Google Analytics, the online platform where millions of businesses rely on analytical data for market decisions and a better return on investment (ROI), released its latest version in October 2020. Google Analytics 4 is the fourth generation version and has been revamped to improve your website and app data.
In 2019, Google released it in the beta version as App+Web, since it’s the reunification of Google Analytics Universal (Web) and Google Firebase (App). Last year Google renamed it to Google Analytics 4 or GA4. Now you can collect data for your website under this one powerful platform.
What is the Difference Between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?
One of the most significant differences that Google Analytics Universal and Google Analytics 4 have is the new and improved data modeling using artificial intelligence AI (machine learning) for “future privacy.”
Vidhya Srinivasan, Google Ads Engineering Vice-President said, “It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.”
What is New in GA4?
Google Analytics 4 is entirely different from the previous Analytics that we know and love. The new platform comes with a restructured user interface, predictive insights, enhanced measurements, better integration with Google Ads, cross-device tracking, and more.
The top benefits that made us create the new GA4 property for Makios are:
Yes, Makios will have an app in the near future, and GA4 is the perfect analytics platform that will keep track of the users from our app to our website and vice versa. It will give us a complete understanding of the user journey across various devices.
All user interaction in GA4 is captured in terms of events and event parameters. Now, sessions and page views are events.
You can add, enable, edit, track, and fine-tune events within the UI. As soon as you create your property, GA4 automatically adds essential event parameters in the enhanced measurements like click, first visit, scroll, video start, and file download. Events give more flexibility for implementation and comprehensibility for reporting.
Future Data Collection
Since new privacy protection laws shield the user by asking for cookie consent like General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Google implemented machine learning to fill in the gaps where before Universal Analytics data was missing because of those laws. Google is shifting away from client-side dependencies with this improved machine learning.
Goodbye Bounce Rate
In this new version of Google Analytics, bounce rate is no longer part of the metrics. Instead, GA4 replaced it with new engagement metrics like engagement sessions per user and engagement time. For a session to be qualified as engaged, there are now more specific conditions than simply for a bounce rate, giving more user engagement insights.
Do I Need to Switch from Google Analytics Universal to Google Analytics 4?
The short answer no, but the good news is that you can run both in parallel. So, the sooner you install your GA4 property, the better. As soon as you do, you can start collecting data and start grasping the new reporting tools and features.
Google Analytics Universal is not going anywhere soon. It will be around for years to come. But GA4 is the future of Google Analytics, so you’ll need to install and learn Google Analytics 4 to keep up with the most up-to-date version of this platform.