Google Analytics has launched its new and improved version of its famous and almost almighty platform Google Analytics (from now on GA4) and we’re going to discuss how it affects you and your business.
Here are a few things that we’re going to cover in this post:
As we mentioned earlier GA4 is the new and improved version of the well known Google Analytics (or UA) platform that allows us to track, monitor and ‘spy’ on our audience, where they come from, who are they, what are their behaviours, and a long etc.
Google claims this new version is more focused on privacy, intelligence, machine learning and a more friendly user experience.
You can read the whole announcement here.
A couple of things to know about GA4 are:
It is important to know that the migration from the previous version of Google Analytics (UA) and setting it up for a new project are two completely different processes and that if you want to bring over the previous data that your website/app had it is important to use the following process, at the end of this article we’ll leave a few interesting links to ways of doing it from scratch and in this article we will focus on how to carry over that migration.
In order to do this Google provides us with a list of steps that we need to follow:
Once you click Create Property, the setup wizard:
Once this process is complete, you will see "You have successfully connected your properties" at the top of your Google Analytics 4 Property Setup Assistant page.
If you’d like to read the full process in Google documentation here it is. Bear in mind that it can be a little bit technical and confusing but all the information is there if you want to dive into it.
As with every other platform when there’s a massive update as the one we’re seeing here, one of the main updates is the visuals of it and subsequently where things are.
GA4 presents a neater way to showcase data whenever we access it and they say it’s more ‘user friendly’, which to be honest can be debatable due to the fact that for someone that has used the previous versions or any previous version of any platform, changes in layout and positioning of things that we were used to use before always cause confusion and frustration at the beginning. Yes, Google provides an onboarding process at the start of a new account using GA4 but the reality is that (many people do this) we just skip it and dive right in so the real onboarding happens the moment we start using the tool.
One of the other main differences between GA4 and UA obviously lies on the technical side of things and this is that they used different models to measure activity in a property.
The newer GA4 uses a model of ‘events’ which differs from the ‘hits’ model that UA uses instead.
In simple words GA4 now categorises everything under events when a user performs an activity on the site whereas UA collects all the activity on the site as ‘separate’ events and then those events then show a specific measurement like page views, bounce rate, etc.
There are hundreds more differences about the platform that we’re not discussing in this article but let me tell you that GA4 is a whole world that we could write books on. So, if you are interested in getting to know GA4 and all of its nuances, at the end we’ll leaving you a few links where you can start.
Probably the previous explanation for non technical users won’t mean anything and the implementation or use of one or the other is something that few people will think is important BUT the reality is that Google is moving away from the previous model and we all will have to move on with them. Reach out to your ‘web guy’ or send us a message, we’ll try to be as helpful as possible. If you would like to know more about the differences between the two platforms we suggest you read the official document here.
We’ve compiled a list of different articles, guides and tools that can help you migrate from UA to GA4 with ease and start understanding the new future standard in the analytics world.
This article is based on the Google’s official release of GA4 that you can find here.