What is Google Analytics 4?

Many business owners are wondering these days, what is Google Analytics 4? Should I care about it? In this episode of Leverage Your Spark, we’ll answer both of these questions so you can take action as needed. 


The short answer is that Google Analytics 4 is Google’s free service to gather data on how users are interacting with digital properties, most often used on a website or in an app. Basically, it’s used to track what people are doing on your website or in your app. 

It’s likely your website may already have the previous version of Google Analytics on it. This is called Universal Analytics. The new version is Google Analytics 4. 

So in essence, Google Analytics 4 is just an updated version of Google Analytics they were offering before. 

Okay, basic. Sure. But you may have more questions like, why does Google offer this? 

Well, Google Analytics came about because Google sells advertising. And in order for you to keep spending money on Google advertising, you would want to know if anything was happening with the people you were advertising to, right?

So Google developed Google Analytics so that when you were spending money on ads, you could then see what was happening. Did they click through like you wanted? Did they get to the place on your website you hoped? Then what happened on the website? 

So Google Analytics came about because Google needed a way for their advertisers to be able to see tests and understand what was happening with advertising. That’s also why Google Analytics is free. 

Ok, but why the new version of Google Analytics 4? 

Universal Analytics has been around for like seven years, which is, I don’t know, like 4 Internet lifetimes. It was based on page views, which was the best way to measure interaction and users engagement in that time. But the Internet has changed. Now, there are better ways to tell what people are doing on a website. 

So they couldn’t just keep improving Universal Analytics, we had to move to a whole new basis of evaluation, because they have better ways to evaluate how people are interacting with not just websites anymore, but also apps. 

So analytics isn’t just about “is the marketing working?” Getting the data from your website, and from your app means that you can then better understand what users are doing. So you can serve them better, and make sure that the website or app is meeting their needs. 

One of the things I like to look at most is using other pieces of data to see where users get stuck. Google offers it for free, through Google Analytics 4, because it serves their advertising purposes, but however you want to use it,  it gives you better data, and thus better insights into what’s happening. 

And now there’s a new version, because there’s better way to measure things. 

That does mean that you have to change what’s happening with your website, you just have to change how it’s implemented on your website

You just need to put in a new piece of code, because there’s this whole new way of looking at how users are doing things. 

So should you care about all this? Well, you know what? Google Analytics is only great if you’re actually using the information it provides to you. 

Sometimes that can be challenging because it measures a lot of things. And understanding what metrics actually matter is sort of the hardest part. But don’t worry, we got you covered. First, you can use our free, Quick and Dirty Guide to Google Analytics 4 to get yours updated. And then, check out our “5 Ways to Discovering Metrics that Matter” resource that will help you figure out what you actually want to look at in all the Google Analytics information that you’re getting.

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