GA4 is Here: Here’s What You Need to Know

Google officially released GA4 (Google Analytics 4) in October 2020, and as an online brand, it’s essential to understand what this means to align your SEO efforts with Google analytics’ priorities. GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics; its execution combines app and web analytics. GA4 has incorporated all features that were previously only available on the premium Google Analytics 360 version. 

As an eCommerce retailer, learning about this new update ensures you know how to leverage the latest features to achieve your growth objective. Whether your platform brings sells tangible products, understanding how GA4 will affect your current and future marketing efforts gives you peace of mind. It’s good to know if the strategies you’re applying are the right ones to make your business future-proof. 

Before you go ahead to install GA4 on your sites, ensure you know what makes this updated version different from the one you’re currently using. Determining the similarities and differences allows you to seamlessly adapt your business operations to the new version.

Switching from Google Universal Analytics (GUA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a huge transition because the new version has completely changed how Google tracks your site’s activity. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about GA4. In addition, the best assignment writing service prepared the best tips on how to write an essay on a topic related to Google Analytics so you can understand more what GA4 means with a help of writing experts.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Before diving into the intricate details of this new upgrade, let’s first understand what Google Analytics 4 is. This is the latest Google Analytics property, whose beta version was released in 2019. Its initial name was App + Web properties. The new name is a better expression of GA4’s capabilities because one doesn’t need an app to take advantage of its amazing features. Though, it’s equally great if you have an application. 

As the brand new default property type, it automatically updates on newly developed websites.  Google will now be using GA4 to analyze data and track websites’ performance. Therefore, all development efforts will only be focused on improving GA4’s performance because the previous version (Google Universal Analytics) is now outdated. All new features that prioritize data security and machine learning will be embedded in GA4’s makeup. Checking killer papers reviews you will hire a qualified writer who will help you to find out more information on Google Analytics 4.

A Summary of Google Analytics 4 

Before Google Analytics 4, there have been three successive programs in use since 2005. Below is a lineup of these different programs and their timelines. 

  • GA1: Urchin, 2005
  • GA2: Classic, 2008
  • GA3: Universal, 2013
  • GA4: We are here, 2020

Google has been developing GA4 since it released Google Analytics for Firebase in 2017. So, in essence, GA4 has been developed on Firebase Analytics’ backend. For this reason, GA4 has an easy time tracking both web and mobile properties 

GA4 can also be perceived as Google’s attempt to rebuild Google Analytics’ front and backend with the inclusion of:

  • New features 
  • Alterations to the UI 
  • New methods to track and analyze data 

Clearly, GA4 has covered all the bases to ensure websites and applications’ performance are accurately ranked. 

The Old System: Google Universal Analytics (UA)

While there’s a new kid on the block, there is no denying that the old system provided users with helpful information. As a website owner, you could determine:

  • How do you attract new website visitors
  • How often do users visit your web pages
  • How many site visitors do you get per day 
  • How long have visitors stayed on your site 
  • Which web pages do your visitors browse the most 

So if you still find the old system to be useful, you’ll be pleased to know that Universal Analytics Isn’t Going Anywhere. When GA4 got released, many marketers featured that their efforts to leverage UA’s features would go to waste. Thankfully, they can still use Google Analytics to drive online revenue and achieve other eCommerce growth objectives. 

While Google intends to implement GA4 permanently, nothing is changing in the immediate sense because GA4 is still in its infancy. For instance, GA4 has not yet been programmed to import data retrospectively, so a business that has been running on previous analytics properties would lose all its data before the system’s installation. 

Every business needs access to its historical data to make informed future decisions about its customers and the brand’s expansion. Without contextual insight, many customers will likely slip through the cracks because you wouldn’t know the right content to target them with. 

But a business that launched after GA4 was rolled out can comfortably use this system because it starts recording data from the date of setup. 

The vast majority of eCommerce businesses intend to continue using Universal Analytics to make the most of their marketing strategies whose timelines have not elapsed. However, website owners agreed that UA lacks measurable engagement metrics. Factors such as session duration, bounce rates, and pages per session weren’t as straightforward as eCommerce retailers wanted them to be.

For that reason, a good number have opted to set up GA4 property and let it start gathering data as Google continues to sharpen its performance.

How is GA4 Different from Universal Analytics? 

While GA4 is not ready to phase out Universal analytics, many businesses have begun experimenting with it to learn its capabilities. So far, these are the three main differences between GA4 and UA:

Out-of-the-Box Event Tracking 

As already mentioned, UA can only track page views across your web pages, and to track additional interaction, you need advanced knowledge that only experienced marketers have access to.  

Converse, GA4, has been designed to collect more data thanks to its enhanced measurement feature. You automatically gain access to data about outbound links, video engagement, scrolling, and so much more. This allows you to personalize your site’s event data to suit your unique needs. Event customization falls into the following four categories. 

  • Enhanced Measurement events
  • Automatically collected events
  • Recommended events
  • Custom events

While Universal Analytics allows you to individually measure user interactions separate from a screen load or web page, Google Analytics 4 ensures you measure events with an app or site in concurrence with the screen load or web page. 

Web and Mobile Analytics 

The second significant difference and the Analytics properties that came before it is, GA4 has combined web and mobile data tracking. This new analytic property ensures you manage app and website performance on one platform. 

Initially, eCommerce retailers relied on the interaction between Google Analytics property and Firebase to gain the information they needed. In addition, previous Google Analytics properties had no way of aligning web and app data. But since GA4 was built on Firebase’s backend, Google finally achieved seamless web and app tracking. 

This means, if your business has been using Firebase, you won’t experience the challenge of accessing your historical data if you set up GA4. But still, the fact that Google Analytics 4 operates on a separate data model, a new GA4 set up won’t be able to import retrospective data for a website that uses the Universal Analytics setup.

But even if you don’t plan on switching to GA4 until it’s necessary, it would be a good idea to set it up and allow it to collect as much data as possible until that time comes. 

Enhanced Measurement of Time-Based Actions 

Imagine being able to exclude users from your website on a temporary or permanent basis judging from how they interact with other users in the comments. This would ensure that users with unacceptable behavior don’t compromise the growth you’ve worked so hard to achieve. GA4 allows you to achieve this to ensure your growth objectives aren’t compromised. 

You can also stop showing specific content to different audience groups based on the objectives you’re trying to achieve. For instance, once a customer makes a purchase, it would be nice if they could no longer see the ad promoting the product they’ve just bought. However, you need to keep this ad running for prospects you’ve not yet been convinced to make the final payment. 

Additionally, GA4 enables a website owner to make use of time measurements when tracking web page sessions for every user. For instance, you can determine how long a user would need to complete a survey before putting it up. The elapsed time feature ensures you know the average time users take to complete defined steps in the survey.

Wrapping Up

Google Analytics 4 is a promising update that aims to enhance eCommerce retailers marketing efforts. Even though you don’t have to upgrade to this new analytics property immediately, it helps to understand how it operates and what to expect from it. So ensure you keep an eye out for Google’s updates on the new system so that you don’t lag behind when other businesses begin to actively adopt it. 

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