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As the sun sets on Universal Analytics, will it be a bright new dawn for GA4?

Posted 30.06.2023
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Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) has long been the go-to solution used for tracking and analysing website data by marketing professionals. UA has provided us with reliable insights on website visitors and their engagement for years. So with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in 2020 and its promised advanced features, it isn’t surprising that three years later Google says it’s time to move from UA to GA4 to continue tracking website performance.

The improvements that have been implemented with GA4 demonstrate Google’s response to the ever-changing digital environment and what website owners require from their analytics. What does this mean for you and your business’ website? We’re here to shed some light on its unique capabilities and highlight the reasons why GA4 is shaping web analytics.

What is the biggest difference between UA and GA4?

One of the fundamental differences between UA and GA4 is how it collects and measures data. Everything that UA tracked can still be tracked in GA4, but with a different approach.

GA4 takes a significant leap forward by shifting its focus from sessions to users. Unlike UA, which organises data based on website visitor sessions and pageviews, GA4 revolves around individual users’ interactions across multiple devices and platforms. This user-centric approach provides a holistic view of your audience, allowing you to understand user behaviour across various touchpoints and deliver more personalised experiences. By collecting data through events, GA4 offers flexibility and enables the tracking of dynamic interactions, such as scrolling, video views, file downloads, and more.

Holistic cross-platform data analysis

While UA was primarily designed for tracking websites, GA4 expands its capabilities to track user interactions across websites, mobile apps, and other digital platforms. GA4’s cross-platform tracking enables businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of user journeys, irrespective of the channels they engage with. This integration facilitates the analysis of app-to-web and web-to-app interactions, providing invaluable insights for businesses operating in the mobile space, which today is pretty much everyone!

What are the new benefits that GA4 provides?

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so must the tools we use to understand and optimise performance. Embracing GA4 empowers businesses to unlock deeper insights, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately enhance their digital strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of their key stakeholders.

For our clients at BLUE, we can now provide a better understanding of how their digital platforms are performing using GA4, identifying trends to aid our digital marketing strategies in meeting their objectives.

On 1 July 2023, Google will stop processing UA data. If you don’t already have GA4 in place, valuable website data will be lost. If you’re unsure how to move forward with setting up and using GA4 to monitor your web traffic, our digital marketing team is here to help. Get in touch!


Katie Dean

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