Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s web analytics platform. It was introduced in October 2020 and is designed to provide better insights into user behavior across multiple devices and platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and more.
Why is GA4 important?
There are several reasons why Google Analytics 4 is important:
More comprehensive data tracking: GA4 is built on an event-based tracking model, which means it can capture more comprehensive data about user behavior than its predecessor, Universal Analytics. This includes data from mobile apps, web apps, and websites.
Enhanced user privacy: GA4 is designed with user privacy in mind. It uses a new measurement protocol that anonymizes user data before it is collected, and it also offers more granular control over data sharing and retention.
Improved cross-device tracking: With GA4, it’s easier to track user behavior across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. This makes it possible to gain a better understanding of how users interact with your website or app, regardless of the device they’re using.
Better integration with Google’s marketing tools: GA4 integrates more seamlessly with other Google marketing tools, such as Google Ads and Google Tag Manager. This makes it easier to track the performance of your campaigns and optimize your marketing efforts.
How to migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4?
If you’re already using Universal Analytics and want to migrate to GA4, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Create a new GA4 property: The first step is to create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. You can do this by going to the Admin section of your account and selecting “Create Property.”
- Install the GA4 tracking code: Once you’ve created your new property, you’ll need to install the GA4 tracking code on your website or app. You can find the tracking code in the Admin section of your GA4 property.
- Set up your data streams: GA4 uses data streams to collect data from different sources, such as websites, mobile apps, and offline data sources. You’ll need to set up your data streams to start collecting data.
- Configure your events: GA4 is based on an event-based tracking model, so you’ll need to configure your events to capture the data you want. This can include events such as pageviews, clicks, and form submissions.
- Set up data import: If you have existing data that you want to import into GA4, such as transaction data or user data, you can set up data import to do so.
- Test and validate your setup: Once you’ve set up GA4 and configured your events and data import, it’s important to test and validate your setup to ensure that you’re collecting the data you need.
Both Google Universal Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are powerful analytics platforms that allow businesses to track and analyze user behavior on their websites. However, there are some key differences between the two that may make one better suited for your business needs than the other.
What is the differences between Universal and GA4?
Here are some of the main differences between Google Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4:
- User and Session Data: In Google Universal Analytics, user and session data is tracked separately, which can make it difficult to get a complete view of user behavior. Google Analytics 4, on the other hand, uses a unified data model that allows for more accurate and comprehensive tracking of user behavior across sessions and devices.
- Machine Learning: Google Analytics 4 includes built-in machine learning capabilities that can automatically analyze data and provide insights into user behavior. This can be particularly useful for businesses that don’t have the resources to conduct in-depth data analysis on their own.
- Customization: Google Universal Analytics offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to create custom dimensions and metrics. Google Analytics 4 also allows for customization, but some features may be more limited compared to Google Universal Analytics.
Which one is better?
The answer depends on your specific business needs and goals. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and unified view of user behavior across sessions and devices, then Google Analytics 4 may be the better option. On the other hand, if you require more customization options and are comfortable with a cookie-based tracking system, then Google Universal Analytics may be a better fit for your business.
Google Analytics 4 is an important upgrade to Google’s web analytics platform. It offers more comprehensive data tracking, improved user privacy, better cross-device tracking, and better integration with Google’s marketing tools. If you’re already using Universal Analytics, it’s relatively easy to migrate to GA4 by following the steps outlined above. By doing so, you’ll be better positioned to understand user behavior and optimize your marketing efforts.
Please note that starting from July 1st, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will cease data processing. After July 1st, 2023, you will still be able to view your Universal Analytics reports for a while, but new data will only be transferred to Google Analytics 4 properties. Therefore, businesses need to make the transition to GA4 before the July 1st deadline.