The deadline for the Universal analytics migration to GA4 has almost passed by two and half months. Most marketers have applied the changes to their respective Googe Analytics accounts and some are still doing it. It’s perfectly fine if you’re not yet comfortable with the GA4. This blog post will help you explore GA4 in detail and explain what keeps GA4 different from UA.
Key differences between Universal Analytics and GA4
Before migrating to the latest GA4 platform, you must understand why this migration was crucial. There are two reasons why Google zeroed in on GA4 and shut down UA.
The first reason behind the UA fallout was the user’s browsing behavior that now happens across devices and platforms. Another reason that triggered the change was privacy changes. The latest changes in the privacy settings ensured that less user data is now visible via cookies.
Since UA was introduced long before this shift, its methodologies are now becoming obsolete. was fast becoming outdated. What seems interesting is that GA4 is an event-based model that measures across the web and apps via data streams.
What’s New In Google Analytics GA4?
The GA4 automatically pulls a tailored set of reports as soon as you specify your business objective. These reports are relevant to your goals such as lead generation, online sales, and brand awareness. The business objective collections are available in the report Library for quick access.
Customized Home Page
This is probably the striking difference between GA4 and UA. UA displayed the same data points to everyone. This isn’t the case with GA4. Its home page leverages product usage and user signals to customize the user experience.
The analytics intelligence feature of GA4 hosts a set of utilities and rules that provide automated and custom analytics insights in GA4. Analytics intelligence provides marketers an insights about changes or emerging trends in your data.
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When you click on the option, it shows “Ask Analytics Intelligence” suggestions at the bottom. Clicking on “More suggestions” opens up a whole sidebar of questions to get a range of insights in a flash.
Enhanced Event Measurement
GA4 comes packed with enhanced event measurement features that let marketers enable events directly in the GA4 interface. This is quite helpful in situations when you want to measure interactions such as form interactions, downloads, and video engagement page scrolls.
GA4 captures and unifies more touch points across devices and the user journey. Markets can use this data to enhance their target audience for advertising.
Universal Analytics gathered data about audiences based on past behavior without inferences. Unlikely, GA4 leverages its AI capabilities to build predictive audiences.
Advanced Capabilities in GA4
Unlike UA, where User-ID was specific for special views and reports, in GA4, User-ID is used throughout reporting so that you can have the most accurate, user-centric view of customer behavior and journeys.
With the exploration feature, you can take a deeper look into the standard reports to better understand customer behavior and your key business metrics.
Custom Funnel Reports
Custom funnels enable marketers to visualize the steps users take to complete a task. The feature also helps to evaluate the number of user drop-offs between each step on the website and/or app.
Users can now access the BigQuery event export to control the export volume and BigQuery costs.
With GA4, you can also integrate Ad Manager and other Google Marketing Platforms.
Event Customization in GA4 without Code
The biggest benefit of GA4 is that businesses can create and modify events in GA4 without having to make any coding changes. Once you implement the Google tag, marketers can create and edit events in GA4. The platform can now collect dozens of standard events and let you customize them.
Comprehensive Ads Integration Capabilities
GA4 comes packed with a more robust audience builder. To get the most out of it, you can link your Google Ads, Display & Video 360, or Search Ads 360 accounts. Once you enable personalized advertising, it will capture, share, and activate tailored audiences in your campaigns.
Reporting Identity And Data Thresholding
With GA4, marketers get four identity methods to unify user touchpoints across devices and platforms into a single user journey. These methods include User-ID, Google signals, Device-ID, and Modeling. The platform also offers three reporting identity options:
Blended: This identity option runs through each of the four methods to identify users.
Observed: This identity option evaluates the first three identity methods except behavior modeling.
Device-based: This identity option only uses a device ID.
GA4 allows you to switch reporting identity options whenever required. It can be done without impacting data collection or processing.
Many other features and enhancements are all set to roll out soon. The platform offers massive customization capabilities and other utilities such as automated insights, more default reports, and the new personalized Home page.
Tarun Gupta, CEO of Brainpulse Technologies, is a prolific author and digital marketing specialist. His insightful writings span SEO, content marketing, social media strategy, and email campaigns, offering invaluable expertise to businesses worldwide. Tarun’s contributions continue to shape the digital marketing landscape, guiding success in multiple niches.