If you have heard the term Google Analytics 4 or GA4 and are somewhat familiar with Google Analytics, then this post is for you. The intent of this post is to highlight a few things about Google Analytics 4 without going into the details. As GA4 improves, new items will be added to this eBook and updated versions will be released.
- It is the latest free version of Google Analytics.
- It is widely called GA4. No, the previous version is not called GA3, the previous version is called Universal Analytics.
- The upgrade process from Universal Analytics to GA4 is not really an upgrade, it just creates a new GA4 property.
- GA4 does not have a concept of “Views”.
- GA4 can run along with Universal Analytics.
- You cannot move your data from Universal Analytics to GA4.
- The data model of GA4 is completely different from the old version.
- In this new model, almost everything in GA4 is either tied to events or users.
- Events are actions that happen on your site with or without user interaction. e.g., session start, page scroll, etc.
- Events are provided more context by appending event parameters.
- Events in GA4 can have 35 parameters unlike Universal Analytics, which only had
- Even a page view is an event in GA4.
- GA4 can capture 6 events by default, these are called Enhanced Measurement.
- Enhanced Measurement events are Pageview, Scroll, Outbound link, Downloads, On-Site search, and YouTube video engagement.
- GA4 also provides a list of recommended events by verticals so you do not have to figure out what to capture.
- If Recommended events and enhanced events do not meet your needs, you can create your own custom events.
- In GA4 you can configure events based on pages, right within the GA admin interface.
- In GA4 you can modify your events within the admin interface.
- Users are provided more contents by appending user properties.
- You must create custom dimensions and metrics using User Properties or Event Parameters before you can use them in your reports.
- You can create up to 50 custom dimensions and 50 custom metrics per property.
- You can use 25 uniquely named user-scoped custom dimensions.
- GA4 uses ML to fill the gaps due to cookie tracking.
- GA4 does not have “Bounce Rate” metrics.
- GA4 has a metric called Engagement sessions instead of “Bounce Rate” though it is not the opposite if “Bounce Rate”.
- An engaged Session is a session that stayed on the site/app for 10 seconds or more or had a conversion event or views two pages or screens.
- The 10-second threshold of the engagement session can be changed in the admin panel.
- GA4 has a built-in debugger that allows you to debug tracking and activity on your site and app
- GA4 does not have a lot of canned reports (as of the writing of this document).
- GA4 has an Exploration interface, which allows you to explore and analyze your data.
- Exploration has many exploration techniques. These techniques are, Freeform, Funnel Exploration, Path exploration, Segment overlap, User Explorer, Cohort Exploration, and User lifetime.
- In GA you can drill down see activity for each individual user using User Explorer in Exploration.
- In addition to the above Exploration techniques, GA4 also has various templates to explore data for several business use cases and verticals.
- GA4 has direct integration with BigQuery.
- You can send real-time data from GA4 to BigQuery.
- (Bonus) – Optizent Academy is the best source for you and your team to go from not knowing anything about GA4 to becoming an expert in GA4.
- (Bonus) – Our team can get GA4 implemented and set up according to your needs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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