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Get To Know GA4 (Basic Info & FAQs)

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digital marketing blog on upgrading to Google Analytics 4

Posted on 07/03/2023 at 09:45 AM

For over a decade, Universal Analytics has been the go-to analytics platform for businesses of all sizes and industries across the globe. From small business owners to large digital marketing agencies, GA3 has helped businesses track, measure, and understand website analytics and user behavior. 

It’s only been a few days since Universal Analytics stopped collecting data, and many people are wondering what’s next. In this blog, we will fill you in on everything you need to know about GA4!

What is Google Analytics 4? Why did Google get rid of Universal Analytics?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's web analytics platform. It is designed to help businesses track and analyze user interactions across various digital platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and other digital channels. 

According to Google:

“Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.“

Put simply, GA4 represents Google's response to the evolving digital landscape, privacy concerns, and the need for more comprehensive and user-centric analytics solutions.

Key Differences: GA4 vs. Universal Analytics

Some key differences between Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Universal Analytics include: 

  • Event-based data model vs. a variety of hit types ( sessions, pageviews, etc.)
  • Ability to track website and app data in the same property vs. not being able to track both  
  • More data and privacy control options in GA4
  • Different reporting interfaces and capabilities 
  • More machine learning and predictive insights in GA4 

GA4 FAQs

Do I have to switch to GA4?

Yes, if you want to keep receiving Google website analytics, you will need to switch to Google Analytics 4 since UA is no longer processing any data. 

How do I know if I am currently using UA or GA? 

When on your Google Analytics home screen, if your interface looks like the example below, you are using Universal Analytics.

Google Analytics 4 guide

If your analytics interface looks like the example below, you are using Google Analytics 4.

Google Analytics 4 guide

What will happen to my Universal Analytics account? Can I still access historical data from UA?

According to Google: “After July 1, 2023, you'll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. We know your data is important to you, and we strongly encourage you to export your historical reports during this time.”

Is Google Analytics 4 harder to use the Universal Analytics?

GA4 is not necessarily harder to use than UA, but with so many differences, there can be a fairly steep learning curve. 

Can you link Google Ads to GA4? 

Yes, learn how!

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What’s a conversion in GA4?

A conversion is any action a user performs that has value to your business, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. GA4 allows you to mark any event as a conversion.

UA -> GA4: What Should You Do Next?

To avoid losing any valuable data and get the most out of Google Analytics 4, follow these next steps: 

  • Set up your new GA4 account if you haven’t already 
    • Check out our GA4 training on how to upgrade to GA4 or contact us today for fast GA4 setup, training, and optimization services. Our GA4 specialists can:
      • Set up basic and advanced tracking (Google Tag Manager, eCommerce tracking, event tracking, etc.)
      • Configure your user interface and custom reports
      • Export historical data from Universal Analytics
      • Connect your GA4 and Google Ads
      • Provide live, personalized training sessions for you and your team
      • & More!
  • Explore the new interface to familiarize yourself with where things are
  • Play around in GA4 and learn how to use the new features the platform has to offer

Personalized GA4 Support 

From GA4 setup assistance to ongoing reporting and GA4 consulting services, Global Reach’s Google Analytics 4 specialists are here to help your business get more out of GA4!

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