analytics 4 is the future of Google Analytics. It is a product that has been built around privacy first, and it offers significant changes to both how we collect data and how we present it. Some other benefits include cross-platform tracking, more control over data, and AI-driven insights.
Since Google Analytics 4 can be used for your website or application (or both), there are two separate setup processes. Experts recommended you install and configure GA4 Analytics as soon as possible so that you can begin collecting event data now, configure events & conversions that are important to your business, and give your business time to configure reports and better understand new metrics.
As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Don’t wait to transition to GA4 because you’re strapped for time. Kurv Agency can upgrade for you. We’re Google Analytics experts, addicted to getting you the results you need from your website and paid campaigns.
Contact us here to initiate your upgrade to GA4 today.