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What is Google Analytics (GA4) and How to Use It?

March 31, 2024
Home / What is Google Analytics (GA4) and How to Use It?

Google Analytics is one of the most effective tools to use for tracking the success of your digital marketing efforts and website’s performance. While you might be familiar with Analytics, you may be new to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and how to implement this tool to your benefit.

This guide to GA4 will go over the changes between Universal Analytics and GA4 and how you can set up a GA4 account for your website.

 

What Is Google Analytics?

 

Google Analytics is Google’s free tool that allows webmasters and marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their websites’ performance among audiences and in search engines.

The previous version of this tool, Universal Analytics (UA), gave users plenty of options to track website performance with a wide range of metrics. However, Google has been planning the transition to its new and improved Google Analytics 4 platform, which officially took place in July 2023.

 

Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4

 

universal analytics versus google analytics 4 on black background

 

While UA and GA4 are somewhat similar in their dashboards and general functionality, there are some fundamental differences between them to keep in mind.

These differences include:

  • Event-based Analytics Data: While UA used different metrics to track user interaction on websites, GA4 now measures performance based on events. Events could include “engaged sessions,” “engagement time,” and “engagement rate,” along with other event-based metrics that help you map out the customer journey more effectively.

 

  • A New Dashboard: GA4 also incorporates a more efficient, economic dashboard that makes it easier to navigate metrics and analyze performance. One of the new features that you can benefit from with GA4’s dashboard is the Insights menu, which allows you to use predictive AI-based insights that can help you plan your marketing accordingly.

 

  • Improved Customization: Not only is the dashboard for GA4 a little more optimized than UA’s, but it also offers more customization for marketers. For example, you can customize the dashboard to only show you the most relevant reports based on what you want to track. Additionally, you can develop custom audience segments according to their place along the buyer’s journey through certain event types, such as completing contact forms or other types of conversion events.

 

  • Improved Privacy: One notable change that’s in line with Google’s move toward privacy standard compliance is the increased privacy of user data. Using UA, you used to be able to view individual users’ IP addresses, but this data is no longer available. However, users have the ability to manage the data they collect from website visitors, including location data.

 

  • Tracking Across Platforms: In an effort to remove some limitations that came with UA, GA4 also now allows you to track data across multiple platforms, which gives you a clearer picture of the customer journey. Track your prospective and existing customers from website to website or from website to app using GA4. Regardless of where users connect, user IDs will connect them to Analytics for tracking and analysis.

 

Why You Need GA4 for Your App or Website

 

To get the best results from your marketing or web development efforts, you must be able to track your progress. Google Analytics 4 gives you a meaningful way to collect and use data to determine your progress and the next steps in your strategy.

Based on the goals you set for your website, you can use GA4 to track the most relevant event-based data to help figure out whether you’re achieving those goals. For instance, if your goal with a new search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is to attract more visitors to your website, you would primarily track metrics like users, sessions, and views. On the other hand, if your goal is to drive more lead generation or sales, you might look at metrics like conversion rate and lifetime value or total revenue.

Unlike previous versions of Google Analytics, GA4 provides highly accessible and more valuable data that can guide your efforts in the long term.

 

How to Use GA4

 

With a better idea of the benefits of GA4 and the cool new features it has to offer compared to UA, you may wonder how to set it up for your website.

Depending on your current setup, the following are some steps to take to help you implement GA4:

 

Connect Your UA Property to a GA4 Account

 

If you have an existing website that you used with Universal Analytics, you can easily migrate that property to GA4. However, you must have either an Administrator or Editor role in an account to do so.

Simply log into your Analytics account and click on the “Admin” button at the bottom left of the dashboard. In “Admin,” select “Setup Assistant” to get some help from Google in setting up your property for data collection in GA4.

As you check each point, you can mark it as complete, such as “Collect website and app data,” “Turn on Google signals,” and “Define audiences.”

 

Create an Entirely New GA4 Property

 

If you don’t have a UA property or a GA4 account and want to use it, you will need to set up an entirely new property via GA4.

This process will entail the following specific steps:

  1. Create or open an Analytics account.
  2. Set up a new property by going into Admin > Create > Property.
  3. Enter the property’s information, including the name of the property, industry, size, and other pertinent details.
  4. Set up data collection for your app or website via GA4.

 

Use GA4 the Right Way With the Help of Kore Media

 

Businessman presenting data analytics to the team showing laptop, portfolio, mobile devices

 

Want to ensure you get the most from GA4 when setting it up for a new or existing website or app? The experts here at Kore Media can help. We can provide you with a full range of digital marketing solutions based on your needs, with the ability to measure the results of every campaign using GA4 analytics and reporting.

To drive real success with the help of GA4 measurements, we can develop holistic solutions using SEO, paid media, social media marketing, and effective web hosting and maintenance, among other services.

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you with GA4 and much more.