Launched in October 2020, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next-gen analytics and reporting platform marketers’ leverage to assess user activities on their websites and applications. GA4 has revolutionized digital reporting and analysis with its ability to track events, classify site visitors into specific audiences, and project custom summaries.
Google Analytics 4 has incorporated aspects of big data and machine learning to shift from focusing on Sessions and Pages to taking a User or Audience-based model.
Why You Should Switch
You have probably used the Universal Analytics (UA) platform for website reporting and analysis as a marketer. UA provides access to user data and enhanced marketing strategies with various features such as content groupings and filters. However, UA has become somewhat cumbersome and relatively ineffective whether you are a novice or experienced user.
You should switch to GA4 since it is designed as a cross-functional marketing and development platform. GA4 focuses not only on website metrics but also on your target market and user interactions on your application or website.
GA4 is an excellent data collection tool that will help your future decision-making strategies. Its new generation features, such as Events and Conversions, inform you on how to move forward suitably.
When to Switch
With the current advancements in data and marketing, particularly with the incorporation of machine learning plus big data and machine learning, the best time to switch to GA4 is now. It is a different approach with new architecture and designed to focus on events, not sessions. Moreover, with time Google will cease updating UA and focus on GA4.
Differences Between GA4 and UA
Aside from the architecture and focus on events, not sessions, GA4 has distinct differences from UA, such as:
- Metrics: UA calculates the bounce rate, average session duration, and page views per session. On the other hand, GA4 calculates the engagement rate, average engagement time per session, and the total views per user.
- Dimensions: GA4 has incorporated new dimensions such as user stickiness which focuses on the user’s frequency of visiting your site.
- Events and Conversions: With GA4, you can create additional custom and modified events and conversions.
- Reports: GA4 provides you with streamlined and improved default reports, as well as increased report customization options.
New Benefits and Features
GA4 has been designed as a cross-platform tracking tool with data streams that enable you to view user data from various perspectives. Other new benefits and features of GA4 are:
- Advanced analysis and reporting with options to export data to BigQuery for extensive analysis. GA4 provides you with real-time user snapshots and prebuilt reporting cards.
- Purchase probability prediction unique for each user.
- Data retention capabilities allow you to leverage your historical data as you can store it for up to 14 months.
- Attribution settings with current data models and analytics capabilities.
Looking to future-proof your marketing efforts? Switch to GA4 to give yourself a head start and to harness the favorable features of the platform.
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