We are reaching yet another end of an era with the pending departure of Google Universal Analytics. You have probably asked yourself, what does that even mean? Essentially, it means there’s a new analytics reporting tool that Google will be using instead of their current program. AKA, lots to learn!
Data gives perspective. Perspective gives opportunity to grow. And growing is the ultimate goal of any business. If you’re not growing, then you’re dying. With the right tools we can not only collect data, we can dig deep into the root of any issues, foresee trends, and actively work with our data to facilitate business growth. That is why there is such endless value in analytics. Google Analytics especially is a never-ending gold mine of data to help you grow your business.
Google’s change from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 in 2023 means that the way we process data points is shifting. There are new perspectives to consider. With these new considerations comes a learning curve but also a change to get even more value out of our data.
So let’s take a look at the Top 3 things to know about Google’s new analytics tool: Google Analytics 4 (or GA4).
Sessions are one of the key ways Google Analytics tracks how many eyes are on your website. Previously, sessions were defined as a combination of pageviews, events, transactions, etc. by one user within a given timeframe. In GA4, sessions are no longer time-limited and so will be expected to to be fewer than in Universal Analytics data. Additionally, GA4 will use a measurement model based on events and parameters–not on sessions like Universal did. This means that in GA4 the more detailed engagement information will be measured as ‘events’ and session data in GA4 will not be as important to track comparatively.
In Universal Analytics, the number of possible reports one could see and manipulate seemed endless. GA4 has streamlined this never-ending story of reports so that reports are populated in real-time as data comes in. Additionally, GA4 offers only one reporting view instead of the 25 reporting views Universal offered. Bottom line: it will be a bit of a learning curve.
One shock that I got was learning that GA4 doesn’t measure bounce rate! Instead, we will be introduced to a new ‘engagement rate’ and ‘engaged sessions’. This shifts this metric from measuring when a visitor hits a single page to how long that visitor spends on said page. This will give us more details and actionable insights.
So, you’re thinking ‘now what’? Now we get to work! Being able to capture the value from the data GA4 provides will lead to big things for your business.
If you’re looking for a quick dive into the basics of GA4, then our good friend YouTube is a great place to start. There are countless video tutorials and classes to help give you a clearer understanding of how GA4 can help your business grow. And when you’re ready for the deeper dive, Google offers a certification course (along with TONS of other learning opportunities) in GA4 to really give you the most bang!
There’s a lot of change coming with Google Analytics 4. The most important thing to remember is that when you have a Marketing partner at your side these changes will not be overwhelming. In fact, this could be a great opportunity to refresh your analytical reports and insights.