Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics: Why you should upgrade your business website today
As a business owner, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. If you’re not using Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on your website yet, now is the time to upgrade. GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics and offers a number of advantages over Universal Analytics (UA), the previous version.
If you have a website, then chances are you’re already using Google Analytics (GA) to track your visitor data. You probably rely on it to know where your traffic is coming from and going to and have a rough idea of how long people are staying on your site. However, if you are still using the older version of Universal Analytics (UA), then you are missing out on some big opportunities. Read on to learn more about Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and what it can do for your business.
What is Google Analytics 4?
GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it will be the only option beginning in July 2023. GA4 has a completely fresh look and feel than UA. It offers a new interface and data visualizations, as well as other features that businesses should upgrade to today.
GA4 offers more advanced features than UA, including:
- Enhanced eCommerce tracking and reporting.
- Support for more advanced custom variables.
- Improved real-time data collection and analysis.
- More flexible segmentation options.
- Expanded attribution modeling options.
If you’re still using UA, now is the time to upgrade to GA4! It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest changes to get the most accurate insights into your website traffic.
Why did Google update Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4?
There are many reasons Google updated from UA to GA4. One reason for this update was that mobile applications have been growing exponentially over the past years, leading to tagging problems within different platforms. Universal Analytics didn’t meet Google’s requirements for measuring website app data.
To remain up-to-date with Google’s new policies and user tracking practices, Universal Analytics needed to be updated. Google introduced GA4, which is a more robust and modern tracking system. The updated version is better for mobile tracking and cross-platform support.
3 Key Differentiators: Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4
1. Redesigned user interface (UI)
One of the key changes in GA4 is the redesigned user interface (UI). The redesign is an enormous improvement on the previous version and it’s much cleaner and easier to use.
The new version is faster, more intuitive, offers more data insights, and also allows you to track offline conversions. GA4 is more complex than UA. However, once you use it, you see that the complexity is because of the vast improvement in what it offers. It is well worth the switch.
2. Event-based tracking
Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 both offer cross-device reporting. However, GA4 includes an event-based data model, which moves away from page view metrics. The new event-based model is much more intuitive and provides a better understanding of the users’ behavior.
GA4 offers time decay to optimize your conversion funnels. What are the benefits of time decay in conversion funnels?
The benefit of a time decay funnel is it allows you to focus on performance improvements over long periods and provides a better understanding of user behavior.
3. Machine learning insights
Machine learning is a process where computers learn from data to become better at performing a task. You can apply this in various ways, such as:
- To improve the accuracy of predictions made by predictive analytics models
- To make recommendations for content or products that are most likely to interest an individual user
- To personalize search results and ads based on previous searches and page visits
- To prevent fraudulent activity by identifying patterns in user behavior that may show fraudulent activity
Google Analytics 4 has machine learning insights that are more accurate than Universal Analytics. Google has been using machine learning algorithms for years, so they know how to make the best use of these insights. Improving machine learning insights was one goal of the upgrade. Your business can benefit from the more robust and accurate insights provided by GA4. Don’t wait! Upgrade today.
Reporting in Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
Google Analytics 4 is more focused on user actions, providing detailed information about what users do on your site. It has improved reporting that reflects this focus, and the new features can help you grow your business.
- There are new types of reports available that help you make better decisions about marketing, customer acquisition, and customer retention.
- There is a new data segmentation tool for better understanding the behavior of users in your business.
- There is a new user ID tool that lets you track users across multiple devices, and even on mobile devices.
You don’t want to be left behind, so upgrade now rather than waiting until Google forces you to do so. You’ll be ahead of all the businesses that waited to upgrade because you will already use all the new features that help your business make better decisions about marketing, customer acquisition, customer retention, and so much more!
Metrics in Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
Google Analytics 4 was released in April 2017, and it is based on events rather than sessions and page views. This is a more advanced way of tracking data, and it offers more possibilities for data modeling. However, there are some differences between GA4 and UA:
- GA4 can’t import data from old UA reports, but it can create new reports with no work needed to be done by the user if they want to use their sample data.
- There are different metrics in GA4 vs. UA – while Universal Analytics measures things like unique visitors and total visits, GA4 has event-based metrics such as conversion rate and revenue per visit.
Some businesses have attempted to run Google Analytics 4 alongside Universal Analytics so that they have the option of using either system depending on their needs. This is not a streamlined solution and adds more complexity to the organization. It is not a long-term solution because UA will not be with us for long.
What’s going to happen to Universal Analytics?
When Universal Analytics launched, it was a powerful tool with several features and enhancements that weren’t available elsewhere. However, Google is an innovative company and continues to improve its products and services. In a little over a year, they will retire Universal Analytics from Google’s Analytics platform and you can no longer access the features and benefits of UA.
Why you should switch to Google Analytics 4 now
Google is retiring from its Universal Analytics platform on July 2023. That means that if you want to continue tracking your website data, you need to upgrade to GA4.
GA4 offers several advantages over UA, the previous version. Among these are more detailed reporting, enhanced performance tracking, and a more intuitive design. If you’re not using GA4 on your website yet, now is the time to upgrade. It will help you improve your understanding of how visitors interact with your site, track conversions, and make smarter decisions about marketing strategies.
Want to talk to an expert? Get in touch
If you’re curious to learn more about Google Analytics 4 and how it can help your business website, we’re here to help. You can speak with one of our product experts when you sign up for a free trial—we’ll be happy to answer questions you have.
At WP Gazelle we want to make sure that you get the most out of Google Analytics 4, and our team is always available to help. Contact us today to learn more about this powerful tool and how it can benefit your website.
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