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).
As of release 2022.R1.4 (v4.4.0), Google Analytics 4 is now supported in core product. See steps here to integrate this with your site.
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 are the major differences between GA3 and GA4?
- GA3 is based off sessions and pageviews
- GA4 is based off events and parameters
Many of the features in the GA3 interface have been removed or relabeled.
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
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
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:
- Jellyfish Training – Getting started with GA4
- Analytics Mania – Installing GA4 tag with Google Tag Manager
- Analytics Mania – How to test GA4 is working
- Analytics Mania – Tracking Events with GA4 and Google Tag Manager
- Optimize Smart – Ecommerce Tracking Set Up
- Google Tag Manager – Tag Assistant Extension
How to Link GA4 to Your CIMcloud Website
See our Google Analytics 4 – Installation article for steps on linking GA4 to your CIMcloud website.
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: