Google Analytics 4: what has changed?

Photo Written by Sanne Jorna

Google has released the new version of Google Analytics: Google Analytics 4. For now, this new version works alongside the old variant, Universal Analytics, but you can already set it up. GA4 is the new standard version that everyone should work with. For this reason it is important to already get started and get to know the new features. We have listed a number of important changes in GA4 for you.

New Property

Because GA4 is completely different from the previous version, you cannot take your current data to GA4. You need to create a new property. Here you start all over again with collecting data: for this reason it is useful to keep your old data.

Event-driven model

Not sessions, as in Universal Analytics, but events on a website are now leading in GA4. The event-driven model is applied as a measurement method. GA4 no longer distinguishes between different event hits: the 'screen view hit', 'page view hit' and 'event hit' are all seen as the same event in GA4.

Events are the interactions a user has on your website with the content. Some examples are clicking on internal links, downloading files, scrolling, filling out forms and watching videos.

Cross-platform tracking

Data from websites and applications can be more easily linked together through cross-platform tracking. These are code-free features, which means it is no longer necessary to add code or set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager. You can now aggregate and analyze all users of both your website and application.

Bye bye bounce ratio

The 'bounce rate' is replaced by 'engaged sessions'. The bounce rate is, in Universal Analytics, the portion that leaves your website immediately. This will be replaced by engagement. Engagement is also referred to as user engagement.

Such an engaged session occurs when a visitor performs a conversion, has the domain open for at least ten seconds, or performs at least two events.

Emphasis on privacy

Going forward, Google Analytics 4 will be much more focused on privacy legislation. For example, an option has been added to help advertisers comply with AVG legislation, through a consent mode. With this, users first give permission to collect data. There are separate settings for analytics and ads.

There are many new features in addition to these changes. The earlier you start with GA4, the faster you can build historical data. This will come in handy when you switch to Google Analytics 4 completely at some point. So don't wait any longer, and take a look already.

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Sanne Jorna Content marketing
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