GA4 Compared to Google Analytics
Google Analytics switches off on 30th June, 2023 and is replaced by Google Analytics 4. Both platforms measure your website traffic and performance, yet they differ significantly in their data measurement and reporting. This article aims to give you a simple overview on the key differences between the two.
The 3 key items to focus on are:
- Active Users only measures people who engaged with your website.
- Engaged Sessions are measured differently in GA4 – 10 seconds or more OR if a user views at least 2 pages.
- Conversions are tracked differently in GA4, if not set up properly it is easy to track multiple conversions for one inquiry.
Universal Analytics primarily employs two User metrics: Total Users and New Users. In contrast, Google Analytics 4 introduces an additional metric: Active Users.
Both UA and GA4 define sessions as the duration during which a user is actively engaged with your website or app. However, the criteria for ending and restarting sessions differ in both platforms. For instance, UA restarts a session at midnight or upon encountering new campaign parameters, whereas GA4 does not. GA4 counts an Engaged session when a user spends more than 30 seconds on your site, or engages with your site during the visit.
Conversions are user actions deemed valuable, such as form submissions or purchases. UA counts a single conversion per session for each goal, while GA4 typically counts every instance of the conversion event, even if the same conversion event is recorded multiple times within the same session.
Metrics for Pageviews and Purchases
The count of Pageviews should be relatively similar between UA and GA4, typically within a few percentage points. However, these differences can fluctuate based on any filters you may have established in Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 4.
Web purchase counts should also align closely. However, given that purchase events are atomic and critical, event counts should closely match across UA and GA4.
While both UA and GA4 offer invaluable insights on your website performance, comprehending the differences in their data measurement and reporting methodologies is crucial for precise analysis. By understanding these differences, you can make more informed decisions regarding your website or app’s performance and user behavior.
Thanks for reading,
1300 650 274