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What is GA4, Exactly, and Do I Need It?

Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most popular web analytics tools used by businesses and website owners. It helps them track website traffic, user behavior, and other important metrics to improve their online presence. In late 2020, Google launched a new version of GA called GA4, which is designed to be more user-friendly, provide more insights, and adapt to the changing digital landscape.

So, what is GA4, and why do you need to switch? Let’s explore.

What is GA4?

GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it has been designed to provide a more advanced understanding of user behavior across different devices and platforms. Unlike the previous version of GA, which was focused on web analytics, GA4 has been designed to analyze customer journeys across websites, mobile apps, and other digital platforms. This makes it a more powerful tool for marketers who want to understand their audience’s behavior.

GA4 includes many new features, such as:

  • Streamlined event tracking: GA4 uses an event-based tracking system that allows you to track specific actions taken by users, such as clicking on a button, watching a video, or making a purchase.
  • Smarter insights: GA4 includes AI-powered insights that provide more detailed information about user behavior and trends, making it easier for marketers to identify areas for improvement.
  • Cross-device tracking: GA4 allows you to track user behavior across different devices and platforms, such as websites and mobile apps.
  • Enhanced privacy features: GA4 includes new privacy features that help you comply with privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA.

Why do you need to switch to GA4?

There are several reasons why you should consider switching to GA4:

1. GA4 is the future of Google Analytics

Google has made it clear that GA4 is the future of its analytics platform. While the previous version of GA will continue to work until July 2023, Google is no longer updating it. This means that if you want to benefit from the latest features and insights, you’ll need to switch to GA4.

2. GA4 provides more advanced insights

GA4 provides more advanced insights than the previous version of GA, making it easier to understand your audience’s behavior and identify areas for improvement. This includes AI-powered insights, cross-device tracking, and event-based tracking, all of which help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience.

3. GA4 is more privacy-friendly

As privacy concerns continue to grow, GA4 has been designed to be more privacy-friendly. It includes features such as enhanced data controls and data retention settings, making it easier to comply with privacy regulations.

4. GA4 is easier to use

GA4 has been designed to be more user-friendly than the previous version of GA. It has a new user interface that is more intuitive and easier to navigate, making it easier to set up and use.

How to switch to GA4

Switching to GA4 is relatively straightforward, and Google provides step-by-step instructions on its website. However, it’s important to note that GA4 and the previous version of GA are separate platforms, which means that you’ll need to set up a new GA4 property and update your tracking code. You can then run both versions of GA in parallel to compare data and ensure that your website continues to track data correctly.

If you’d like help setting up GA4 tracking on your self-hosted WordPress website, just let us know, and we’ll be happy to help!

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