What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is the new, flexible tool that allows businesses to see consolidated user journeys across their websites and apps, and use Google’s machine learning technology to predict new insights, and it has been created with the capability of keeping up with changes.

Is Google Analytics 4 ready to be used?

If you feel that you’re not quite ready for the new version, you don’t have to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 right away. Google doesn’t have any plans to stop you from using your Universal Analytics property or your reports

Should I Switch to Google Analytics 4?

The short answer is yes, you should set up GA4. 

What Are the Benefits of Google Analytics 4?

GA4 is easier and slightly more powerful than GA, meaning it is lowering the barrier for marketers to make use of their data. But, if you’re not comfortable switching right over from GA to GA4, run both at the same time and see which insights and interface you prefer. 

So, with that in mind, here is a rundown of some of the important benefits of GA4:

  • You can now track across both your web and your app – Previously, you had to use Google Analytics for your website tracking and Firebase for your app tracking. Now you can do it all together in one place.
  • Enhanced measurements based on events – Previously, GA just tracked basic events automatically and anything else had to be set up manually in GA and in Google Tag Manager. In fact, in the old GA, everything was really just a hit and events were a type of hit.
  • Pathways to visualise the buyer’s journey – This allows you to better visualise the buyer journey and understand the flow users take on your website. You can get a better grasp of how they get to your final conversion point and create hypotheses on how to optimize those steps. You could even work backward from a conversion point and build the conversion journey that way.
  • Custom reports have become explores – They are much more user-friendly in that you can easily choose segments to work with and then add dimensions + metrics, enabling simpler more flexible analysis. It isn’t a huge difference in functionality, but it is easier to use.
  • Strategic review – GA4 is a fantastic opportunity to review your entire tracking setup and really dig into if what you have matches your strategic KPI plan. Think of it as an opportunity for spring cleaning!

Do I actually have to use it? 

Not if you don’t want to. As long as it’s set up and gathering data, you’re prepped for updates or new features released by Google.

Is Google Universal Analytics Going Away?

Google has recently announced that it will be initiating the removal so, on 1, July 2023, Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) will be going away. At this time, GA4 will replace Universal Analytics (UA) as the default for analytics measurements in GA.

What will happen to my data when UA finishes?

You will still be able to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties between now and June 30, 2023. However, all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023!

What is an event in GA4

Events are triggered as a result of user interactions with your site or app, and the data in your reports comes from those events. 

Can you run Universal Analytics and GA4 on the same website?

By adding Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking onto your website in parallel with your existing Universal Analytics tagging (dual tagging) you can keep your Universal Analytics in place while you build out your Google Analytics 4.

How can I view traffic by channel in GA4?

The channels in the Default Channel Grouping meet the needs of most Analytics users, but if you have specific analysis requirements and want to label your traffic in other ways, you can.

Can I Use Google Tag Manager with GA4?

Having both hardcoded Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager on your site is not an issue. You’ll need to make sure you’re not duplicating your efforts and, consequently, duplicating your data. If you need to have both, then yes, you can.

Can I merge my historic Universal Analytics data with GA4 data?

By dual-tagging, you can keep your Universal Analytics in place while you build out your Google Analytics 4.

This dual-tagging approach lets you build a historical record (and your skill base) in Google Analytics 4 while continuing to depend on Universal Analytics until you’re ready to switch over.

Do I have to re-tag my entire website for GA4?

GA4 uses a different data model, so the method of collection is also slightly different. While Google Tag Manager offers native tags for GA4 config and GA4 events, these need rolling out across the entire site, so yes, you do have a bit of re-tagging work cut out for this migration.

Is it possible to set up something similar to the “Goals” in Universal Analytics?

 The concept of goals is not available in GA4. You can define the conversion for the website directly in the GA4 reporting interface based on the events that are captured. You can set up as many conversions as you want and there is no limit to marking any event as conversion.

Keep in mind that GA4 is where Google is spending its time and energy going forward, so don’t be surprised if it continues to go from strength to strength while Google Analytics slowly fades into the background.