Google will be transitioning from the Universal Analytics platform to the upgraded Google Analytics 4 from the 1st of July 2023.
Even though Universal Analytics will stop tracking all data from the date mentioned, it will allow access to historical data for around only six months. This change is important as GA4 comes with many new updates to help businesses advance in their consumer experiences.
What is Google Analytics 4?
GA4 comes with enhanced improvements and better AI-based insights and predictions that automatically alert marketers of fast-growing trends and demands of their website users. It is beneficial as it allows different businesses to divert attention to better value audiences, saving time whilst highlighting the focus on areas with the most profitable opportunities for different businesses.
Google Analytics 4 has been designed to track across web and applications to supply businesses with more insights across platforms. This is advantageous for businesses as it gives an overview of user performance across different platforms to help identify the most valuable user to improve audience targeting.
How is Google Analytics 4 useful?
GA4 has been created for businesses to provide further insights into the increasing growth of consumer expectations by concentrating on user privacy and data collection, with more specific user data control.
GA4 records all events completed by the user, instead of creating new sessions each time when a user returns to a site, like in UA or GA3. This allows Google to eliminate duplicate users and indicate their activity on the site more accurately.
GA4 is designed to boost online and offline consumer engagement and provide predictive insights about customer behaviour resulting in enhanced conversions focusing on prospective customers. In other words, GA4 allows you to group the users into customers based on the probability of making a purchase.
Using a measurement model will provide the full view of a customer life cycle, assisting marketers in searching and exploring the data for future campaigns. The expansion of reports, analysis and customisation tools allows for better investigation of user behaviour.
Differences between GA4 and UA
The most significant difference between the two is how they collect the data. Universal Analytics collects data by sessions and pageviews. A session is the group of actions that a user takes when they visit your website - a session can consist of multiple pageviews, events and eCommerce actions. In UA, a single user can have multiple sessions.
However, GA4 collects the data based on events - all interactions (page views, purchases, video plays, etc) are captured as events. So how is GA4 more useful than UA?
Here are some of the benefits of GA4:
- Data tracking
- Reporting Interface
- Some new metrics
- Includes AI
- Conversion Events have replaced the goals
Universal Analytics requires a manual process to access the data when users are active on more than one platform, which takes more time and effort to examine. However, GA4 automatically tracks all of the activity on the web and applications, which helps to generate better SEO traffic and up to date content marketing.
UA has suffered from the lack of user control and customisation capabilities, but GA4 can be more flexible, allowing for a better understanding of customer interactions. Let us not forget that there are many more features to be excited about that are still being developed.
Why support the change early?
You may be wondering why you should support the change early? Transferring a lot of data can be pretty challenging as various data types are collected differently, making this a long process. It's not as simple as just changing the code, so it is recommended to begin the change early.
It may seem that this is a scary change but fear not because this is an excellent opportunity to understand the user activity and experience in more detail to help improve businesses' future plans.
ExtraDigital marketing experts have been adapting to the new changes of Google Analytics 4. Our specialists are ready to provide you with their advice to match and improve your business goals.
Ready to begin the new journey with Google Analytics 4? Contact our experts today!