As a digital marketer, you know the importance of understanding your website and app’s user behavior. The insights you gain from this data can inform everything from website design and content creation to ad targeting and campaign optimization. This is where Google Analytics (GA) comes in. GA is a powerful tool that helps you track and understand user behavior on your website or app. But with the recent release of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you may wonder how it differs from Universal Analytics (UA) and whether you should make the switch.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between GA4 and UA and explore the benefits of using GA4 for your digital marketing.
Key Differences: GA4 vs. Universal Analytics
First, let’s talk about the key differences between GA4 and UA. While UA tracks page views and sessions, GA4 utilizes an event-based model that allows for more granular tracking of user interactions, such as clicks, form submissions, and video plays.
This event-based data allows a more accurate understanding of user behavior and engagement, giving you valuable insights into optimizing your website or app for conversions. With GA4, you can also set up custom events and parameters, giving you even more control over the data you collect.
Benefits of Using an Event-based Model with GA4
One of the main benefits of using an event-based model is that it allows you to understand user behavior more accurately. For example, with Universal Analytics, a session is started when a user lands on your website and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.
With GA4, a session is started when a user starts interacting with your website or app and ends when they stop interacting. This means that if a user spends 30 minutes on your website without interacting, it won’t be counted as a session.
This gives you a more accurate understanding of how users interact with your website or app, which is valuable information for optimization and personalization.
Simplifying Tracking with GA4’s Integration with Google Tag Manager
Another major advantage of GA4 is its integration with Google Tag Manager, which makes it easier to set up and manage tracking for your website or app. This means that you don’t have to rely on developers to implement tracking code, making it easier for you to make changes and updates to your tracking quickly. With GTM, you can easily add and remove GA4 events, which is useful when you want to track different interactions on your website or app.
Unlocking Advanced Insights with GA4’s Use of Machine Learning
But perhaps the most exciting feature of GA4 is its use of machine learning to analyze and interpret collected data. With GA4, you can access advanced analytics and insights, such as engaged sessions and bounce rates, without needing custom coding. This means that you don’t need to be a data expert to make sense of the data you’re collecting, making it more accessible for marketers.
Segmenting Data with GA4’s “Streams” Feature
GA4 also includes a new feature called “Streams,” which allows you to create data streams for various parts of your website or app, making it easy to segment your data and understand user behavior in specific areas.
This makes it easy to understand how users interact with different parts of your website or app and make data-driven decisions. For example, you can create a stream for your homepage, which will show how users interact with it, and another for your pricing page, which will show how users interact with it. This allows you to understand how users interact with different parts of your website or app and make data-driven decisions.
A Holistic View of Your Data with GA4’s Integration with Other Google Products
Another great feature of GA4 is the ability to link it with other Google products like Google Ads, Google BigQuery, and Google Cloud Storage. This allows you to have a more holistic view of your data, making it easier to understand how your digital marketing efforts impact your business. For example, you can link GA4 with Google Ads and see how many conversions you’re getting from your ad campaigns.
In conclusion, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers a more advanced and sophisticated way of tracking and understanding user behavior on your website or app. With its event-based model, integration with Google Tag Manager, and machine learning, GA4 provides valuable insights into optimizing your website or app for conversions. With features like “Streams” and the ability to link with other Google products, GA4 allows for a more holistic view of your data and a better understanding of how your digital marketing efforts impact your business.
As digital marketers, staying up to date with the latest tools and technologies is important to ensure that we get the most accurate and valuable insights from our data. The transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 may seem daunting, but the benefits it offers are well worth it.
If you’re ready to take your digital marketing game to the next level with GA4, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter or blog to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for the latest updates and insights from our team of experts.