At Geek Town USA, we know that measuring the performance of your website is crucial to the success of your business. Google Analytics is, and has been, the go-to tool used by industry professionals across the globe, when it comes to measuring and reporting your website data.
Google recently released a new version of its analytics platform called Google Analytics 4 (G4), which has some significant differences from the previous version, Universal Analytics (UA). Starting July 1 of this year, Universal Analytics will stop recording and processing data and the upgraded version of Google Analytics, commonly called “G4,” will become the new standard. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between some of the basic metrics you’re used to in UA, and the new updates brought by G4.
Sessions vs. User Engagement
In UA, the primary metric used to measure user behavior is the session. A session is defined as a single visit to your website within a specified timeframe. For example, if a user visits your site twice in one day, those visits would be counted as two separate sessions.
In contrast, G4 focuses on user engagement, rather than sessions. It tracks how users interact with your site and measures through a metric called engagement sessions. These sessions are based on user activity, and the platform tracks how users engage with your website over time.
Pageviews vs. Events
Pageviews are a common metric used in UA to measure the number of times a page on your website has been viewed. It’s a simple metric that can give you an idea of the popularity of your content and the overall traffic to your site.
G4, on the other hand, uses events as its primary metric. Events are actions that users take on your website, such as clicking on a link, downloading a file, or watching a video. G4 tracks these events to give you a better idea of how users are interacting with your site.
Goals vs. Conversions
In UA, goals are a way to track specific user interactions on your website, such as completing a form or making a purchase. Goals help you measure how well your website is performing and whether you’re meeting your business objectives.
Conversions replace goals as the primary metric for tracking user behavior in the new G4. Conversions are based on user actions that lead to specific outcomes, such as making a purchase, completing a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
Audiences vs. Segments
In UA, audiences are used to group users based on specific characteristics, such as their behavior on your website, demographic information, or location. This allows you to target specific groups of users with customized marketing messages.
Audiences are still available, in G4, but they’re called segments. Segments allow you to group users based on specific criteria, such as users who have completed a specific action on your website, or users who have spent a certain amount of time on your site.
Google Analytics 4 represents a shift towards a more user-centric approach to analytics. Instead of focusing solely on sessions and pageviews, G4 tracks user engagement and actions to provide a more holistic view of user behavior on your website.
While the new metrics may take some getting used to, they provide valuable insights into how users are interacting with your site and can help you make informed decisions about your digital marketing strategy. If you have any questions or need help navigating the new platform, feel free to reach out to our team for assistance.