2022 marked a significant shift in the digital analytics landscape. Google announced that Universal Analytics would stop processing hits in July 2023 (July 2024 for 360 customers), making the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) necessary for users worldwide. GA4, with its event-based data model, is a more advanced and flexible analytics platform than its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA). However, this transition brings about changes that impact the way we interpret metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, sessions, and more. In this blog post, we delve into understanding these impacts, helping you navigate through this transition seamlessly.
Redefining Sessions in GA4
In GA4, sessions are redefined. Unlike UA, which relies on hits to track sessions, GA4 uses an event-based model. This change enables tracking a wide range of user interactions, providing a more dynamic and flexible approach to monitoring user behavior across various devices and platforms.
Rethinking Bounce Rate
The bounce rate in GA4 is calculated based on sessions without events and no visits to other pages. This calculation differs from UA’s definition, where a bounce was a single-page session without any triggered interaction events. The redefinition in GA4 aims to provide a more accurate representation of user behavior.
Conversion Rate (CVR) Calculation
The Conversion Rate (CVR) in GA4 is also calculated differently from UA. However, it’s crucial to remember that despite these differences, GA4 is designed to offer detailed insights into user behavior and engagement, thereby aiding data-driven marketing strategies.
Using Looker Studio with GA4
Yes, Looker Studio can still be used with GA4 for creating future dashboards. However, it’s important to note that you will need to manually migrate your dashboards from UA to GA4 syntax as this migration is not automatic.
Using DDA for In-flight Campaign Optimizations
DDA, within Google’s network, can indeed assist in making in-flight campaign optimizations. By providing insights into the performance of various touchpoints and channels, DDA enables you to adjust your campaign strategies and allocate resources to the most effective channels, ultimately improving campaign performance.
While the DDA revenue numbers may not be directly available in Search Ads 360 (SA360) and Campaign Manager 360 (CM360), you can typically import GA4 conversion data, including DDA-based conversions, into these platforms. This ability allows you to analyze and optimize your campaigns using the DDA model.
Year-on-Year Analytics Comparison
Transitioning to GA4 can impact year-on-year analytics comparisons due to changes in data collection and reporting. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully review metrics and ensure like-for-like data comparisons during this transition.
The move from UA to GA4 represents a significant change requiring adjustments in your analytics reporting and comparison processes. While some metrics may be affected, the overall aim of GA4 is to provide comprehensive insights into user behavior, empowering you to make informed decisions for your business. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying adaptable and informed is the key to success.