What is Google Analytics 4?
Should I use it?
This is one of the most popular questions right now about Google Analytics 4. Google is really pushing google analytics 4 to both new and existing users. When you are adding a new property, they have made the universal analytics (Google Analytics 3) option hard to find. If you are an existing universal Analytics user, you will probably have got multiple emails from google about setting GA4 property
So, what is Ga4? Should you use Google Analytics 4?
GA4 is the newest version of Google’s wildly popular analytics platform. GA4 can track a website and an app in the same account. GA4 also comes with several new features and gives you more detailed insights into how people interact with your website.
The way data is stored and processed (data architecture) is completely different from past versions of Analytics, which will provide all of us with completely new ways to measure and analyze traffic usage for years to come.
Google Analytics 4 looks different from Universal Analytics, and the navigation changed, too. If you’re a Universal Analytics user who created a new GA4 property, you might have a hard time finding some of the reports you’ve enjoyed looking at in the past.
It’s Google’s goal to get everyone using the new platform as soon as possible because it’s the future of Analytics. Any new features they create will only be released there, not in Universal Analytics.
Differences Between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4
While Google Analytics 4 is similar to Universal Analytics (Google Analytics 3), it does have big differences. If you’ve used Universal Analytics, you’ll notice a lot of changes right away in how it looks and how the navigation works.
Besides the look and navigation, there are some other differences. Google is constantly working on adding more reports and functionality to GA4, but as of right now, here are some of the major differences:
1) GA4 is missing bounce rate. The team at Google replaced the concept of bounce rate with “engaging sessions.” So, instead of seeing the percentage of people who leave without interacting further on your site, you’ll see data on the people who did. The new metric Google wants you to focus on is Engagement Rate.
2) GA4 uses events instead of Goals. Instead of goals, Google Analytics now only tracks events and conversions. You can choose which events count as a conversion by toggling a switch.
3) GA4 is missing your historical data. If you’ve been a Universal Analytics user and you create a GA4 property, all of your historical data does NOT move over to that property. You start with a clean slate. Your data stays safe in your Universal Analytics property, but you have to switch between the two to see it.
Should I Use GA4?
The short answer is yes, you should set up Google Analytics 4 property. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want. As long as you have it set up and gathered data, you’re prepared for any updates or new features google releases. While it might be intimidating and hard to use, it’s clear that GA4 is the future of Analytics, and you should be prepared for that.
That said, there’s no reason you can’t run a Universal Analytics property at the same time to get all the benefits of both. In fact, we recommend running both!