The Difference Between GA4 Vs. Universal Analytics

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Universal Analytics

Having spent some time with GA4 and Universal Analytics, I’ve learned a few things about the differences. So I’m sharing my thoughts in this article. I hope you find it helpful!

1Monetization

Until recently, monetization was tracked in two different systems: GA4 vs. Universal Analytics. However, with the new GA4 monetization report, you can track your revenue across websites and mobile apps. In addition, this report is more comprehensive and streamlined, making it easier to track income and monetization over time.

Google’s new Analytics 4 (GA4) data model reflects modern shopping journeys across multiple apps and devices. It also includes many features to protect customer privacy.

Universal Analytics could track customers across devices, but it was challenging to tie that data together. So, in addition to the new monetization report, you can now set up a variety of comparisons to investigate specific events. You can also set up predictive audiences to better understand which customers are most likely to buy. This feature is powered by machine learning.

2Explorations

Compared to Universal Analytics, GA4 provides more customer-centric insights. With the ability to customize reports, you’ll be able to get a fuller picture of your buyer funnel.

In addition, GA4 can help you uncover insights about how users behave on your website. It also allows you to customize your events to track specific behaviors. This enables you to get deeper insights into your website’s performance.

If you’re new to GA4, you may be a little intimidated by the new UI. However, the Experience Analytics team can help you get started.

There are several templates to choose from, including the funnel, path, and cohort explorations. They can all help you create detailed visualizations of your website’s performance. You can also use the templates to create or share client visuals with others.

3Data-Driven Attribution Model

Using data-driven Attribution in GA4 can help you optimize your marketing campaigns. By combining machine learning and real-life data, GA4 Attribution provides detailed insights into conversions. In addition, you’ll be able to see touchpoints at different stages of the customer journey.

A new feature in Google Analytics 4 will help you determine which touchpoints are the most valuable for your conversions. This is known as the engagement rate. It replaces metrics such as bounce rate and average session duration.

Data-driven Attribution combines modeled paths with real-life data to determine which touchpoints lead to the most conversions. This is a great way to optimize media spending across multiple channels.

Before using data-driven Attribution, you need to set up your GA4 properties. Currently, GA4 provides you with six different attribution models.

4Create and modify events

Compared to Google Analytics 3, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) introduces enhanced measurement and conversion tracking. These changes enable you to collect more data, create more granular events, and test conversions.

The event data model in GA4 may take some time to get used to. You can use the Create Events feature to combine audience triggers to create more unique events. In addition to the event name, parameters provide additional information about the event. This includes page titles, article IDs, and more. You can add custom metrics to the event and register and delete parameters.

GA4’s data model is not compatible with the Universal Analytics schema. For example, the category-action-label-value schema is not supported by GA4. Therefore, you will have to create your events differently.

5Side-by-side

Whether you’re a brand new or experienced GA user, you may wonder how GA4 and Universal Analytics differ. You should know about some crucial differences before making a decision.

GA4 and Universal Analytics use different measurement models. Universal Analytics tracks data based on pageviews. GA4 uses an event-based model. Events allow you to track complex buyer journeys.

GA4’s Engagement report combines data from all online platforms. It shows how engaged a user is with your website or app and how often they are engaged with your website.

GA4’s bounce rate is based on sessions with at least two screen/page views. This differs from GA3’s bounce rate, based on ten seconds or fewer sessions.