Universal Analytics VS GA4

Universal Analytics VS GA4
Universal Analytics VS GA4

Universal Analytics VS GA4: The Evolution Game Has Begun!

Do you want to know how Universal Analytics stacks up against Google Analytics 4? Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will replace Universal Analytics (UA) in July 2023, hence UA is in its final year of support. While GA4 has been the default solution on fresh Google Analytics sites since October 14, 2020, advertisers and website builders have been slow to make the transition from UA to GA4.

Reasons for this could include Google Analytics 4’s fundamentally redesigned design and functionality, as well as criticism for alleged faults and the absence of some beloved features from UA. In this piece, we’ll look at five key ways in which the two platforms are similar and different and discuss why you might want to start looking forward to the new features in GA4.

App Tracking System

The ability to combine website and app tracking in a single property is one of GA4’s most talked-about features. GA4 records all interactions as events because it uses the same measurement mechanism as Google Analytics Firebase, which is primarily used for mobile apps. With this new standardized data model, merging information from a web page and an application for mobile devices is a breeze.

Hit Types

The method of interaction recording also differs greatly between UA and GA4. In UA (Universal Analytics), page views, purchases, and social media posts were among the various hit types that could be tracked. However, in GA4, each interaction is recorded as a separate event.

In UA, events had their own categories, actions, and labels, but in GA4, these distinctions have been eliminated. Instead, GA4 employs event parameters, which are further information regarding a user’s action (event).

GA4 VS Universal Analytics: Session Calculations

Another discrepancy that can be uncovered when comparing UA and GA4 numbers is that the two systems provide somewhat different values for sessions.

A user’s session is the time they spend on your site. This is the basic concept behind user analytics. These actions, taken after a user has arrived at your site, will result in a session ending in UA:

• Inactivity (or the timeout period you choose) after 30 minutes

• When the clock strikes midnight, a fresh meeting begins.

• Employing UTM parameters for internal links on the website, which is not recommended by Google, will result in encountering new campaign parameters in GA4.

Free BigQuery Exports

With GA4, all properties can download from BigQuery. With UA, this was only possible for Analytics 360 properties. The process involves sending BigQuery raw events, which can then be searched using SQL. The function is available for free, provided it is used within the limits of BigQuery’s sandbox. It is important to note that streaming data is not supported in the sandbox setting.

Bounce & Engagement Rate

Some of the most important measures that aren’t in GA4 are the ones about bounces. Google has instead decided to employ a more “positive” approach and publish the response rate numbers.

In Google Analytics 4, the determination of the bounce rate is a little different from previous versions. Rather than being a passive metric, the bounce rate is now actively determined as the proportion of views that did not engage with the content.

In other words, the bounce rate is the opposite of the engagement rate, and it represents the percentage of active sessions split by the total amount of sessions in a given time period. In UA, the bounce rate was the number of website visitors who didn’t look at more than one page.

The Sky Is Clear For GA4

GA4 is a big improvement over the iterations of Google Analytics that came before it. The advanced machine-learning techniques and streamlined cross-device tracking in GA4 are set to change the way we do digital marketing by helping brands better understand and interact with their customers.

Even though the technology has some flaws, it is clear that using GA4 is a good idea. No matter how long you’ve been in marketing or if you’re just starting out, GA4 is a trend you won’t want to miss.


Will GA4 Be Free?

Yes. Google adds, “Google Analytics has continuously provided a free version to help businesses of every kind and stage better analyze and enhance their online properties and apps. This mission remains.”

GA4: Any Other Benefits?

• GA4 “measures, unifies, and de-duplicates” user interaction data. This aids user journey comprehension.

• Privacy-wise, the new attribute “adapts to a changing environment”.

• Machine learning gives Google Analytics 4 “intelligent business insights.”

• GA4 helps “more efficiently take actions on your data” for go

When Should I Stop Using UA?

Universal Analytics assets will stop collecting hits on July 1, 2023. We have till then to fully implement GA4.

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