On July 1, 2023, Google made the switch from Universal Google Analytics to Google Analytics 4, and you may be wondering, what exactly is different about this version of analytics and why does it matter to my small business? Aside from changes in appearance when you log in to your analytics page, there are four key changes in Google Analytics 4 that can influence how you track and analyze your web data:
- Customized reporting: You can create custom report boards and track the things you need to know. While this means you can focus on the data that means the most to you, you will need to create the boards yourself. Google has created resources to help you through this process that can be found in their support section.
- Enhanced privacy measures for users: Viewer privacy is a top priority for Google Analytics 4. Users have more control over what data points are shared and where. There are more options for anonymity in data reporting than in Universal Google Analytics.
- Bounce rate calculation: In Universal Google Analytics, the bounce rate was calculated by the number of users who visited a page on your website and left without navigating anywhere else. Now, it is more common for a user to visit a page on a website and engage with that page only especially if your website offers articles or is a more blog-based website where single-page engagement is more common. Google Analytics 4 reflects this change in user behavior when calculating bounce rate.
- Event data trumps session data: Session-based data points track what a user does in a specific time frame on your website and was the main way data was tracked using Universal Google Analytics. Now, Google Analytics 4 focuses more on event-based data that tracks individual actions and events (ex. add to cart, transactions, registrations). This allows the analytics platform to focus more on mapping user behavior and gives business owners complex data to analyze to enhance user experience.
Google Analytics 4 is a more comprehensive approach to web analytics and offers users and account holders more control over their data. If you are new to analytics, be sure to explore Google’s suite of support articles, training materials, and FAQs. In addition to these available materials, reach out to your Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for one on one assistance and advising today!
About the Author: Maureen has held many roles in small businesses over the last decade including but not limited to: audio editor, copywriter, accounting assistant, marketing professional, event coordinator and even knitting instructor. She has lived in Wyoming for over seven years and is incredibly grateful to be able to assist the tenacious small business owners who make this state great. When she is not spreading the word about the Wyoming SBDC Network, you can find Maureen spending time with her family, quilting, knitting, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.