Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is Google’s latest update to its popular analytics products. This update has major impacts on digital marketers who have come to rely on Google Analytics to understand website traffic and user experience, track digital campaigns, and make decisions. But for those who are unsure if they should make the switch to GA4 now or wait, this post will review what makes GA4 notable, and provide some guidance on what the considerations are for switching.
GA4 is an entirely new form of Google Analytics which makes “App + Web” configuration standard for all online properties. It’s better designed for those who have both an app and website and who want to seamlessly track and understand individual behavior across those platforms. One of the key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics is that in GA4, the foundational metric of reporting has changed from Pageviews within a Session to Events.
The decision to switch to Google Analytics 4 depends mainly on what type of web/app properties you have and want to track, among other considerations. It’s recommended to begin collecting data via the new technology so that when you are required to switch, your historical data is built out. Keep in mind that the analytics community as a whole expects there could be significant progress and updates to GA4 as time goes on.
Yes, you can use both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics simultaneously, and it’s recommended as the immediate option to set you up for a long-term successful transition. It’s a good idea to install both tracking codes to check out the differences and collect data in the new landscape.
On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics properties stopped, so it’s important to transition as soon as possible. For more information about running GA4 and Universal Analytics parallel, check out Google’s resources, and consider reaching out to an analytics expert to get advice specific to your individual situation.