Google Analytics has changed. Starting July 1, 2023, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the only platform that processes data. If you need help understanding GA4 and its new features, here are frequently asked questions GA4 about the new property type.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
The present iteration of Google Analytics is known as Google Analytics 4 (GA4). It introduces a novel data model centred around monitoring web interactions as events, setting it apart from Universal Analytics. In contrast, Universal Analytics relies on a data model that revolves around sessions and pageviews.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics. It is a more flexible and privacy-focused platform that can track data from websites, apps, and other digital properties. GA4 uses a different data model than Universal Analytics, so your data may look different when switching over. However, GA4 offers a number of new features and capabilities that make it a more powerful and future-proof analytics platform.
Top 10 FAQs about Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Do I really need to upgrade to GA4?
- Why is my data different from UA’s? Does that mean it’s not tracking correctly?
- Can I merge my existing UA account with a new GA4 account?
- How do I set up GA4?
- What are the new metrics and dimensions in GA4?
- How do I create custom reports in GA4?
- How do I use GA4 for cross-platform tracking?
- How do I protect user privacy in GA4?
- What are the limitations of GA4?
- When will Universal Analytics stop working?
Do I really need to upgrade to GA4?
Upgrading to GA4 is recommended but not required right now. GA4 has new features like cross-device tracking, enhanced measurement, and privacy protections. However, Universal Analytics will be supported until July 2023. Consider upgrading if you want access to the latest tools.
Why is my data different from UA? Does that mean it’s not tracking correctly?
The data collection methods differ in GA4, so direct comparisons between UA and GA4 don’t always match up. This doesn’t mean GA4 is tracking incorrectly. The new processing results in more accurate and privacy-focused data. Focus on trends instead of exact numbers when comparing.
Can I merge my existing UA account with a new GA4 account?
Unfortunately, you cannot directly merge UA and GA4 accounts. You’ll need to set up GA4 as a new, separate property. However, you can have both implement tracking codes on the same site during a transition period.
How do I set up GA4?
Setting up GA4 is quick and easy. In your Analytics account, create a new property. Install the tracking code on your website and apps. Configure data streams to send events, parameters and user properties. Use built-in links to add enhanced measurement plugins.
What are the new metrics and dimensions in GA4?
GA4 introduces over 80 new metrics and dimensions like engagement time, scroll depth, anomaly detection and demographic data. This provides richer insights into user behavior and demographics.
How do I create custom reports in GA4?
In the GA4 interface, use the Report Builder to create custom reports. Select your desired dimensions and metrics, apply filters, add charts and tables, then save the report. You can also build Custom funnels for conversion path analysis.
How do I use GA4 for cross-platform tracking?
GA4 introduces cross-device tracking with UserID and default site-wide measurement. Implement the tracking code across websites, iOS and Android apps. Identify users with UserID or audience stitching. View analysis across devices in one property.
How do I protect user privacy in GA4?
GA4 simplifies privacy and security practices. Enable data deletion settings, restrict data sharing, and mask IP addresses. Rely on Google analytics data encryption and privacy review processes. Customize data retention periods and report on sensitive category exclusions.
What are the limitations of GA4?
Some key limitations are lack of segmentation, fewer dimensions available, and absence of custom variables. GA4 also does not support goal funnels and some Integrations. However, new APIs and features are continually added.
When will Universal Analytics stop working?
Google announced Universal Analytics will transition to a sunset phase on July 1, 2023. After this, UA properties will stop processing new hits. Transition to GA4 well before this deadline to prevent disruptions.
The launch of Google Analytics 4 presents an important upgrade for marketers to consider. While not yet necessary, transitioning to GA4 provides access to powerful new capabilities like cross-device tracking, enhanced measurement, and improved data privacy. However, the upgrade also comes with limitations like fewer dimensions and loss of some integrations.
When shifting to GA4, expect new implementation requirements, data collection processes, metrics and reports. Take time to learn the platform, map existing reports and plan a thoughtful migration. Run GA4 alongside Universal Analytics during a transition period to compare data. Overall, GA4 delivers richer behavior insights, more accurate analysis and greater data security. But the July 2023 UA sunset means brands should start upgrading sooner rather than later.
Migrating analytics platforms is a major undertaking. Marketers should educate themselves on the pros and cons of GA4 and develop a transition plan. While not an overnight change, the long-term benefits of updating to GA4 include better understanding your customers and future-proofing your data and measurement capabilities. With planning and testing, brands can migrate successfully and unlock GA4’s full potential.