Google Analytics 4: Basic Settings and Differences

Google Analytics 4 is the next generation of Analytics properties direct heirs to the Web+App properties, launched in 2019. For simplicity, Web+App has been renamed Google Analytics 4 or GA4.

Its main objective is to change the way data is displayed in order to focus on users and to know in depth the user path from the first visit to the final conversion. The new Google Analytics is based on iArtificial intelligence, deep learning (deep learning), machine learning (machine learning), neural networks and data.

What improvements does GA4 offer?

Predictive analytics with artificial intelligenceIt allows us to see trends on our data automatically and new metrics based on predictions, such as the potential revenue of certain customers.

Tracking between our apps and websitesWe can measure the global data of both the web and our apps.

Automatic event measurementWe no longer have to implement code to measure most events.

BigQuery integration: Now we can link the tool for free.

New visual appearance: All reports and blocks have changed visually.

Differences in data collectionIn how the elements are defined and how they are called.

User privacy and data protection: New forms of analytics that do not require cookies. Includes options to help companies with data regulations.

New reportsGreater simplicity and organization to be more intuitive. New reports on the life cycle of users.

Multidomain measurement: We can now unify in a single flow the different domains to have a more complete picture of the user's journey.

Better tracking of the user's journey: Allows us to attribute conversions more accurately.

Improved integration with Google Ads-Audiences: It allows us a more flexible system of audience creation.

Integration with YoutubeConversions from both the app and the web.

Basic Configurations

New Accounts

Before knowing some settings that have changed in Google Analytics, we should know that all new accounts created will already be GA4, without the possibility of returning to the previous version. To create a new account, they provide a configuration wizard that will guide us through the process, we will find it in the Manage > Property section. We will simply have to generate a new code (the old UA), which now begins with G, and implement it on the web.

For Existing Accounts

We can upgrade to Google Analytics 4 from any property (data is not migrated). It is important to know that despite upgrading, the new version will coexist with the old one.

E-Commerce

It changes the e-commerce configuration, now when moving to GA4 if we have any module or plugin for measurement it will not work. The configuration will have to be done through code or through GTM.

How can we do this? By sending a series of custom events with different parameters so that the sales reports work correctly. Here we leave you the help of Google support and some examples of events depending on what we want to measure.

Let's look at some of them separately:

► Product impressions: Send an event view_item_list when a list of products is displayed to a user.

► Promotional impressions: Send an event select_promotion when a user interacts directly with a specific promotion.

► Interactions before purchase: Send an event. add_to_cart when a user adds an item to the cart.

► Shopping: Send an event purchase when a user completes the purchase process.

Hearings

Numerous options can be used predefined and create new customized audiences in just a few clicks, based on both interactions as in user attributes. To configure them we can now do it from the report panel.

Internal Traffic Filters

Disappear the filters and views that we knew although we can filter internal traffic or development/testing traffic. The option to exclude referrals and quick filters such as organic traffic and search terms are gone. Now we can configure it from property management > Data Settings.

Custom Definitions

The event parameters disappear and the Dimensions and Metrics return. We must register them in the "All events" panel if we want to see them in the reports.

Differences in Events, Predictive Audiences and Metrics

Events

While in Universal Analytics we had different types of events to measure interactions, now there is only the interaction type "event".

We will find four types of events:

Automatic events They will be automatically tracked by simply entering the Analytics tracking code (Scroll to 90%, clicks on links, purchases in apps, videos viewed...See all of them in the Google Ads support)

Enhanced measurement events: We will be able to measure hundreds of events automatically without the need to implement code. To do this we must enable in each flow the improved measurement (Manage > Property > Data Flows > Web > Enhanced Metering

Recommended events: They have predefined names and parameters and are recommended for specific business verticals. Their implementation provides maximum detail in reporting and allows us to benefit from the latest features and integrations when they become available. For them we will need to implement code.

Customized events: The ones we implement ourselves (also with code).

All Events" Panel

In this panel you will find both the All Events report and the Conversions report.

All events: It shows us all those that have been activated in the period of time we choose. If we click on one of them, a customized report will be opened, which we can also share through a link. In addition, from this panel we can make an event start to be counted as a conversion, activating the "mark as conversion" function, so it would go to the conversions report.

Conversions: We will be shown the events with conversion.

Analytics gives us 5 predefined events as conversions and we can enable up to 30 more per property. The following are the ones it already gives us:

  • First_open: Activated the first time a user starts an application for the first time.
  • In_app_purchase: When a user makes a purchase in an application.
  • App_store_subscription_convert: When a free subscription is converted to a paid subscription
  • App_store_subscription_renew: When the paid subscription renews
  • Purchase: When a user makes a purchase

Hearings Predictive

What Google does is to study based on its data the probability of a user's purchase or future behavior and lifetime value. It takes the last month's information and for each user it predicts how likely they are to come back and buy. At the moment it gives us the possibility to create two predictive metrics: revenue forecast and cancellation rate.

The following will appear in the audience creation tool:

By activating this option we can generate automatically generated predictive audiences if certain conditions are met in terms of data quality and volume.

Metrics Name Change

As if the changes were not enough, we also have some slight modifications when naming some metrics. Here is a screenshot:

Some other special features

  • We will not be able to define exclusions of reference sites... Will it be included?
  • Differences in the number of users awarded to the Directo channel.
  • We will also not be able to configure the Channel Groupingby default. However, it will separate organic social traffic from paid social traffic.
  • We depend almost entirely on GTM or code implementation to collect many of the metrics that Google Analytics now brings by default. It is a event-driven data model which focuses on the non-reliance on cookies in the short term.
  • Do you miss the views? You are not the only person...
  • Nor will you find the bounce rateGA4 will bring engagement-style participation metrics to Social Networks.
  • Strong point in the Machine Learningin addition to the analysis center and its enhanced reporting.

All in all, GA4 comes with many new advantages, although we miss certain features that have not yet been released. Tell us what you think about the new update. What do you think is the best change? Do you prefer the new visual aspect?

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