Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the most recent version of Google Analytics, which unifies data from websites and apps. It will replace the current version of GA (Universal Analytics) on July 1, 2023. If you haven’t started thinking about the move yet, it’s time to!
Switching to Google Analytics 4 has been on every digital marketer's mind since Google announced the end of Universal Analytics last year. Now we’re into 2023, the sunset of Universal Analytics is creeping up, and if you haven’t already, it's time to make the leap.
If you’ve been putting it off or feeling overwhelmed about the change, you’re not alone. In fact, at the end of last year, only 32% of websites with Universal Analytics implemented GA4, and on top of that, only 2% had enabled events!
We’ve put together some things you need to know about GA4, but if you need a hand implementing the change or learning more, let’s chat.
GA4 is the fourth version of Google Analytics. The earlier three versions evolved as follows:
Universal Analytics is very focused on traffic data – it collects and analyses data from every user session, and interactions are categorised into time periods. GA4, on the other hand, employs a flexible event-based model that analyses customer usage metrics.
Because GA4 uses an entirely different data model, historical data will not be carried over from UA to GA4. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to access the historical data that is stored in UA; however, UA will no longer record new data from July 1st, 2023.
As with all changes, GA4 will take some time to get used to, so the sooner you complete your Google Analytics 4 setup, the better prepared you will be.
Some other key changes are:
Creating and launching your new GA4 properties as soon as possible is critical.
Because properties will not be importing historical data from UA, your GA4 property will only begin tracking traffic data from the moment it is created and will continue to do so. The sooner you create it, the sooner data will appear in the GA4 property.
Things can get complicated quickly here, so we'll keep things as simple as possible. GA4 can be configured in various ways so that your property reports on events that you consider essential to your customer journey.
When configuring Google Analytics 4, one of the first things you'll want to do is ensure that any configuration tags and event tags are correctly configured. A configuration tag essentially allows your website's web pages to communicate with GA4, while an event tag allows you to send custom events to GA4.
We could segment data in Universal Analytics using 'views,' which can then be filtered. Google Analytics 4 does not use views, instead opting for a single reporting view with data filters that can be applied to your property. When applying data filters to your GA4 property, keep the following points in mind:
Using segments to connect dots that you might not have been able to connect otherwise, you can narrow down the behaviours that your audiences show, answer difficult questions about the customer journey, and tell a story.
Sound a bit tricky? Let’s chat about how to configure your GA4 correctly.
To get some more riveting insights, we researched GA stats worldwide-
The Tera team is ready to guide you through this change and transition to ensure you’re using GA4 as best as possible! A few things we’ll chat about are:
This will let us help you align your business goals with digital data and assess the current reporting state.
This will involve developing a new strategic measurement framework to ensure data accuracy and suitability for business decisions.
This step will let us set up and configure GA4 to meet reporting requirements. We can also provide training on how to use GA4 and interpret reports.