If you’re like most marketers, analytics tools are a key part of your workflow. Any changes in their structure can throw off your day-to-day functions, especially if the change is significant. When Google announces a major upgrade, such as GA4, the transition can be tricky to navigate. In this article, CallRail breaks down the main differences between GA4 and its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA), so you can make a smooth transition without any disruptions to your marketing processes.
A major difference between UA and GA4 is the data model. UA uses a session-based model, meaning all user actions are grouped together within a single timeframe. Switching from universal analytics to GA4 on the other hand uses an event-based model, allowing more flexibility with how information is sent into Google Analytics, including additional parameters like page title, value for purchase and user location.
GA4 also supports unified application and web tracking. This feature allows you to associate events across multiple platforms and devices using a single Google Analytics User ID, improving customer journey analysis, conversion attribution and more.
Finally, GA4 offers a more flexible event tracking system that allows you to track more custom events and improve your retargeting strategies. Previously, you could only add basic events like clicks and page views, but with GA4 you can also track things like file downloads and video engagement, as well as create advanced events that you can track yourself. This gives you more control over how you track your users, allowing you to focus on what matters most to your business.