How does GA4 work and why migrate?

Google Analytics does efficient digital analysis by tracking and reporting website traffic. But do you know how to migrate to GA4? Google Analytics 4.0 brings new insights and predictions based on artificial intelligence.

The tool has tighter integration with Google Ads, customer lifecycle reporting, and interface changes. With the data and metrics offered by the tools, it is easier to get the strategy right.

The idea of ​​the text is to tell a little about Google Analytics 4, reveal why to migrate to the version, its benefits and its differences in relation to Universal Analytics. Good reading!

How does Google Analytics 4 work?

Google Analytics 4 is the updated version of Google’s analytics tool and is designed to provide more accurate and deeper insights into user behaviour on your website or application.

Furthermore, it comes with advanced analytics and forecasting features that allow marketers to make more informed decisions and thus improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. The novelty accompanies the world changes in data policies and follows in the wake of the European GPDR.

Thus, the new version brings resources to contribute to page managers and differs from Universal Analytics. Following the trend of artificial intelligence adoption, Google Analytics 4 adopts machine learning and automatically delivers alerts according to changes in metrics.

In this way, it helps highlight changes such as increased public demand. Integration with Google Ads is a welcome addition that helps you handle relevant metrics.

Why migrate to GA4?

When updating a software version, the ideal is to check whether the migration is really worth it. After all, not always the new version is superior to the previous one. Therefore, you will see some of the reasons for migrating to GA4 in the next topics.

long term investment

While UA will not be suspended, it will continue without improvements or updates. Thus, the tendency is to become less relevant and fall into disuse. But it is worth bearing in mind that data collection cannot be retroactive.

This happens because GA4 follows a different data structure than UA. Thus, historical information is not carried over. You will need time to gather new data. One way is to use both versions in parallel during adaptation.

Update of analyzes

Migrating to GA4 presents an opportunity to change the quality of the analyses themselves. This way, you can ensure that the results are compatible with your strategy and objectives.

If implementing Universal Analytics doesn’t work, migrating to GA4 doesn’t make much difference. After all, bad reviews happen everywhere. In the new version, it is possible to see visitors from another perspective.

Here, traditional pages and events are replaced by interactions in the form of specific events. Goals swap the place for conversions, while views give way to data streams.

Improvement in measurement

Google Analytics 4 brings a welcome new feature: “enhanced measurement”. Through it, you can automatically track downloads, clicks, video interactions, scroll events, searches, and so on.

Activation depends on option selection only, with no additional tags or codes. Thus, engagement tracking has also been improved. Here, fancy metrics have more room, like engagement time and engaged sessions.

You can even identify visitors with greater accuracy from Google’s identification data. Thus, recognizing the same user on different devices has become a more accessible mission.

More balconies

GA4 features an “analysis hub” specifically designed to provide advanced users with customized reports. The feature, already tested in Analytics 360, is now available to all users.

So you can create custom reports from a simple “drag and drop” interface. There are still funnels through which you can check progress in a multi-step flow.

In “Patching”, you can check the navigation of users in sequences of events or pages. Finally, there are other features. You can overlay segments, do cohort analysis, harvest user lifetimes, and if you’re a more advanced user, export the raw data through BigQuery.

What are the differences from Universal Analytics?

In GA4, the account structure changes, with the view no longer existing. So, when separating the projects to view them separately, you will need to create different accounts. Report types also change.

While previews remain on the homepage, the “engagement” part has replaced the UA “behaviour”. There are also innovations, such as the “retention” item, which reveals who returns to the site daily.

But GA4 doesn’t lose to UA in segmentation. Through the “ audience ” function, you can use rules similar to Universal Analytics, filtering in reports and adding comparisons. Check below the main differentials of the GA4:

  1. Focus on analyzing users instead of sessions: Unlike Universal Analytics, which focuses on sessions, GA4 puts users at the forefront. This means you can get a more complete view of user behaviour over time, regardless of the number of sessions they’ve had.
  2. Simplified Event Tracking: The GA4 uses events as the unit of measure for tracking data. These events include button clicks, page views, video interactions, and more. With GA4, it’s much easier to create custom events without the need for custom code.
  3. Focus on Privacy: GA4 is designed to better protect users’ privacy. It uses machine learning technology to fill gaps in data and allow data collection more efficiently and without violating user privacy.
  4. Advanced analytics and predictions: GA4 includes advanced analytics features such as conversion funnel analysis and machine learning-based data predictions. This allows you to get a complete view of your site’s performance and make more informed decisions about how to improve your online presence.

How to migrate to GA4?

When migrating to GA4, it is worth bearing in mind that it is not possible to migrate your historical data. Although the programs use a technical basis, the data model is different.

You can start by doing a UA audit, planning your account structure, checking ownership settings, creating a measurement plan, and identifying the events that will go through the migration.

The migration to GA4 counts to adapt to one of the most important updates since Google’s digital analytics tool was launched. The version will continue to be improved over the next few years. Thus, it is a representation of the future of analysis.

So learning about it can make a big difference. The implementation generates the discomfort typical of a novelty, but it’s worth it. In Google Analytics 4, you are introduced to more user-focused analytics. If UA is mostly based on pageviews, GA4 bets on events.

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