What You Need To Know About Google Analytics 4
Your Complete Guide to Google Analytics 4

Our SEO team considers Google Analytics to be the essential tool when working to get our clients to rank higher on Google.  Google has announced that it will phase out Universal Analytics (aka GAU & the analytics we have all grown used to), and replace it with Google Analytics 4 (aka GA4). If you have not yet made the switch, you should…first, to get used to the new system; and second, so you can start gathering data. But before you do, take some time to read up on everything you need to know about Google Analytics 4.

Google Analytics 4 For Beginners:
Everything You Need To Know

When Is Google Universal Analytics Going Away?

Google’s Universal Analytics will go away on July 1, 2023.

Why Is Google Analytics Changing?

Google’s looks at the update to GA4 as a way to prepare for the future of the web. It is meant to serve analysts in a future without cookies and with searcher privacy in mind. Let us take a look at what is changing in Google Analytics once they move completely to GA4.

What Is Changing?

Google’s looks at the update to GA4 as a way to prepare for the future of the web. It is meant to serve analysts in a future without cookies and with searcher privacy in mind. Let us take a look at what is changing in Google Analytics once they move completely to GA4.

Data model

Google Analytics has always been the go-to source for website traffic statistics. It’s easy to understand and provides a wealth of data. However, the original tracking code for Google Analytics was not built in a way that can accommodate today’s internet devices and users’ interactions with websites.

Today’s searchers interact differently with websites. 

Google wants to put the emphasis on users, not sessions. GA4 is all about events (goals & conversions). 

Analytics Without Cookies

The current Google Analytics system works by attaching a cookie on a searcher’s browser when it visits your website. This cookie remembers information about the searcher so that you can get information such as the number of visits the user had. 

As the world demands privacy, cookies are seen as an issue. People do not want to share their data. 

Many people end up opting out of sharing their data, and this leaves a lot of information about your visitors in Google Analytics.

GA4 uses machine learning to create reports (blended data).

Privacy

Data privacy is the big topic going forward.  People want control over the data shared with publishers and how it is used.  GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act have changed how data is collected.  GA4 is all about  privacy.

How Does GA4 Affect My Business?

Google’s Universal Analytics and GA4 will show completely different data. The numbers won’t be the same. The data model, the interface, and the reports are all different. The chart below shows the main differences between the two analytics systems. 

UA
GA4
Data Modeling
  • Session-based data model
  • Data collected as hits within sessions.
  • User based
  • Data collected for events w/ unique names
  • Brings together site & app data.
Data Storage
  • Data stored for 14-26 months
  • Can be set to never expire
  • Data stored for 2-14 months
  • Keeps aggregated data in standard reports
  • Disaggregated data not available after
Reporting
  • Pre-built reports.
  • Custom reporting data.

Need Help Setting Up GA4?

Contact us. We will be happy to set you up with GA4 and set up some reports to get you started. 

More Projects