Google Universal Analytics

If you finally managed to understand something about Google Universal Analytics, its features and the data collected… get ready! Very soon you will have to learn everything again (almost) from scratch 😜.
Well, yes, I… Just now that everything seemed to be perfectly implemented and the App+Web version was out of its beta phase and given for granted, at home Google thought it was time for a revolution. So here we are today talking about Google Analytics 4 (also known as GA4).

This is a new version of Google Analytics, which for now is active in parallel, (and not replacing).
There are many different things between the two analysis software, which is why we suggest you implement both. The innovations radically change the approach to the platform. The focus will shift from collecting user profile data to interpreting user behavior. The data will then be collected based on the conduct of online visitors.

This new platform (which is actually active from October 2020) might seem a bit more difficult at first glance… don’t be frightened, however, because instead it aims at greater standardization and automation in reports and events as well as an absolute centrality of machine learning.

But... Why all this?

There are those who say that GA4 is a great opportunity to evolve the analysis of the web according to your business and the objectives set… In fact, following the agreement between the US and the EU for the protection of privacy and data of web users, it was no longer possible for Google to continue to track customer behavior exclusively through third-party cookies and IP addresses. The logic of data collection and management changes.

This doesn’t mean that the data collected is not accurate. It’s in fact an “intelligent” platform because it uses machine learning to deepen the customer journey. It also allows you to optimally integrate Google’s various advertising platforms, so as to increase campaign performance and ROI. Reports are much more flexible because they can be built independently with a drag & drop interface.

What do you mean, "change everything"? 🤯

Don’t worry, Google Analytics 4 remains a data measurement and tracking platform.
However, the way in which the data is collected and, consequently, in which they are processed changes. If you already use Google Tag Manager, you should not encounter difficulties because they have a very similar management approach.

Data-Model approach
With GA4 we will go from recording user information through sessions (hits) to collecting it through their behavior on our website (event).

It’s very simplified compared to Universal Analytics. This could be a problem for “basic users” who used the tool to enjoy basic and immediate reports.

Engagement rate
The new model will introduce the involvement rate, accompanied by the bounce rate (bounce rate). These two, together, will make up 100% of the sessions.

Machine learning
To compensate for the loss of data related to users who deny consent to tracking, GA4 has enhanced the use of machine learning in a predictive perspective. This is the only way to date designed to compensate for the restrictive trends in place on the web.

It’s a section that allows you to create complex and customizable reports, which on Google UA is only available for 360 paid suites.

Simplified conversions
There are no targets, the monitoring system is prone to automation and standardization.

Cross domain
The cross-domain tracking tool is enhanced and integrated into the platform.

Ecommerce enhancement
More actions are managed than Universal and monitoring tools are enhanced.

Important dates

According to the latest communication from Google on March 16, on July 1, 2023, the properties of Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits. The Google Analytics Group will continue to develop new hits. This means that no more data will be received by the platform. Following the divestiture, the data will be retained and will be available for download and to create reports until 1st October 2023. At this juncture it will be mandatory to switch to Google Analytics 4.

Since the data is collected following different logics, it’s very important to activate Google Analytics as soon as possible (set as the deadline of June 2022!) in order to have some type of comparison.

This way you can also understand the differences between the outgoing and incoming platform right away and learn how to collect data optimally. If you want to start learning how it works, at this link you will find the official Google guide and here instead a super updated video tutorial.