As a business owner, you have probably heard of Google Analytics. But what is it? What Google defines as Google Analytics provides you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It gives you the tools, free of charge, to understand the customer journey and improve marketing ROI.
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool that can tell you things like:
- How many people visit your website each month, day, or week?
- Where your website visitors are located?
- What pages on your website are the most popular?
- What are the demography, interest areas, and age groups your users belong to?
- How many times did they come to your website and purchase?
The list goes on.
However today our objective is to explain the fundamental difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics. Launched in November 2005, Google Analytics is the most widely used free website statistics service. Many competitors are trying to claim the top space that GA has enjoyed for years but so far none of them could achieve it.
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is sure to use Google Analytics in its work. It helps to understand which courses for teaching students are more in demand.
What is Google Analytics 4 known as GA4?
Google Analytics is now replacing its old Universal Analytics with the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4). When it was first added in BETA, it was termed App+Web Property. The underlying problem it solves is why do companies need to track an app and website analytics separately? Instead of dividing the visits into different GA properties, the new property may track both App and Web visits in a single Google Analytics property. The name App+Web Property was rebadged and re-released as Google Analytics 4 in the fall of 2020. (GA4).
Difference between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4
Google said in March that Universal Analytics (UA) would be phased down in 2023. As a result of this change, you must begin the move to Google Analytics 4. (GA4). Our team at Digitxl has created this checklist to assist you in getting ready for the transition.
1. Data Streams
Data streams are a technique of flowing multiple data sources into a single property. Each property can have multiple web and app streams, which can be thought of as unfiltered/raw data views. The views themselves will be removed from GA4. Filters will be applied at the property or sub-property level (sub-properties are a GA4 360-only feature), with options of testing before activation and deactivation.
2. Every Hit Type Becomes an Event
GA4 provides a single view of the customer journey across the web and mobile platforms. To accomplish this, the UA method of many types of hits + custom dimensions and metrics are restructured to mimic the app approach to events + parameters. Firebase users are familiar with this approach. In GA4, UA pageviews are now seen as an event. In Universal Analytics every action was divided into dimensions (non-quantifiable) and metrics (quantifiable) ex PageView, sessions are metrics, and page name and time are dimensions. In GA4, parameters are used to customize events instead of custom metrics and dimensions. As customers transition between device and web, this alignment with how things are done on apps will help to develop a comprehensive view of the customer journey.
3. Goals Turn to Conversions
Conversions in UA are assessed as e-commerce transactions or targets. GA4 makes this easier by classifying any occurrences that contribute to your business goals as conversions.
4. App + Web
GA4 aims to bring your web and app analytics data together into a single data collection and reporting interface. You can track and evaluate the customer journey across devices by collecting data from your website, Android, and iOS apps under one property.
5. Fewer standard reports, which makes ad hoc analysis easier
There will be fewer basic reports, and options for explorations in GA4, It will be easier to develop unique ad hoc reports. The user interface for explorations is similar to Data Studio, and you can simply construct bespoke reports for specific users or roles. You can also utilize default templates provided by Google to help you get started. Templates are available in a range from free form to funnel, path exploration, acquisition, conversion, and e-commerce report. They are organized by methodologies, use cases, and industry. Check out here an in-depth guide to creating unique ad hoc reports. While some of these reports were available in normal UA reports, the GA4 templates provide a starting point that you may adjust to your needs.
In short, GA4 gives you a consolidated picture of the user journey and more reporting options.
How Google Tag Manager works across GA4-
Google Tag Manager is a free tool that enables you to manage and deploy your website tags—scripts that track website activity and send the data to other services, such as Google Analytics. It’s a powerful tool that’s simple to use. You can add and manage your tags, including conversion tracking and remarketing tags, without having to edit your website code.
We already know that Universal Analytics collects information using pageviews. GA can track a pageview when it loads a URL. Users' actions will not be recorded if they do not cause a new page to load on the tracked domain. This includes things like video clicks, clicks within the domain, and clicks that send traffic away from the domain. Universal Analytics requires Google Tag Manager to track "events" like link click tracking and button click tracking.
For marketers taking on this task for the first time, it can be time-consuming and confusing. It entails configuring variables, triggers, and tags to track specific occurrences that will be recorded as data in Google Analytics. This event tag in Universal Analytics
GA4, on the other hand, is built to handle some event tracking out of the box and is not based on pageview tracking. As we've seen, some of these events (recommended events and custom events) still require Google Tag Manager to track effectively, while others may be handled entirely within GA4 (automatically collected events and enhanced measurement events). Internal link click tracking is a fantastic example of the former.
GA4 vs. UA Link Clicks Tracking
Whether you're using Universal Analytics or GA4, you'll still require Google Tag Manager for internal link clicks.
Which reports are better GA4 or UA?
Universal Analytics appears to have been designed to provide a comprehensive set of standard reports. GA4 features significantly fewer predefined reports and appears to be better suited to bespoke reports and data exports. Let's compare GA4 with UA in terms of acquisition reporting, which is one of the most essential types of Google Analytics reporting.
Google Analytics 4
In GA4, three common reports are available in the Acquisition reporting bucket. The Source / Medium report (a personal favorite) is noticeably absent, which gives a useful tool to compare and assess traffic performance.
If we want to examine our data in different ways, we'll need to do more work in GA4. This can include exporting data for additional research or creating customized reports.
Where are my Conversions?
Finally, one of the most significant differences between the two systems is conversion tracking. Setting up conversion objectives to track the success of multiple forms and critical touchpoints on your B2B website is considerably easier with Universal Analytics. When you put up a Universal Analytics target, you can track when someone fills out forms and see which source the lead came from (e.g. Organic, Paid, or otherwise). You can also set goals for session time or pages per session using Universal Analytics.
These goals are not available in GA4 since it does not track session data. GA4 instead uses events integrated into its measurement tool. GA4 gathers information on your users in four different ways, each of which can be customized to meet your needs.
Thus, we compiled basic differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics, reports, and the role of the tag manager on both platforms. If you’re still having questions regarding GA4 reporting, email us at Info@digitxl.com.au