google analytics 4

What is the new Google Analytics 4?

In 2002 Google announced a new version of Analytics, Google Analytics 4 (or GA4).

Google Analytics is a free tool that is widely used to monitor website and app traffic across devices and measure performance.

In GA4 the focus is on measuring events, such as clicks, user actions and page-scroll, and the users’ life cycle journey from first visit to goal conversion. It uses “data streams” instead of the views and segments used by old Universal Analytics properties.

Google Analytics 4

Traditional Analytics have three levels of data organisation (Account > Property > View) but now there are only two: Account and Property.

When should I start using GA4?

GA4 will eventually replace the traditional Universal Analytics entirely, and with no clear way to migrate data (yet), it’s a good idea to start using GA4 now so you can build up historic data when the change does come.

It’s not currently known when Google will start decommissioning Universal Analytics but now is a good time to start preparing.

How do I set it up?

If you create a new Google Analytics property, Google recommends GA4 as the default. With GA4 you will need to add a data stream – this refers to the app type (iOS or Android) or whether it is a website.

If you have an existing Universal Analytics property, now is a good time to add GA4 alongside it and start collecting data. It’s not possible to convert your old Universal Analytics property to GA4.

Differences in GA4

Google have produced video guides which show how to set up a GA4 property, either using a universal version of gtag.js tracking or with a Google Tag Manger account. There is also information about the new interface, managing accounts and properties and the Admin section.

Which should I use – Universal Analytics or GA4?

If you create a new Google Analytics property, Google recommends GA4 as the default. With GA4 you will need to add a data stream – this refers to the app type (iOS or Android) or whether it is a website.

If you have an existing Universal Analytics property, now is a good time to add GA4 alongside it and start collecting data. It’s not possible to convert your old Universal Analytics property to GA4.

Differences in GA4

The most important events and user actions on your website, for example sign ups, downloads, purchases and more, are referred to as conversion events rather than goals. If your goal is to drive users to engage with your website or app, you need to know which users are most engaged with your content – visiting specific pages, watching videos, etc.

What are the advantages of GA4?

After you set up a purchase event, Google will start gathering the data to predict purchaser audiences.

Most basic events are already tracked for you in GA4

Once an event is tracked in GA4, you can mark it as a conversion by toggling it on. You can track up to 30 conversions and delete conversions if they are no longer needed.

The ’Explorations’ section allows you to create Excel compatible shareable custom reports.

Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4

What are some examples of how GA4 is useful for me?

Generally, the longer a user spends on your website the better. This indicates that they have found content that is worth reading. Also they continue to read about other topics, products or services that you may offer. 

To measure this you could set a conversion event to measure time spent on the website and number of pages visited during that session. 

Other goals you may want to track include form submissions, email sign ups, ebook downloads and product purchases.

Understanding the demographics of your audience can help you create relevant content and answer the questions of your target audience.

Google Analytics provides valuable data that helps prioritise and improve your SEO strategy.

What are some examples of how I can use this information?

If you find that engagement metrics such as time on website and pages per session are not performing well you could focus on improving overall user experience, creating quality content, use on-page SEO techniques such as Heading and image tags, and doing keyword research.

Google Analytics 4

Alternatively, if your conversion events (goals) are not performing well you may want to make sure that you have clearly defined Call To Actions and remove any distracting elements.

For pages that are not performing well you could look at user search intent, keywords and user experience – is your information easy to read, navigate, can users easily find key pieces of information and perform key actions?

It’s also important to have a website that is fast loading, so optimising images to load more quickly is a good idea.

Having a website that provides a good user experience on mobile devices as well as desktop is also important.

I hope you found this article useful. Walker Websites is based in Highams Park, East London. Why not get in touch to see how we can help with your SEO needs? Call now – 0777 169 1194.

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