The upgrade from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) involves changes to the tracking and reporting mechanisms, which can affect the metrics available in the new platform. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers several benefits over Universal Analytics (UA). This article will describe some of those improvements.
What happens to E-commerce tracking in GA4?
Most schemas are forward-compatible and google will translate your UA events to GA4 web + app custom events. It is advisable to keep both versions of analytics active and running, than to update your current setup to add GA4 specific data layer and schemas along with current schemas. This way it won't break your UA and the GA4 will also have its required schemas.
What to do when migrating from UA to GA4?
Google will automatically translate GA4 events that are sent to a UA property and vice versa, however not all events can be translated so it is important to review for trade-offs. Events that are not automatically set up when using GA4 setup assistant tool is here.
More info at Event compatibility reference.
What enhancements does GA4 provide for privacy ?
GA4 has better privacy control options
Built-in IP anonymization
Does not log IP addresses
Allows ability to disable google signals data on per region basis
Collects and processes measurement data from EU users via domains and servers based in the EU. It also drops any sensitive data that it collects from EU users before logging it on those servers
What enhancements does GA4 provide for tracking?
UA does not allow creating conversions that satisfy multiple conditions e.g. a shopper that visited a website via a blog spent some time watching video and then made a purchase above a certain value.
To solve this problem GA4 has audiences with one or more to track the above. (set up an audience that visits the website via blog and watched ‘x’ minutes of the video)
- GA4 also provides an audience trigger that logs an event when a user becomes a member of it.
- GA4 user tracking is more aligned with current browsing behaviour e.g users can have multiple tabs open, stray away from a website, only to come back to it later and perform an interaction.
- GA4 focuses more on user journey and events triggered by them, with data streams these can be measured across platforms to give a more holistic view. (Read more here)
Site Search tracking - any changes required to set it up?
GA4 automatically tracks site searches (in most cases) once you have enabled enhanced measurement tracking in the GA4 property
Are there cases when the above site search may not work?
Yes, there can be, when the Site search feature is installed on the website but the search term does not appear in the query parameter then Google tag manager (GTM) has to be used to set up site search tracking on the website.
How does site search tracking work in GA4?
By default, GA4 fires the ‘view_search_results’ event when a user inputs a query and clicks on the search button on the website. As the event gets fired on the website, Google sends some default parameters like search_term, page_location, and source. Note that these are automatically collected events and do not require additional set up by you. View automatically collected events here.
What is GA4 audience?
In simple terms an audience is a group of users that you want to monitor based on any combination of interactions in a given timeframe. The audience allows you to segment the users based on events, dimensions and metrics important to a business.
Mobile audience : users who visited the website on a mobile device
Purchasers : users who make a purchase.
GA4 evaluates if a user belongs to an audience group based on the criteria that is set up, if a user qualifies they are added. If they no longer meet a criteria they are also automatically removed. A user that satisfies the conditions of multiple audience groups will be included in all of them (Read more here)