What's new in GA4
We’ve put together some highlights for you and your team about the latest updates to GA4.
Businesses across the world rely on Google Analytics to track, measure, and analyse website and app traffic and user behaviour.
This means that when the platform changes or updates its features or platform, it has a big, rippling effect. If you didn’t already hear - and the likelihood is you’ve received a lot of emails making sure you do - Google Analytics is retiring its last iteration Google Universal Analytics (or UA) and has released its newest iteration Google Analytics 4 (GA4). But what does this mean for businesses using the platform? As always with anything surrounding data, there’s too much to fit into one article - but, we’ve put together some highlights for you and your team to be aware of.
Wait, what’s Google Analytics?
For those new to the platform, businesses can get set up by inserting a code snippet, usually called a tracking code, into their web pages. Your team can then gather valuable data about your audience, including details like the number of visitors coming in, their geographic locations, browsing patterns, referral sources, and much more. Google Analytics helps businesses and website owners gain insights into how users interact with their online content, which pages are performing well, and which ones might need improvement. This data can then allow you to make data-driven decisions to optimise your website's performance, enhance your user’s experiences, and ultimately achieve your business objectives whether that means increasing sales, generating leads, or improving user engagement.
Okay, so do I have to make the switch to Google Analytics 4?
Yes, and if you’re reading this - you’ve already missed the deadline to do so yourself. Businesses that haven’t yet made the switch will find that no data has been collected since July 1st 2023, when Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data and (we assume) retired to a timeshare in Florida.
Will all my past data work the same in GA4?
Around March of this year, the powers that be will have already created a GA4 property for you, based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property, unless you opted out. This however, doesn’t mean your UA data will be carried over to the new platform. UA data doesn’t use the same model as GA4 - and so you can no longer rely on that data in the new update. If you’re
Fine, what do I need to know about GA4?
It uses an event-based data model
While UA uses a session based data model, GA4 uses an event-based model. This event-based data model is like having a detailed map of how users navigate through your website or app. It lets you see which actions are popular and which ones are not, so you can focus on what's working well. It's like having a treasure map to find the hidden gems of your site that people love. With this detailed information, you can make your website or app even better by improving the parts that users love and fixing the ones they don't. This is good, because it makes data less confusing - focusing on what it can tell us about what users are and aren’t doing and providing a more granular insight into your user’s journeys and where they can be improved most effectively.
Enhanced user tracking across devices
In keeping with our own tendencies to use many different devices in any given day - Google Analytics 4 has been built with enhanced cross-platform user tracking capabilities. Gone are the days of mobile users and desktop users being considered two separate tribes (an odd idea in the first place really).
Updated user privacy and data protection features
GA4 places a stronger emphasis on user privacy and data protection. It has been designed to help businesses to align with updated privacy regulations and stay compliant with new features such as enhanced data deletion controls
More customizable analysis and reporting
GA4 introduces a more flexible and customizable approach to data analysis and reporting. It offers a more usable and pleasant user interface design, to minimise cognitive overload (we’ve all been there with UA) and more intuitive data exploration and visualisation options. This should make it a lot easier to navigate, train newbies and adjust your reporting for your business needs.
The Yoyo team are here to help, whether you have just a few questions, need more help with GA4 specifically or anything in between - get in touch for a chat about how we can help.