What is the difference between GA and GA4? Understand the five major upgrade advantages of the new version of Google Analytics at once

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Google Analytics (GA) is a website analysis tool used by 95% of marketers around the world. The general version of GA that everyone is accustomed to will stop collecting data from June 30, 2023, and close the background before the end of the year. The new version of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) took over.

Although the transition between old and new will inevitably make marketers exhausted and nervous, but the new version of GA4 is fully upgraded and its functions are greatly improved, which is good or bad for marketers. In this article, we sorted out the five major differences between GA vs GA4, and now let’s take a look at the power of GA4 with TenMax!

1. WEB/APP cross-platform information is collected at one time, and user behavior is grasped at once

E-commerce brands and news media operate their own websites and APPs at the same time. How can they collect all the information on both sides at one time? In the past, the general version of GA focused on collecting website data, and marketers needed to add an additional Firebase account to view APP data; now, the new version of GA4 can be connected to the Firebase SDK of a specific app in the “Data Streaming” setting to help marketers directly View application data in GA4, no longer need to switch between double pages and see dizziness.

In the GA4 data stream, the Firebase SDK of the application program APP can be added

2. Identify Unique Users across devices without wasting budget

Not only cross-platform collection, GA4 can also achieve cross-device tracking. Third-party cookies will be retired in 2024, causing many people a headache, fearing that they will lose the artifact of cross-site tracking; the new version of GA4 uses “User-ID” and “Google Signal” (Google Signal) to deal with it, and User-ID is used for tracking There are logged-in users, and after the Google signal is turned on, even non-logged-in users can track and deliver remarketing ads across devices.

Turn on Google signal for cross-device tracking

Universal GA uses cookie tracking. When the same user switches devices or browsers, it is easy to be identified as a different user, resulting in double counting, population expansion, etc., which affects the interpretation and measurement of results; GA4 uses User-ID with Google Signals, across devices and browsers, compare and identify a single user, greatly reducing the lost behavior history due to switching, and the data can better reflect the consumer’s usage situation and complete conversion path, which is conducive to subsequent investment and application, and optimizes budget Efficiency and effectiveness attribution.

3. Newly added preset event & forecast function, making it easier to analyze and apply

In the new version of GA4, the tracking benchmark is changed from “session” to “event” (Event), so as to more accurately grasp real and high-value user behavior. And in the past, in the general GA, there was no default tracking event. If you want to collect behaviors such as “how many articles are scrolled by readers” and “what products are customers searching on the site”, all of them must enter Google Tag Manager (GTM) Set manually.

The new version of GA4 is different! Enhanced event evaluation comes with seven types of events, including page view, scroll, and view search results. As long as GA4 is installed, the collection will start immediately!

In addition to more detailed analysis, the GA4 application has also been upgraded. The system uses machine learning technology to analyze and summarize every stored data to assist brand audience targeting. When the system collects the specified amount of data, you can view the prediction suggestions provided by the system on the “Settings” > “Target Object” page. Marketers no longer need to think hard behind closed doors, but can directly target “forecasting the future” “Potential buyers within 7 days” to place advertisements; more than that, GA4 can be connected with Google Ads to directly select the aforementioned audiences in the advertisement setting link, which greatly saves setting time.

4. Customized industry reports to gain practical insights with one finger

“I understand all these reasons, but I still won’t catch the report…”

How to convert the obtained data into practical insights and actually help marketing planning? GA4 helps you figure it out! The “Exploration” page provides customized report templates to meet the different needs of various industries and business models; choose and use as you like, and quickly obtain practical insights.

For example, when a marketer wants to analyze the customer’s usage history, sort different events, check the churn rate between stages, or compare the effectiveness of transfer orders in different consumption paths, they can use the “Path Exploration” report to observe ; And when marketers want to analyze the traffic quality of different source media and find out the source channel with the highest gold content, they can use the “User Life Cycle” report.

In addition to the above two scenario cases, in GA4, you can also generate the most suitable reports for more analysis corners in the “Exploration” on the main control board; you can also set custom indicators and report presentation methods for industry attributes. Let GA4 become the most powerful assistant in strategic planning.

5. Connect to BigQuery for free, and place huge data somewhere

In the cookie-free era, first-party data is the key! The biggest highlight of GA4’s first-party data application is that it can be connected to BigQuery for free to permanently store data. BigQuery is Google’s cloud business intelligence (BI) system. It not only provides cloud data storage, but also supports large-scale data calculation and analysis. It is known in the industry as “the most powerful data analysis tool on the surface” in the era of big data.

In the past, you had to spend NT$4.5 million a year to upgrade GA360 to connect to BigQuery; now, GA4 is open for free connection and provides sufficient quota! I am not afraid that you will use it, but I am afraid that you will not know how to use it. GA4 collects data, BigQuery efficiently compares and identifies single users, and conducts audience labeling and grouping to help marketers fully understand consumers’ appearance and truly have data application capabilities; BigQuery is also equipped with a variety of AI computing models, connected in series with tools such as Google Ads Complete the first-party data application. Embrace data, acquire customers and upgrade, only with one finger!

The general GA exit is imminent, and it is imperative to convert and install GA4! After reading the above five GA4 upgrade advantages, does it give you more confidence in the new version of GA? Complete the conversion in no time and enjoy the features mentioned above. TenMax also provides a professional team, providing multiple import solutions, on-demand services, and helping to bring out the synergy of GA4, including deductions, reports, and applications, all without worry.

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