Google Analytics 4 (GA4): What you need to know

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) What you need to know

Recently updated on November 11th, 2022 at 09:08 am

In October 2020, Google unveiled Google Analytics 4 (GA4), an updated version of their Universal Analytics platform. Designed in response to rising concerns about public data collection, GA4 addresses major changes around cookie consents and user tracking. Its aim is to be a more transparent, less invasive platform while continuing to provide business owners with accurate data analytics.

As a business tool, GA4 is a promising product. It brings a host of new and updated features, all of which show great potential in unlocking future growth. So, why don’t we jump in and see what kind of benefits it can offer?

What is Google Analytics (GA)?

First things first, let’s break down what GA is – a digital platform that helps businesses collect, monitor, and analyse data from websites and apps. In a nutshell, GA has two basic functions:

Page Tracking

GA uses tracking codes to collect information from every visitor that lands on your page. It gathers information about how users interact with your content, including: where they’re coming from, what links they’re clicking, and which browser they use.

Insights & Reporting

GA connects the dots for you. It turns collected information into meaningful reports and analyses. These offer valuable insights into how your business is performing. Using real, live-updated data, you get simple, customisable dashboards that help guide your strategic decisions.

The best part about GA, though, is how fast and convenient it is. For many business owners, it cuts the time spent on market research and reporting by half. That’s a lot of time to get back to focus on planning and operations!

Why you need to know about the change

It was announced that Google Universal Analytics (UA) will no longer be processing data as of July 1, 2023. Because of new privacy protection laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), UA will be unable to provide accurate data. Instead, GA4 will become the default analytics platform for all Google properties.

With this in mind, it’s best to get ahead of the change and make the switch early. Establishing a strong foundation in GA4 now, before your competitors are forced to migrate over, will give you a huge advantage in the long run.

How it can help your business

Understanding your customer is key to good marketing. With GA4, you get some of the most comprehensive analytical tools available to learn about your audience. And, it’s all free!

When combined, the information that Google captures gives detailed insights into the customer journey. Every user interaction can be explored, with results show in full reports or auto-generated snapshots.

An example of automatically generated insights in GA4

Sourced from Google’s GA4 Help Centre

What you end up with are user-friendly dashboards that let you drill down into what really works. That way you can make quick, informed decisions to ensure you’re getting the best return on investment (ROI) in your marketing efforts.

Measuring the Metrics that matter

Knowing which metrics to measure is what makes your dashboards effective. With the right reporting, you’ll be able to see real results sooner.

That said, the list of metrics in GA4 is long. Exploring your options can be a bit overwhelming at first. But, to get you prepared, we’ve broken down 14 of the most useful customer metrics into four main applications:


Pinpoint when and where your leads are converting


  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Goal and event conversions


Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns


  • Bounce rate
  • Exit rate
  • Pages per session
  • Average session duration
  • Average time on page


Track the browsing behaviour of quality leads


  • Sessions
  • Returning visitor
  • Page views


Uncover new audience insights & opportunities


  • Users
  • Entrances
  • New vs returning page sessions

New Features

For data collection, GA4 is the future of digital marketing. It comes with several new features that change how things are done. Here are some of the highlights:

Insights powered by Artificial Intelligence

View a range of forecasts and insights to anticipate consumer behaviour.

Deeper audience integration

Reduce unnecessary ad spending with a more accurate, targeted audience list.

Accuracy through Machine Learning

Plug data gaps and normalise results for the real world with Machine Learning.

Make sure your business is ready for GA4

With GA4 soon to be the default analytics tool, you’ll need to start preparing. Thankfully, the opportunity to get hands-on with this new platform is already here! If you start now, you’ll have a good transition period. That way, you can experiment with these new tools and see what optimisations you can implement.

Of course, there are always risks when migrating to a new platform. In this case, however, being left behind is a bigger threat. Spark understands the challenges your business might face in getting ready, which is why we are always available to discuss the technical details. Our team works hand-in-hand to deliver end-to-end digital marketing services. We promise you’ll know all about what GA4 can do for your business after giving us a call!

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