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In this article we will discuss, how is GA4 different from universal analytics.
In the world of website analytics, staying up to date with the latest tools and platforms is essential.
If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, you may have heard about the newest version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
This article will dive into the real differences between GA4 and its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA), and help you understand why upgrading to GA4 is crucial for your website’s success.
So let’s get started
How Is Ga4 Different From Universal Analytics
GA4 vs Universal Analytics: A Brief Overview
Before we explore the difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics, let’s briefly introduce these two platforms.
Google Analytics 4 is the cutting-edge iteration of Google’s renowned analytics solution.
It offers a unified tracking system for both your WordPress website and apps, eliminating the need for separate tracking in Universal Analytics.
With GA4, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your customer’s journey across various channels and devices, enhancing your ability to optimize user experiences.
Moreover, GA4 places a strong emphasis on data privacy, safeguarding user information.
Universal Analytics, on the other hand, is the previous version of Google Analytics that has been in use since 2012.
While many websites still utilize Universal Analytics for tracking their website traffic, it is important to note that it will reach its end-of-life on July 1, 2023.
Consequently, Universal Analytics will no longer track your visitors, and Google will cease to provide support or introduce new features for this platform.
Considering the impending sunset of Universal Analytics, it becomes imperative to migrate to Google Analytics 4 promptly.
By doing so, you ensure data protection and retain historical records for comparison purposes once Universal Analytics is phased out.
Now, let’s delve into the significant disparities between GA4 and Universal Analytics.
1. A Changed Reporting Interface
The first noticeable difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics lies in the reporting interface.
GA4 introduces a completely revamped reporting structure with updated and renamed reports.
This shift can be attributed to the fact that GA4 employs a different measurement model compared to Universal Analytics.
For example, GA4 offers new reports such as Engagement, Monetization, and Retention, providing valuable insights into user behavior and retention strategies.
On the other side, Universal Analytics presents a different reporting interface, organizing reports into five main categories:
These categories can be accessed via the left-hand menu on the main Universal Analytics dashboard.
However, for beginners, comprehending and extracting actionable insights from these reports might prove overwhelming.
Fortunately, MonsterInsights, the leading Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, offers a user-friendly reporting interface.
By using MonsterInsights, you can easily access vital information from your WordPress dashboard, doing away with the need to navigate convoluted Google Analytics reports.
2. New Data Measurement Model in GA4
Another significant difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is their respective approaches to data collection and processing.
Universal Analytics employs a measurement model based on sessions and pageviews, associating data with individual users and tracking their interactions on your site.
On the other hand, GA4 employs an event-based model to track data.
Event data in GA4 is anonymous and prioritizes specific user actions rather than individual users themselves.
This framework allows for accurate tracking of complex buyer journeys across multiple devices.
Furthermore, GA4 simplifies the activation of enhanced measurement features.
For example, enabling outbound link clicks and scroll depth tracking in GA4 requires a simple toggle switch.
In Universal Analytics, achieving similar tracking capabilities necessitates a more intricate setup or adjustments to the tracking code.
3. No Bounce Rate and New Reporting Metrics
In GA4, you’ll encounter new metrics alongside the updated reports.
Notably, there is no longer a bounce rate metric in GA4.
Bounce rate traditionally quantifies the number of users who exit a website without engaging in any interactions, such as clicking a link, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase.
Instead of bounce rate, GA4 introduces a metric called “Engaged sessions per user.” This metric signifies the number of users who interacted with your content during a session, including users who spend at least 10 seconds on a page, trigger one or more events, or view two or more pages.
The Engagement report in GA4 also presents additional metrics.
For example, average engagement time, previously known as average session duration in Universal Analytics, provides insights into user engagement levels.
Moreover, GA4 introduces the Pages and Screens metric, revealing the most visited pages and app screens on your website.
MonsterInsights can display essential data regarding your website’s performance directly within your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin facilitates easy access to critical information, including the top landing pages report, if you prefer a simplified reporting experience.
4. Google Analytics 4 Doesn’t Track Form Conversions
Another difference worth noting when comparing GA4 and Universal Analytics is their approach to form conversion tracking.
Forms play an important role in businesses, enabling users to contact you, provide feedback, and seek resolutions.
