Millions of businesses use Google's Analytics reporting tool to track user interaction on web domains, mobile apps and offline APIs. Most people know this platform as the tool that helps track web traffic, monitor digital marketing channels and measure key KPIs. With Google Analytics 4, Google is offering a new version that is quite different from traditional universal Analytics.
What’s the difference with the older version of Google Analytics?
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that in Google Analytics 4 events are automatically measured and populated thanks to supporting machine learning. Very innovative in the marketing world because this way Google helps us to interpret the data even better.
Cookies, privacy & data
This was initially because third-party cookies from Universal Analytics were being pressured. Google Analytics 4 is all set for a more secure world with less data. This data is of course augmented thanks to supporting machine learning. And that, in turn, reduces the need for these cookies. So it is only a good thing that we are protecting our privacy more this way. Ultimately, this also translates into better insights, such as obtaining a more comprehensive customer journey.
Targetgroups we also had in universal Analytics, but they have a more crucial role in GA4 because you can specify audiences better. The insights improved and Google Analytics 4 allows us to target audiences better with personalized ads because of the insights into past conversion events. So the new target groups in GA4 are a good thing because thanks to them we avoid targeting the same visitor twice. The result? No more paying twice for the same visitor!
Finally, Google Analytics 4 relies entirely on 'events' such as clicks, for example, while universal Analytics previously relied on sessions. Universal Analytics actually uses goals to determine conversions while Google Analytics 4 replaces goals with 'conversion events'.
Help! Will my data be lost when switching to Google Analytics 4?
A new version of a tool inevitably comes with consequences. This also applies to Google Analytics 4. It is not possible to transfer all collected data from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. This makes it immensely crucial to take the right steps so that no data is lost.
Three ways to enter the new era of Google Analytics:
- Add a Google Analytics 4 property to your website that owns Universal Analytics,
- Setting up a new website or app with Google Analytics 4,
- Setting up the website for both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.
Google Analytics 4 is obviously not yet the standard, but we do recommend using Google Analytics 4 now to run both versions simultaneously. This will prevent data loss and you will be ready for a new era of Google analytics that is just around the corner.
Meanwhile, we already configured a GA4 in Google Analytics for many of our customers by implementing a tag through Google Tag Manager.
Do you also want better insights into the behavior of your website visitors? We can help you set up your Google Analytics 4. Schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our digital experts, they will be happy to help you.