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GA4 vs Universal Analytics: 7 Essential Differences for Marketers

Last updated: Jun 05, 2024

7 Points About GA4 vs Universal Analytics

As you already know, Google has released the latest version of Google Analytics, which is Google Analytics 4, otherwise known as GA4. So, what are the differences between GA4 vs Universal Analytics? You can find out in the following explanation.

1. Interface

The first difference between GA4 vs Universal Analytics lies in the interface. In the reporting interface section, you will see menus for reporting and more complex data metrics. However, you don't need to worry because this interface has been adapted to user needs so that it's easier to track things that are happening on the website.

2. BigQuery

In Google Analytics 4, you can access raw data and then run SQL queries. This is because the latest version of Google Analytics provides a BigQuery connection to its users for free. The BigQuery feature itself can help you analyze data in more detail to find out user activity on your website. 

3. Event Tracking Automation

Google Analytics 4 has an enhanced measurement feature that functions to perform automatic tracking of different events, such as exit tracking, scroll tracking, site search tracking, and video tracking. This feature is only available in GA4, which was not available in previous versions of the analytic tool.

For those of you who use the website for business purposes, this feature can make it easier for you to carry out a thorough tracking process across all marketing channels.

4. Measurement Models

Google Analytics 4 has a more detailed and accurate measurement model than Universal Analytics. This is because GA4 has a measurement model based on parameters and events, which makes it even more detailed.

If you track a website page, GA4 will provide user information, including the location and title of the page accessed.

5. Engagement Metrics

Google Analytics 4 has more accurate engagement metrics than Universal Analytics. There's a new set of metrics you can discover as you work with GA4, including:

The existence of these new metrics can improve your website's SEO strategy.

6. User and Event Data Retention

Universal Analytics does not have a user and event data retention feature like that of Google Analytics 4. This feature can be used to store specific data such as user cookies, user identifiers, and advertising identifiers.

You can use GA4 if you want to have a more detailed and complete user-specific data backup compared to Universal Analytics.

7. View and Data Streams Up

The last thing to note about GA4 vs Universal Analytics is the views and data stream comparisons. Google Analytics 4 no longer provides additional display options like those in Universal Analytics. In Google Analytics 4, you can still create data streams for applications or websites, but it's not as easy as in previous versions of Google Analytics.

You may still need some time to adapt to the latest version of Google Analytics. However, the latest features in GA4 can streamline your work much better compared to its previous versions.

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