Why Is GA4 Suddenly So Important?
You’ve probably seen a fair bit of chatter about Google Analytics 4 recently, so let’s break down why everyone’s talking about it, and how it affects just about everyone (even you!).
First of all, Google Analytics 4 (or GA4, for short), is the latest iteration of the ubiquitous Google Analytics tool. It’s been around for a couple of years now, having originally been released in a beta form under the name “App + Web” back in 2020. Now, it’s all grown up, and ready to take over from the current version, Google Analytics Universal. Google has just announced that Universal Analytics will stop processing data on July 1, 2023, which means everyone using Google Analytics for their website will have to be switched to GA4 by then.
The good news is, GA4 is a big step forward for the property! It adds a lot of features which were previously only available to GA360 customers(paid version), and modernizes the service by moving to an event-driven model. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Easier Mobile Integration
When GA4 was first announced, it was called App + Web, and while the name has since changed, the reason it was called that is still present. GA4 integrates mobile analytics into the same interface you use to track your web analytics. Previously, this was done with a Firebase integration, and was highly technical. Now you can see the analytics from your app much more easily!
One of the major advantages of GA4 is event-driven analytics. Yay! Wait, what is that? Well, first let’s talk about what Universal Analytics has been doing. The current version of GA is based on different hit types like: pageviews, clicks, events, ecommerce, etc.
Not anymore! The new GA4 listens to all events a user performs on your site and sees everything as an event that you can categorize further. This includes pageviews, but also clicking links, buttons, completing forms, and so on. Because this is built in, it’s far easier to set up and manage. It also means that everything can be customized, even the meaning of a pageview.
Other New Features
GA4 offers a host of other new features that we won’t go into as much depth on here. These include temporarily removing users from your ad campaigns (if they’ve recently bought something, for example), new tools to track how long it takes users to complete a set of steps, free access to tools for large data sets (previously only available to GA360 customers), and built-in debugging.
What Are We Doing?
Now that you have a better understanding of what GA4 does, let’s talk about what DataTrue is doing to ease the transition. First of all, we’ve been working on some new features to better integrate our own systems into GA4. One of the most important of these is unbatching.
For a while now, mobile app tagging has worked by grouping multiple tags into a single network request and sending them all off together to save battery power. GA4’s consolidation of web and mobile tagging means that this principle will now be applied to web analytics, as well. This simplifies the process from Google’s end, but it presents a problem for identifying individual tags and associating them with specific events. Good thing we have prepared for this, then! Here at DataTrue, we’ve reverse-engineered the batching process to allow our tests to “un-batch” the tags and identify them properly.
What Can We Do For You?
In addition to assuring you won’t have to worry about your DataTrue tests when transitioning to GA4, we’re also bringing our expertise to bear in other ways. Contact us to set up a call, we’re always happy to review your implementation and offer suggestions. Our expertise and years of experience will allow us to provide you with the insights you need to assure a successful migration to GA4.