What’s new in GA4

GA4 is the very latest update for Google Analytics and replaces the Universal Analytics tool. Over the next few months, the old product will be phased out and web admins are going to have to get used to the new way of working. 

Let’s see what’s changed in this latest revamp.

Engagement rate replacing bounce rate

Bounce rates are a thing of the past as of now! You won’t find them in GA4 but instead, you’ll find 3 metrics take their place; Engagement Rate, Engaged Sessions and Engagement Time. The new data provides short-term visitor info to give a website owner the opportunity to identify more conversion opportunities. As long as they’re there for 10 seconds minimum, you can now grab valuable data on the visitor.

The thought behind the change is to let site owners see the positive effects of how customers engage with a site or app rather than simply telling you that they left. This will encourage them to add more of the things that work and make the whole experience better for the visitor.

Customisable reports 

Universal Analytics had a Customization option where reports could be generated. This is now changing thanks to GA4 analytics reporting software. The Analysis Hub turned into Explorations and this is what we’re going to be working with from now on.

GA4 Explorations allow a site owner to dig down much deeper into specific data. The results can be presented in 3 different ways to aid in the understanding of each metric further. These are Explorer, Flat Table and Map Overlay.

Explorations to build bespoke analysis

The analysis offered by Explorations is incredibly detailed and unlike anything that Universal Analytics has offered previously. It’s arguably the most important addition to the new suite of tools and is proving to be a real game changer.

Explorations allow for ad hoc queries, technique switching, segment and audience creation and segment filters. Getting to the data that matters most to your site is now much faster and more insightful.

Machine learning for insights

Machine learning seemed like a distant dream for web admins not that long ago. But now we’re standing on the edge of something quite special thanks to GA4. As analysis is performed across millions of websites, Google is able to create predictions based on this data.

With amazing accuracy, GA4 can take this info and model customer behaviour based on previous experiences. This helps for future planning by knowing which customers are likely to convert on your site or app in a set timeframe as well as predicted revenues from this activity.

Conversions not goals all tracked via events

Universal Analytics set up goals to measure conversions on a site but GA4 has turned this on its head. By removing the distinction between goals and eCommerce we can now simply measure all conversions through events. 

The site owner gets to decide what events are classed as valuable events for their business rather than the rigid goals as before. As a user interacts with a site or app, these events are triggered and conversions are logged accordingly.

Summary

GA4 may only appear to be an update to the old Universal Analytics. But the reality is that this data reporting beast is a far cry from what once was. Learning to embrace this change is not only important but could mean the difference between success and failure in the eCommerce niche.