GA4: The Next Generation of Google Analytics

We’ve received a lot of questions on a previous blog: Google Universal Analytics to be Replaced by Google Analytics 4 – Are you ready?  And so, I thought I’d go more in-depth on Google Analytics 4 ( GA4 ) and answer your questions.  

The good news is It’s easier than you think; it has more functionality and you can get better analysis. GA4  is Google’s latest product, which will likely replace Universal Google Analytics (GA). There is good reason to start shifting to GA4, let me walk you through them. 

  1. Track Across Web and App

You can now track across the web and your app, with the previous version you had to use Google analytics for your website tracking and firebase for your app tracking, now, it’s possible to do it in one place. 

  1. Enhance measurement based on Events

Previously GA tracked basic events automatically and everything else had to be set up manually in both Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. In fact, in the old version of Google analytics everything was an event, and a hit on a type of hit, which gets complicated. While you will still need to create custom events to get the most out of GA4, it has more available measurements out of the box, such as scrolling, outbound, in-links, document link clicks, and website searches. Also, now you the marketers can set up and check, without requiring developers to do the work. 

  1. Pathways

This allows you to better visualize the customer journey and understand the flow of users on your website. You can now get a better grasp of how to get to your conversion point and create hypotheses on how to optimize those steps. You can even work backward from a conversion point and build a conversion journey that way. 

  1. Customer Reports Have Become Explorers

Reports have become user-friendly and you can easily use segments to work with, and then add dimensions and metrics, which enable simpler, more flexible analysis.  Funcunatilty is the same but its more user-friendly. 

  1. GA4 Offers a ‘Big Query’ Export

In the previous version, you needed to upgrade to GA316 to extract raw data, which can be costly. You are now able to export raw event-level data for free, great news for your data warehouse. 

The entry of GA4 is a fantastic opportunity to review your entire tracking setup and dig into what you have matched your strategic KPI plan. In summary, GA4 is more accessible and slightly more powerful than GA. In other words, it’s lowering the barrier for marketers to make use of the marketing data, but don’t just switch right over, run both at the same time and see which insight and interface you prefer, keeping in mind that GA4 is where good is spending their time and energy.  

About Tewfic Kattan
Tewfic is managing partner and head of Paid Channels at Sandstorm. His 15+ years experience spans both traditional and digital marketing with specialism in PPC, Analytics and E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) working with some of the region's largest brands including Aramex and DAMAC.

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