With a new Google Analytics (GA) interface, comes major changes to the metrics that you’re used to in Universal Analytics (UA) and how the data from your website or app gets collected.
By July 1, 2023, Google will officially transition to GA4, and its predecessor, UA, will no longer process hits. So, if you want to be still able to track data with Google, then you’ll need to transition to GA4.
As you switch to GA4, there are some significant differences to look out for so that you know how to better optimize your website or app using this advanced data measurement tool. To help you better understand the differences and how to successfully transition to GA4, continue reading below.
One of the primary changes in GA4 is the fact that it uses an event-based data model, whereas UA uses a session-based model. A session-based model in UA consisted of monitoring pageviews, e-commerce transactions and various other user interactions that happen within a given timeframe.
However, with an event-based model, GA4 translates all user interactions as events and provides more in-depth information on user activity, like button clicks, the specific pages that a user viewed, every purchase that was made in a specific location, and more.
In addition, UA gathers data from the user through 3rd party cookie tracking, while GA4 uses first-party data, along with Google Signals, which is a feature that allows businesses to track how a user interacts with their website across multiple devices.
Another change in GA4 involves the implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning that will help you understand your users and learn more about your customers through predictive metrics such as purchase probability, churn probability, and predicted revenue.
The purchase probability metric measures the probability of whether a user, who was active in the last 28 days, will log a specific conversion event in the next 7 days. Meanwhile, the churn probability metric predicts the likelihood of whether a user, who was active on your site or app within the last 7 days, will not be active in the next 7 days.
Lastly, the predictive revenue metric estimates the expected revenue from purchase conversions within the next 28 days from a user who was active within the last 28 days.
Bounce Rate vs Engagement Rate
UA’s bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that end without a user interacting on the page. GA4 has replaced the bounce rate with the engagement rate, and the engagement rate is the percentage of engaged seasons.
An Engaged session is classified as either: a session that lasts longer than 10 seconds, has one or more conversion events or has two or more page views
More business owners will come to understand and appreciate the engagement rate and how it is a better indicator of a website page’s effectiveness because GA4’s engagement rate focuses on the element of time as well as actions from the user, rather than just the action itself like UA does.
To conclude, it may take some time to get used to the major changes in GA4, but this is a good time to hit the ground running and set up your GA4 account or add a property to your existing account so that you can avoid a lapse in data tracking and be set up already before UA phases out.
If you need any help with your GA4 set up, we’ll be happy to help you make the transition less overwhelming.