What’s New In GA4
We know GA4 officially takes the reigns from Universal Analytics on 1st July 2023 or 1st October for 360 Universal Analytics. From 1st October 2023, no website hits will be processed, but Google has said everyone will have access to historical data for six months after this date.
If you’ve had a chance to play around with it, you’ll notice some differences between the two analytics platforms, such as missing metrics that we’ve got used to analysing and reporting on, and a different interface.
Missing analytics metrics include:
- Bounce rate
- Average time on site
- No-tag or data migration between platforms
- No last-click tracking, meaning you won’t be able to find out what the last touchpoint was for a user completing a conversion during their buyer journey – a valuable metric to exclude.
Metrics that have changed:
- Reduced customer channel groups
- Unable to create custom channel grouping
- Custom dimensions report segmentation has been reduced to 50
You’ll notice “engagement” type metrics, too, i.e., “engaged sessions” or “average engagement time per session”. GA4 will focus more on event-based metrics than session-based to measure user engagement more efficiently through digital marketing content.
The Latest GA4 Updates
There’s been a couple of recent updates in GA4, including enhanced measurement for form submissions and greater compatibility across UA (Universal Analytics) and GA4 eCommerce implementations.
Enhanced Measurement for Form Submissions
Recently, Google announced a new enhanced measurement option for form interactions and will report on data when the user first interacts with a form during a single session. This is great news, as marketers can further analyse form-based CTAs on a website, including when a new user starts a form submission to completing one.
Once the form interaction is enabled, you can collect specific form submission data for the following events:
- Form_start: first-time users interact with a form in a session
- Form_submit: when the user submits a form
If your business’s primary goal conversion is lead generation, Google’s new enhanced feature on GA4 could help you rethink your form submission process and create a more user-led conversion strategy.
If you have a web data stream created, this new enhanced feature should be automatically enabled, but it’s still worth checking.
More Support and Compatibility Across UA and GA4 eCommerce Implementations
Earlier this month, Google announced a simpler way to create eCommerce reports without changing any eCommerce implementation. From 5th October 2022, GA4 users can:
- Take full advantage of GA4 features with the ability to migrate and re-implement eCommerce to send GA4 eCommerce events (Recommended).
- Populate GA4 eCommerce events with their existing eCommerce implementation (New).
- Populate GA4 eCommerce events to their Universal Analytics property with eCommerce data and replace existing UA eCommerce implementation with GA4 eCommerce events (New).
Be sure to stay updated with Google’s updates!
We understand some of the frustrations with GA4, but there are also definite benefits. You can apply a new method of thinking and how you report back to clients on performance data. You can create new strategies based on the information GA4 will provide, allowing you to look at them from a new perspective.
We’re adapting to a new era of website data reporting and setting things up for the next generation who won’t remember life before GDPR and third-party cookies. To keep building the digital community, we must be ready to adapt to the changes and make them exciting.
If you haven’t yet familiarised yourself with GA4, we strongly recommend that you do. There are a lot of significant differences and changes in how we report on performance. Also, you must gather as much data as possible before the switchover in 2023. It gives you enough time to get used to the new interface, which data you want to report, and how you want the reports to be structured.