Hello to Google Analytics 4

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Today, Google announced that App+Web is being rebranded to Google Analytics 4. This sets the stage for Google to push GA4 more mainstream. Here’s how:

  1. Google Analytics 4 is now the main property type in Google Analytics. If you are creating a new property in your account, by default, it will be a GA4 property. You’ll still have the option to create a Universal Analytics property if needed though.
  2. Google Analytics 4 is the future. We don’t have any timelines yet, and based on how the GA team phased out Classic Analytics (when they moved to Universal Analytics) over several years, there is still time, but GA4 is not only the new default, but also the place where new features and development are focused.
  3. There are a lot of exciting new features rolling out this week, more on that below.

For an overview of what and why, check out this video on Getting Started with Google Analytics 4 Properties:

New features recently launched:

Ecommerce reporting: I wrote an extensive blog post on this several weeks ago, but it’s one of the exciting new features prominently featured in GA4. Also, the Google Analytics team just published a new Ecommerce Migration Guide to help you move or dual tag from Universal Analytics to GA4. Check it out here.

Data Studio connector: Again, I wrote about this one a few weeks ago. It’s great to finally have a native connector to GA4 in Data Studio. Note that parameter reporting is not yet available, but hopefully we’ll see some additional releases here soon to make this even more useful.

New features launching now (and over the next few weeks):

New Reporting & Navigation: This is a huge improvement to GA4 and makes reporting look and feel a bit more like what we as Google Analytics users have come to know and love. You can also check out this Youtube video for a walkthrough of the new UI.

Event Editing & Synthesis: This is a really cool new feature that allows you to create new events from data already collected directly within the UI, adding a ton of flexibility to GA4 and helping to streamline implementation and reporting for businesses.

Cross-Domain Measurement: Long awaited to hit GA4! And, you’ll be able to set this up within the GA UI, which makes it even easier than setting this up in Universal Analytics.

Measurement Protocol : This feature has been highly requested since App+Web launched more than a year ago, so it’s exciting to finally see it coming in GA4.

Migration tools: There is a new setup wizard that allows you to link an existing Universal Analytics property to either a new or existing GA4 property, depending on what you select. If you choose to create a new property, the wizard will create the GA4 property and use many of the settings you have in UA to get you started. If you are currently tagged with gtag.js for your Universal Analytics property, the wizard will also use a feature called Connected Site Tags (CST) to enable your gtag.js code to work for your GA4 property, so you don’t need to retag to start collecting data. Pretty cool! Check out this series of videos to walk you through the setup wizard.

There is so much more to dig into about what is now available in Google Analytics 4, and I’ll be doing following up blog posts over the next couple of weeks diving into these new features in more detail, so stay tuned!

If you want to learn even more about Google Analytics 4, sign up for the KS Digital newsletter to stay up to date on KS Digital Academy’s new course offerings, I’ll be launching a course specifically on Google Analytics 4 early next year.

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