It’s time to say goodbye to UA and hello to GA4!
From July 1st, 2023, Universal Analytics has stopped processing data, and Google Analytics 4 is now the default platform.
To help users understand and utilize this new web property, we have created many comprehensive resources.
They cover everything from the basics of GA4 to the nuances of configuring and setting it up for data tracking and analytics:
Nonetheless, GA4 has a different data model and interface which may confuse users at first.
If you’ve just begun your GA4 journey, it’s natural to have a lot of questions regarding the transition.
To help you with these questions, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the most commonly asked questions about GA4, along with their answers.
Read through them to understand and utilize Google Analytics 4 for rich insight and business growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About GA4
Question 1: How is Google Analytics 4 different from Universal Analytics?
Answer: GA4 is the new and improved version of Google’s web analytics platform and comes with several different features and capabilities. These include:
- Tracking Methodology: In Universal Analytics, a session is the foundation of reporting, which is basically user interactions in a given timeframe. GA4, on the other hand, uses an event-based data model where all hits are tracked as events. This means that besides session data, you get additional insights like button clicks, purchase value, and so on.
- Cross-Domain Tracking: Universal Analytics only tracks website data. Users have to employ Google Analytics for Firebase to measure mobile app activity separately. In contrast, GA4 enables you to create separate properties for a website and mobile app to track user behavior across multiple domains.
- Data Modeling: Universal Analytics relies on predefined data models along with a limited amount of automation for data analysis. GA4 uses machine learning to analyze data and provide predictive insight into user behavior. This allows for more dynamic and flexible analysis, enabling users to make informed decisions.
Learn more about the differences between UA and GA4, here.
Question 2: How do I set up GA4 on my website?
Answer: Setting up GA4 on your website is similar to setting up Universal Analytics. You’ll need to create a GA4 property in your Google Analytics account and add the tracking code to your website. You’ll also need to set up custom dimensions or metrics that you want to track.
Here’s a detailed guide to adding a GA4 property to your analytics account.
Question 3: Can I use GA4 and Universal Analytics together?
Answer: Yes, you can run GA4 and Universal Analytics in parallel by creating a separate property for each version. By using dual tagging, you can build a historical record in GA4 while using Universal Analytics. However, since UA will stop gathering data after June 2023, it is recommended that you collect all your data in GA4 so as to not miss out on valuable insights.
Learn how you can send events to both your UA and GA4 properties, here.
Question 4: Is GA4 better than Universal Analytics?
Answer: While GA4 may seem a tad difficult to use at first, it is the future of Google Analytics. Both UA and GA4 have their strengths, but GA4 offers several improvements over its predecessor. These include better cross-platform tracking, an event-based measurement model, and enhanced privacy controls. Furthermore, Google has been introducing improvements to GA4 since its launch to make the platform even more effective.
Check out the new enhancements made to GA4 in these release notes.
Question 5: Do I need Google Tag Manager (GTM) to set up GA4?
Answer: Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) can make setting up GA4 seamless, but it is not a requirement. Alternatively, you can implement the GA4 tracking code on your website or app but it would require constant updates. Therefore, the recommended approach is to use GTM to simplify the setup and speed up the deployment.
Here’s how to configure GA4 tags in GTM.
Question 6: What tools are available in GA4 for analysis?
Answer: GA4 comes with a variety of tools to help you analyze data and get insights. Some of these include:
- Exploration: Perform ad hoc data analysis. Using its flexible interface, you can explore various dimensions, metrics, segments, and filters to analyze and understand user behavior.
- Analysis Hub: Get access to pre-built analysis templates for deeper insights. The templates help you answer specific questions and perform advanced analysis without the need for setup.
- Funnel Analysis: Track and analyze user journeys through a defined sequence of steps. Identify where users drop off in the conversion process and optimize your marketing funnel to improve user flow.
- Path Analysis: Visualize and analyze common paths users take on your website or app. Understand the most popular ones, identify potential roadblocks, and optimize user flow for better engagement and conversions.
- User Lifetime Analysis: Examine user lifetime value. Track key metrics such as user retention, revenue generated per user, and engagement over time.
Learn about these GA4 analysis tools in-depth, here.
Question 7: How do I troubleshoot issues with GA4?
Answer: There are several steps you can take:
- Check Data Collection: Verify that the tracking code is implemented correctly on your website or app. You can use browser extensions or debugging tools to inspect network requests and confirm that data is being sent to GA4.
- Examine Data Reporting: Review reports in GA4 to identify anomalies or unexpected results. Look for patterns or inconsistencies by comparing data with other sources, such as server logs or other analytics platforms.
- Monitor Data Quality: Keep an eye out for sudden drops or spikes in data, unusual patterns, or other inconsistencies that indicate data collection issues.
- Consult Google Analytics Help Center and Community: Refer to Google Analytics Help Center. It has a ton of resources to assist you in resolving common issues. Additionally, you can engage with Google Analytics community forums or support channels to seek advice and assistance from other users or Google experts.
Check out the Google Analytics Help Community, here.
Question 8: What are the limitations of GA4?
Answer: While Google Analytics 4 is a next-gen web analytics platform, it has certain limitations that you should be aware of.
- Data Continuity With Universal Analytics: GA4 uses a different data model and reporting interface than Universal Analytics. It doesn’t have seamless compatibility with UA. As a result, historical data in UA cannot be migrated directly to GA4.
- Limited Third-Party Integrations: GA4 has fewer third-party integrations compared to Universal Analytics. However, you can use Google Tag Manager or custom implementation to bridge this gap in some cases.
- Learning Curve: Since GA4 has a new data model and user interface, there could be a learning curve for users. It may require additional effort to become proficient in interpreting and using new features and reports.
- Limited Historical Data Analysis: Historical data prior to its implementation date is not available in GA4. This may affect long-term trend analysis and comparisons with past records.
Learn how to import user data in GA4, here.
Question 9: What is the best way to backup your UA data before moving to GA4?
Answer: Before migrating to GA4, it’s essential to make a copy of your historical data in Universal Analytics. Here are some ways to do it:
- Manual Export: Use data export in Universal Analytics to extract historical data. This can include reports, raw data, or any other relevant data at various levels, such as view, property, or account level.
- API Access: Utilize the Google Analytics Reporting or Management API to programmatically access and retrieve UA data. This can be useful if you need to retrieve large amounts of data or automate the backup process.
- Third-Party Solutions: Leverage data warehousing solutions like BigQuery, Snowflake, and Amazon Redshift to back up UA data. By setting up a data pipeline, you can export data from Google Analytics to a database file.
Explore BigQuery export for analytics, here.
Have a GA4 Question Left?
As you start exploring GA4, you will have questions. And as promised, we are here to guide you on your GA4 journey. If you have any specific questions that you want answered, please feel free to reach out to us. Our team will be happy to answer them and provide you with any assistance you may need.
How We Can Help
At Grazitti, the digital marketing team has years of experience delivering innovative analytics solutions to businesses of all sizes. As a Google Premier Partner, we have exclusive access to products and insights to deliver the best support to customers.
Our Google Analytics certified experts can help you with all kinds of implementation, integration, optimization, and enterprise analytics requirements to power your business with the right insight for success.
Unlock the Full Potential of Google Analytics 4! Talk to Us.
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