Don’t start too late with Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics is the most widely used program to analyze web and app data. Some time ago, Google launched a new version with the ability to put both types of data side by side as separate databases. Have you implemented it yet?

The difference between UA and GA4

At first glance, the new Google Analytics (GA4) does not involve drastic changes. Same old, you might think. It still looks at website behavior, origin of the visitor, campaign results, marketing efforts, you name it. However, how it is measured on the back end changed one hundred percent. Google’s well-known Universal Analytics (UA) version is based on sessions, or website visits. Whereas GA4 is all about events, activities that a visitor performs on the website. These are technical details that matter enormously. It’s a big difference. You don’t see it, but you notice it. Because by switching from session to event-based tracking of visitors, Google Analytics has become more future-proof for AVG (GDPR) developments in the digital landscape. Think about the adjustments of cookies and more protection of personal data. A clear move by Google Analytics to prepare for the future.

Valuable data

The downside of session-based tracking is that Google has a hard time recognizing when someone switches between websites or devices. As an example, many online shops consist of two websites. A separate corporate website and a webshop section. Measuring switches between the two is called “cross domain tracking. GA4’s event-based tracking makes this much easier to recognize. The same goes for switching between a website and an app. With UA, when someone clicks a link in a browser that points to an app, a lot of valuable data disappears. With GA4, those changes are much more traceable. Like switches between corporate websites and web shops. That’s because of cross-device/domain tracking, which doesn’t use separate databases for app, corporate website and web shop. GA4 displays that data in a single view. This allows for better analysis of behavior and conversions. You can see exactly what actions someone did on the corporate website before he or she bought an item in the webshop.

Why Google Analytics?

GA4, like UA, collects nothing if you don’t activate it. So set it up, even if it’s just the basic version without extensions (via Google tag manager). In the future, UA will be replaced by GA4. And because the databases of the two run side by side, at some point it is no longer possible to make comparisons with last year.

“Google Aanalytics 4 doesn’t collect anything at all
if you don’t activate it.”

Start now

Don’t take a chance, make it easier on yourself and implement GA4. You then immediately start collecting data to look back at in the future. Simple data like visitor numbers don’t mean anything if you don’t put them in context. For some, 10,000 visitors per month is a lot, for another it is little. It is more interesting to know if that is more or less than last month. Or compared to the same month a year earlier. Especially with seasonal products, comparing periods is important. Being able to look back a year or more is then necessary. To do this, GA4 must implement. Because as mentioned earlier: nothing is measured until you implement it. More importantly, UA’s data cannot be integrated into GA4. So all your efforts with Universal Analytics, such as Goals and Tag Manager are not carried over to GA4. This is the main reason to start GA4 right away – procrastination is a waste of time.

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