Tracking form conversions in Google Analytics helps evaluate form performance.
However, GA4 requires custom code implementation for form conversion tracking, which can prove challenging for non-developers.
A small mistake in the code can disrupt tracking functionality and potentially impact your website’s performance.
Fortunately, MonsterInsights eliminates the need for code modification or developer assistance.
This plugin provides out-of-the-box form tracking functionality, presenting comprehensive reports within your WordPress admin area.
These reports include metrics such as impressions, conversions, and conversion rates for each form.
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5. Universal Analytics Goals Are Replaced with Events
In Universal Analytics, goals are utilized to track different user interactions.
Four types of goals are available in Universal Analytics:
- Destination: Tracks, when a user arrives on a specific page, like a, thank you page or a product landing page.
- Duration: Reveals the duration of time users spend on your website before exiting.
- Pages per Visit: Uncovers the number of pages viewed by a visitor before leaving your site.
- Event: Tracks user interactions that are not captured by default by Universal Analytics.
However, events are used in place of these goals in Google Analytics 4.
For example, if you operate an online store, you can employ events to track interactions such as users entering payment details or providing shipment information.
6. Perform Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 4
One distinguishing factor between the two analytics platforms is the level of advanced analysis available in GA4.
GA4’s Exploration reports provide an even wider variety of capabilities than Universal Analytics’ custom report creation and secondary dimension utilization for insights features.
Exploration reports in GA4 provide prebuilt templates for various analyses and custom reporting options.
For example, the “Funnel” exploration template helps visualize customers’ journeys leading to purchases.
Nonetheless, Exploration reports in GA4 can be complex for beginners, primarily catering to power users or individuals well-versed in Google Analytics.
For a simpler approach to extracting insights, MonsterInsights offers a statistics dashboard within your WordPress admin area.
This dashboard allows quick access to critical information, including popular pages, without the need for complex custom reporting within Google Analytics.
In this article, we will discuss how is GA4 different from universal analytics.
Understanding the real differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics is pivotal for staying ahead in the realm of website analytics.
GA4 presents a transformed reporting interface, a new data measurement model, fresh reporting metrics, and enhanced tracking capabilities.
While Universal Analytics will soon become obsolete, transitioning to GA4 ensures data security and continuity.
To learn more about maximizing your WordPress website’s potential, consider exploring our comprehensive guides on the best WordPress plugins and optimizing your site for search engines.
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What is the difference between GA4 and Adobe Analytics?
Comparison of Google Analytics 4, Google Analytics 360, and Adobe Analytics. The key distinction between Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics is that the former is a true web analytics solution, whereas the latter is more suited to web reporting.
Why is Google switching from Universal Analytics to GA4?
By switching to GA4 from Universal Analytics, you can make use of all the new cutting-edge features required for simpler blog monitoring and to maximize the value of your data. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that Google is gradually discontinuing Universal Analytics, therefore we strongly advise making the switch as soon as feasible.
Why is GA4 better than Adobe Analytics?
Unlike the previous Google Universal Analytics, which employed website tags, GA4 uses event-based tracking. You can now keep an eye on user interactions or events in real-time thanks to this feature. The best part of this new function is that you can keep track of searches as they take place rather than looking back at past site searches.
Why is Google Analytics 4 better?
Compared to GA3, GA4 offers far more precise cross-device knowledge. GA4 offers substantially more reliable cross-platform and cross-device tracking than GA3. GA4 offers automated event tracking for some categories of events. Setting up event tracking is significantly simpler with GA4.
Can I migrate from UA to GA4?
(Click the GA4 Setup Assistant button on your screen’s left.) Search for “Set up conversions” and select it from the Actions menu on the row’s right side. To import data from Universal Analytics, click. In your new Google Analytics 4 property, decide which goals you want to reproduce as conversion events.
Why is Google getting rid of Universal Analytics?
Google Analytics 4 will then be the standard tool for tracking website activity after those dates. Why? Because Universal Analytics cannot provide cross-platform insights, Google is abandoning it. GA4 can, on the other hand, measure data across apps and websites.
Does UTM work in GA4?
You must add at least one parameter when configuring URL parameters for a Google Analytics 4 site, though you can add any parameter.
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