Google Analytics is a powerful tool that helps businesses track and analyse website traffic, user behaviour, and other key metrics. Recently, Google has introduced a new version of Google Analytics called GA4 (Google Analytics 4), which replaces the previous version, Universal Analytics.
In this article, we will take a look at the key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics and how they may impact your business.
1. Data Collection:
GA4 is designed to collect data in a more holistic and cross-channel way. It uses machine learning to automatically identify and track user behaviour across all devices and channels, including web, mobile, and app. Universal Analytics, on the other hand, is primarily focused on web-based data collection.
2. Event Tracking:
GA4 introduces a new way of tracking events called “events and parameters”. This allows businesses to track user behaviour in more detail, including specific actions such as button clicks, form submissions, and page views. Universal Analytics has a more limited event tracking capability.
3. Analysis and Reporting:
GA4 provides a more flexible and customisable reporting experience. It allows businesses to create custom reports, analyse data across multiple dimensions, and use machine learning to discover insights. Universal Analytics has a more limited set of built-in reports and analysis options.
4. Audience Management:
GA4 allows businesses to create and manage custom audiences based on user behaviour and other criteria. This can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and analyse user behaviour across different segments. Universal Analytics has a more basic audience management feature.
GA4 can be integrated with other Google products, such as Google Ads, Google BigQuery, and Google Data Studio, allowing businesses to create a more comprehensive and integrated data ecosystem. Universal Analytics has a more limited set of integration options.
Overall, GA4 provides a more advanced and sophisticated data collection, analysis, and reporting experience. It allows businesses to gain deeper insights into user behaviour, create more targeted marketing campaigns, and make data-driven decisions. However, it may require a different approach and learning curve than Universal Analytics.
Businesses should take the time to evaluate the benefits of GA4 and determine if it’s the right fit for their needs. If you are already using Universal Analytics, it’s important to understand that it will not be discontinued and you can continue to use it, but GA4 is the future of analytics, and you may want to consider migrating to it for the benefits it provides.
If you want to find out more about migrating to Google Analytics 4, please watch our recent webinar with our partners, Prodos.