Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4

Author: GWP Inc.

Date: February 15, 2023

Category: Tips

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You’ve most likely seen the warnings that Google UA (Universal Analytics) will soon be replaced by GA4 (Google Analytics 4) by the summer of 2023 with UA set to halt reporting new data in March 2023. Rest assured! The good news is GWP, Inc has you covered. Google Analytics is one reporting tool used to track and monitor internal traffic behaviors on your website to help business owners and marketing agencies determine important information like the customer journey, user behavior, customer insights, ecommerce events, and marketing campaigns. It's important for you to note that your Google Analytics account will not change too much as this additional layer is added. We began converting accounts over to the new Google Analytics in 2020 so your website data collection is safe and accounted for. Here are a few things that are different from UA to GA4.


In Universal Analytics, there are two User metrics: Total Users , and New Users. In Google Analytics 4, there are three User metrics: Total Users, Active Users, and New Users. Total Users: In UA this represents the Total number of users, however in GA4 this represents the Total number of unique users who logged an event New Users: In UA, this is the number of users who interacted with your site for the first time. However, in GA4 this is the Number of users who interacted with your site or launched your app for the first time (The result is measured by the number of new unique user IDs that logged the first_open or first_visit event.) Active Users: Although this is NOT available in UA, this measurement is the PRIMARY USER metric in GA4. This is the number of distinct users who visited your website or application. An active user is any user who has an engaged session or when Analytics collects the first event of the user journey.


In GA4 and Universal Analytics, Pageviews will remain the same. However, in GA4 repeated views of a web page will be counted whereas they are not counted now. Both UA and GA4 offer the ability to filter out unwanted referrals and internal IP traffic, but UA may have more filters applied. If you are comparing, make sure you have identical filters in place for both properties.


There shouldn’t be too many differences here as purchase counts should match. However, one note about GA4 according to Google is that it “does not provide additional JavaScript for array collection and expects you to provide the items array when collecting a purchase event on your own.”


A session in Google Analytics is considered to be the number of interactions your website receives within a given time frame. In this transition, there will be a number of differences from UA to GA4, depending on the type of business. Variables such as geography, the use of UTMs, filters, and estimation. Keep in mind that although UA didn’t estimate the number of sessions, GA4 will more efficiently count sessions with a low error rate and high accuracy.


Conversion in Google Analytics is considered when a visitor lands on a specific page of your website perhaps to fill out a lead form or purchase an item. Although conversions will be counted in GA4 there will be some differences between the two systems. Universal Analytics operates with five goal types: destination, duration, pages/session, smart goals, and event goals. Conversely, GA4 will only support conversion events as it counts every instance of the event whereas UA would only count one event of the same instance.


Typically, a Bounce Rate is a single session view on your website divided by all the sessions your site received. A high bounce rate is one metric we look at to determine the success of a web page or overall site. In GA4, these totals will be a bit more useful to determine if a visitor is actually engaging with your site as this will track time spent on the page and any conversions received while on that page. So instead of tracking the traffic, in GA4 we’ll see exactly how engaging your web page is, which helps us determine if there should be any changes.


An event in Google Analytics helps you to track an actual occurrence on your site such as a button clicked or if someone “signs up”. You would measure this by creating event parameters. With the conversion to GA4 Events will now be tracked a bit differently. Instead of an event being specified, as in UA, the GA4 version considers everything an event and will report it as such. These different reports help us understand the larger picture of your website. Hopefully, this basic overview of the new GA and all the benefits coming to us in GA4 helped you understand why this change is occurring. In short, Google needed to create a new way to better focus on user privacy due to new privacy laws such as General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Additionally, we can now track web pages along with mobile apps data and google ads performance as it will support full cross-device and cross-platform reporting, use AI to provide predictive metrics, and present a clearer picture of marketing impact with enhanced measurement. Although your website isn't the only thing you want to rely on for your business, it is a vital part of your marketing strategy with Google's analytics data being the best way to help determine website usage data. For any questions concerning this latest version of Google Analytics, please feel free to reach out to us any time and we will assist in every way possible.