1. Help Center Home
  2. Platform Overview
  3. SEO Settings
  4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – What To Know

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – What To Know

This article provides information on Google’s newest analytic tracking, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and how you can migrate to this new version from their previous version, Google Universal Analytics (GA3).

Please note: CIMCloud is actively making changes to support Google’s new version of Google Analytics, such as modifications to support eCommerce tracking in GA4/GTM.  This article will be updated once support is available, with steps to configure your tools to capture this data in GA4.

When will support for Universal Analytics (GA3) end?

July 1, 2023 – Google stops processing universal properties in GA3

January 1, 2024 – Historical data in GA3 is inaccessible

What to know before Migrating to GA4

Migrating to GA4 involves more than switching the tracking code on your website.  It is recommended that GA4 tracking code is collected through Google Tag Manager (GTM).  This is because data is collected differently in GA4 since it is now event-based and requires additional setup within your new property to support, but not limited to, the following:

  • Pageview Trackview
  • Event Tracking
  • eCommerce Tracking
  • Inter-platform integration

It is highly recommended that you create a Google Tag Manager account (if you do not have one already) and linking your GA4 property within there.  We included links to third party resources to set this up below.

What are the major differences between GA3 and GA4?

Measurement Model

  • GA3 is based off sessions and pageviews
  • GA4 is based off events and parameters

Reporting Interface

Many of the features in the GA3 interface have been removed or relabeled.

Tracking IDs

GA3 tracking IDs will be replaced with GA4’s measurement ID.  Examples of each are below:

  • GA3: UA-XXXXXXX
  • GA4: G-XXXXXXX

Bounce rate and engagement rate

In GA4, Bounce rates found in GA3 has been removed and replaced with an Engagement rate, which is a measure of the time spent on a landing page.  There are three metrics within the engagement rate:

  • Engaged sessions
  • Engagement rate
  • Engaged sessions per user

Data Retention

GA3 allowed you to specify how long to retain data, with an option to never expire

GA4 gives you two options to retain historical data: two or fourteen months

Other Notables

In GA4, IP-Address anonymization is enabled and cannot be turned off

Historical data in GA3 does not transfer to GA4, and only new data once GA4 is implemented will be collected; however, you can export your GA3 data following these steps.

Google recommends connecting GA4 to your website through Google Tag Manager, which is outlined below.

Third Party Setup Resources to Configure GA4

There are a variety of tutorials that run through methods to configure GA4.  Please note that GA4 is a new product and configuration could change over time.  However, here are some third party references to setup your GA4 account:

  1. Create your Google Analytics 4 Property
  2. Link your GA4 Property to your website
  3. Setup Data Collection (Two Methods):
    1. Google Tag Manager (GTM) – Highly Recommended
      1. Confirm GTM is configured in your worker portal
        1. Login to your Worker Portal and head to your Customer Site Settings
        2. Click “Edit” on the site you have connected to GTM
        3. Under the “Google Analytics” section, confirm that “Use Google Tag Manager” is set to “Yes”, with the associative Google Tag Manager ID
      2. Setup a tag within GTM following these steps
    2. Global Tracking Code in the CIMCloud Worker Portal
      1. Locate your Measurement ID (example G-XXXXXXX)
      2. Login to your Worker Portal and head to the Customer Site Settings page
      3. Click “Edit” on the site you have connected to the GA4 property
      4. Enter the Measurement ID in the Google Analytics section of the General Settings page
      5. Submit the page

Full list of GA4 setup steps from Google

Alternatives to GA4

If you find yourself wanting to get out of using Google Analytics to track data on your website, there are numerous alternatives available.  However, these products do not natively connect with other Google products you may use, such as Google Ads or Google Search Console.

Below are a list of some third parties that may be better suited for your website:

Resources

Google GA3 Deadlines

Google GA4 Announcement

 

 

Was this article helpful

Related Articles

Subscribe to receive email updates of what's new in the CIMcloud Help Center.