Google Analytics 4 Vs. Universal Analytics
Ga4 is a new property designed for the future of measurement: It collects both website and app data to better understand the customer journey. Ga4 uses events instead of session-based data. The new software includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioral and conversion modeling.
No matter how you slice it, Universal Analytics life is over and is scheduled to be shut down. Universal Analytics will stop collecting data in June of 2023. We recommend that you upgrade to Google Analytics 4. If you want to ensure your companies web data integrity, and have no reporting gaps next year, then you need to upgrade now.
How Is Google Analytics 4 Different?
The biggest difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 is the measurement model that they use. Universal Analytics uses a measurement model based on sessions and pageviews while Google Analytics 4 uses a model based on Events and parameters. Additionally Universal Analytics highlights Total Users, whereas GA4 focuses on Active Users.
GA4 is event based. Instead of creating a new session when a user returns to a site, GA4 records all events they complete. This allows Google to more accurately deduplicate users and emphasizes what users actually do on your site. By shifting to event-based tracking, the GA4 upgrade gives businesses a chance to reexamine the customer journey. UA tracked actions (or sessions) as events; GA4 treats all user interactions as separate events. Google Analytics 4 incorporates User ID natively across all reporting, analysis and insights and does not require a separate User-ID reporting view.
GA4 data is collected and processed differently, once-familiar metrics, reports, functions and views are now gone.
No More Bounce Rate Metric
Analytics 4 replaces bounce rate with the new ‘engagement rate’ metric. Since everything is event based measuring inactivity is pointless.
No Traffic Acquisition Reports
No Referral Traffic, landing page reports, source medium reporting. If you rely on this data, replica reports will need to be custom built.
Tracking Specific Url and link Visits
You will need to set up Google Tag manager to create events that we can track in GA4
No Form Submit URL Tracking
GA4 makes url tracking harder. It is a complex solution. Seven things need to be done to track form events. Google Tag Manager needs to be installed.
Is GA4 Better?
As mentioned above GA4 provides a much better data model than the current version of Google Analytics. GA4 users’ engagement tracking is much more aligned with real usage. GA4 makes cross-domain tracking setup much easier. GA4 provides access to far more custom dimensions and custom metrics