Google Analytics 4 : Top 20 Exciting New Features

If you have heard the term Google Analytics 4 or GA4 and are somewhat familiar with Google Analytics, then this short blog post is for you. The intent of this post is to highlight a few things about Google Analytics 4 without going into the details. As GA4 improves, new items will be added to this post and updated versions will be released.

Top 20 highlights of the Google Analytics 4

  1. It is the latest free version of Google Analytics.
  2. It is widely called GA4. No, the previous version is not called GA3, the previous version is called Universal Analytics.
  3. The upgrade process from Universal Analytics to GA4 is not really an upgrade, it just creates a new GA4 property.
  4. GA4 does not have a concept of “Views” and you can even run along with Universal Analytics.
  5. You cannot move your data from Universal Analytics to GA4 and the data mode of GA4 is completely different from the old version.
  6. In this new model, almost everything in GA4 is either tied to events or users.
  7. Events are actions that happen on your site with or without user interaction. e.g., session start, page scroll, etc.
  8. Events in GA4 can have 35 parameters unlike Universal Analytics, which only had 3.
  9. Google Analytics 4 can capture 6 events by default, these are called Enhanced Measurement.
  10. Enhanced Measurement events are Pageview, Scroll, Outbound link, Downloads, On-Site search, and YouTube video engagement.
  11. GA4 also provides a list of recommended events by verticals so you do not have a figure out what to capture.
  12. If Recommended events and enhanced events do not meet your needs, you can create your own custom events and reports with third-party Data Platforms such as Dashthis.
  13. In GA4 you can configure events based on pages, right within the GA admin interface.
  14. GA4 has a metric called Engagement sessions instead of “Bounce Rate” though it is not the opposite of “Bounce Rate”.
  15. An engaged Session is a session that stayed on the site/app for 10 seconds or more or had a conversion event or views two pages or screens.
  16. GA4 has a built-in debugger that allows you to debug tracking and activity on your site and app
  17. Exploration has many exploration techniques. These e-commerce techniques are, Freeform, Funnel Exploration, Path exploration, Segment overlap, User Explorer, Cohort Exploration, and User lifetime.
  18. In GA you can drill down see activity for each individual user using User Explorer in Exploration.
  19. In addition to the above Exploration techniques, GA4 also has various templates to explore data for several business use cases and verticals.
  20. GA4 has direct integration with BigQuery & you can send real-time data from GA4 to BigQuery.

Conclusion:

Google Analytics 4 is now rolled out. Upgrade from UA to GA 4 is usually means that you lose the previous version and just get the new functionality, right? Well, that is not the case with the Google Analytics upgrade to Google Analytics 4. Upgrade in this case means that you will get a new Google Analytics property that will take some basic settings from your current Google Analytics property and use those to set up a new Google Analytics 4 property.

So, there is no need to worry about losing your existing property. After the upgrade process is complete, you will have two properties collecting data for your website. This gives you an opportunity to play with the new version without losing your existing setup and functionality.

If you are a data-driven marketer, then I hope the above 20 facts about Google Analytics version 4 are interesting findings for you! Let me what do you think? Anything new spotted on GA4? Let me know in the comment box below.