GA4 isn’t just a significant update to UA.
It’s a truly different approach to data and measurement.
GA4 is completely redesigned
Data is centered around events.
We all have to start thinking more about quality than quantity and more about increasing positive metrics instead of decreasing negatives.
Changing from “How do I decrease bounce rate?” to “How do I increase engagement?” might sound like a small change, but it’s actually a fundamental shift in how we will need to frame the data we view in GA4, and this will take some getting used to.
GA4 Doesn’t Just Change Metrics;
It Changes Your Approach To Data
This update represents a substantial shift, not a refinement or an enhancement like prior updates.
The new event-based model of GA4 is fundamentally different from the session and cookie-based methodology used until now. Paid search marketers will need to rethink what KPIs to use and how to configure them to optimize paid search efforts more meaningfully, moving forward.
GA4 is nothing like the previous version of Analytics, known as UA
UA is a session-based analytics tool, while GA4 is an event-based analytics tool.
The difference is huge, crucial, fundamental.
It’s a whole new environment.
The only common thing between GA4 and UA is the name “Google Analytics”
While in UA almost all common reports were integrated by default, in GA4, the user needs to set up things
What this setup means:
All events must be defined and set up in Google Tag Manager and then all these events should be tracked in GA4.
There is a list of predefined events (like page_view, click, etc) but these events are only the most necessary ones.
Things are getting pretty technical
GA4 has become an amazing tool towards analysis, but at the same time, very challenging to use it.
Technical knowledge on how to set up the events is required.
GA4 and Google Tag Manager is a set of tools that are used together.