Should I upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
The short answer is Yes, you should upgrade to Google Analytics 4, also called GA4. To be clear upgrading to Google Analytics 4 does not mean that your existing data from Univeral Analytics (that many are calling GA3) will be transferred over to Google Analytics 4. It simply means that you will have a new Google Analytics 4 property that you can collect data in.
Having both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 properties means that you can collect data in both the properties. You can continue to use Universal Analytics (old version of Google Analytics) for all your reporting and analysis as you are doing today while you get up to speed on Google Analytics 4.
Is Old Google Analytics going away?
No, there is no indication by Google that old (existing) Google Analytics, called Univeral Analytics, is going away. This means you don't have to worry about losing any of your data but at some point, you will need to start using Google Analytics 4. GA4 provides a much better data model than Universal Analytics.
Is GA4 better than Universal Analytics?
Yes, that's our opinion though, at the time of writing this post, there were a lot of things that seem to be missing in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). A few of them are
- Bounce Rate - Bounce Rate has been one of the most commonly used metrics in Google Analytics. Many people who have been dependent on this metric are not happy that Google Analytics 4 does not report on Bounce Rate. But that's not a reason to now upgrade. Bounce rate has been replaced with User Engagement metrics which, in my opinion, is a much better measure of engagement than bounce rate is. Check out this post User Engagement in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - Everything You Need to Know
- Limited Pre-defined Reports - When you see Google Analytics 4, you might be disappointed to see very few reports. However, that does not mean that GA 4 is not better than previous version of Google Analytics. Instead of pre-defined reports, GA4 has not provided a much flexible and feature-rich Analysis Hub. This means that you will have to create reports that you want either using Analysis Hub or Data Studio + BigQuery. GA4 sends data directly to BigQuery to help you conduct a deeper analysis.
- Views and Filters - Check out this post for details Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Views and Filters
If you are looking for a comparison between GA4 and Universal Analytics then check out this video "GA4 v/s Univeral Analytics" or download this ebook 10 Key Things to Know Before "Upgrading to Google Analytics 4"
What if I don't upgrade to GA4?
Nothing will change in the near future. You just won't have Google Analytics 4 property and your existing Google Analytics will continue to work. However, we highly recommend that you upgrade to Google Analytics 4. As mentioned above GA4 provides a much better data model than the current version of Google Analytics.
You don't have to use GA4 for your reporting and analysis right away but it will give you an option to try out new things.
Can I still use my existing Google Tag Manager setup for GA4?
While you can still use the same Google Tag Manager account, you will need to set up GA4 from scratch. GA4 tracking is a lot different from Univeral Analytics tracking. Your current event tracking won't work.
How do I upgrade to GA4?
We have provided setup by step instruction on upgrading to Google Analytics 4 in a video. Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions and if you do get stuck then reach out to us.
Where to get more help with Google Analytics 4?
- Online Course - Google Analytics 4 Masterclass
- Workshop - We offer onsite customized workshops. Reach out to us for more details.
- Consulting - We can get you up and running with Google Analytics 4 as well as train your and your team to use it effectively. Reach out to us for more details.