28 Apr 2022 Google Analytics 4 FAQs: Stay Calm & Keep Tracking
Why Universal Analytics Is Updating To Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Many marketers have built business processes around Universal Analytics and want to know why this change is happening.
“GA4 isn’t so much an update, but an entirely new way of doing analytics – set up to scale for the future, work in a cookieless world, and be a lot more privacy-conscious,”
There are three main themes or ways that GA4 prepares your business for the future:
- updated data model,
- works in a cookieless world,
- and privacy implications.
What Do These Changes Mean For My Business?
Don’t get too caught up in comparing Universal Analytics and GA4. The numbers won’t match. It’s a completely new version of Google Analytics. GA4 is a new data model and a new user interface.
The most important change is the way data is collected. Universal Analytics uses a session-based data model (collection of user interactions within a given time frame) and collects data as various hit (user interaction) types within these sessions. This is why watching four videos in one session only counts as one conversion in UA. Google Analytics 4 is user-based and collects data in the form of events. Each event has a unique name (event_name parameter) used to identify the event, with additional parameters to describe the event. For more on the differences between the two data models, see UA versus GA4 data in the Google help docs.
What Do I Need To Do Right Now?
You have time to implement GA4 configuration, time to update business processes, and time to learn new reports. With that said, GA4 needs to take priority on your roadmap.
- Audit your existing analytics setup and create a GA4 configuration plan.
- Setting up GA4 before July 2022 is mission-critical.
- Start building historical data so that you can do a year-over-year analysis next year.
After embracing the change, you might enjoy the flexibility and user insights with GA4.