GA4 vs Universal – 5 Reasons why Google Analytics 4 is better

Google Analytics is a critical part of any marketing system. As we all know, you can't manage what you can't control and you can't control what you can't measure.

In this post, you’re going to find out why it’s time to set up Google Analytics 4 as your primary marketing measurement tool and why it’s so much better than Google Analytics UA.

Universal Analytics (Google Adwords Universal Analytics) is a wonderful product but is reaching the end of its life cycle. Universal Analytics was originally launched in 2012 and is still a very powerful product. However, all good things come to an end, and in 2020 Google launched a new GA product called GA4.

First, let’s talk about Google Analytics and remind ourselves why it’s so important. Google Analytics is a critical part of any marketing system. As we all know, you can’t manage what you can’t control and you can’t control what you can’t measure.

However, the problem with marketing systems is that the landscape is continually changing. As a result, the Google Analytics component of your marketing system is not ‘set and forget’. You need to be continuously monitoring and improving your GA as the business world around you changes.

You may think you can sticky tape a GA measuring module onto your marketing system at the end of your marketing development project. However, this is the wrong approach. The measuring module is the heart of your marketing system and is a critical part of growing your company. It will help you identify which part of your system is making money and should be scaled up, and which part of your system is losing money and should be stopped. Therefore, Google Analytics needs to be a central part of your marketing infrastructure and should be designed at the same time as your website is designed.

Why did Google invent GA4?

At the time of writing this blog post in 2022, it is clear that we are living through a period of great change. Change is occurring for several reasons including:

  • BUSINESS GROWTH– The world is continually changing and your business needs to change and grow in order to keep pace.
  • TECHNOLOGY – Huge changes in technology (advertising, search engines ..) continue to happen every day. Technology changes are particularly prevalent in the BIG 4 technology companies – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. All these changes affect your Google Analytics setup.
  • PRIVACY – Big changes are also occurring amongst the general population as they react to privacy concerns. As a result, we’ve recently seen governments introduce new laws like the GDPR law in the European Union. This sentiment has rippled through to technology companies like Apple which introduced huge changes in 2021 related to data sharing and advertising-related tracking limitations.

Google recognised this change and had to make a decision to continue with UA or scrap it and build a brand new system with an architecture that is better matched to this new world. Google decided to build a new robust Analytics platform from the ground up and called it Google Analytics 4.

Why GA4 is Better than Google Analytics UA

Here are the top 5 reasons why GA4 is better than GA Universal Analytics:

  1. Google UA is now a legacy system and very few significant features are added. In contrast, GA4 is being continuously improved with great new features added monthly.
  2. GA4 is built to better manage the world of the future. As mentioned earlier, the business world is changing because of technology, privacy concerns, and because of its intrinsic nature. GA4 is better able to handle these changes.
  3. GA4 can better track across devices – These days people use multiple devices. GA4 is better able to track users as they move from desktop to laptop and mobile phone. All of this helps you to understand your customers better.
  4. GA4 can better track across domains – Internet service providers are often fragmented. A typical customer journey may involve a user moving from your website to a booking service on a different url, or onto a 3rd party cart during an online purchase. GA4 makes
  5. GA4 is able to handle a world where less data is collected – GA4 has an inbuilt AI engine that can model and predict trends. In a world of increased privacy, these features will help fill in the gaps which in turn allows us to make good business decisions about your clients and potential clients.