June 30, 2022

The difference between GA3(UA) and GA4

The difference between GA3(UA) and GA4

Measurement system 

GA3 or Universal Analytics uses measurement based on sessions and page views whereas GA4 uses a measurement model based on events and parameters.

What that means in areal world? In Universal Analytics sessions covers all combination of events on the page (page view, conversion, etc.) within a given timeframe. Consider a session as a collection of all the user's actions while they are on your website.

GA4 looks at sessions in a different way. Sessions are not limited by time and it doesn't create a new session if the source changes within a timeframe. Because of that you can expect lower amount of sessions in GA4 even when the traffic is the same. You should expect a much higher session time. One more thing to bear in mind is that GA4 doesn't measure pages per session anymore.

What about other metrics in GA4?

Another significant change in GA4 is bounce rate. If you are use to measuring your success of your website by this metric we have good and bad news for you. You won't find this metric in GA4 anymore. Bounce rate was replaced by engagement rate. Instead of following the visitors journey while counting just the pages they have visited, engagement rate considers also the time spent on the page. There are multiple engagement metrics in GA4 such as engaged sessions per user or engagement rate.

Should I use GA3 or GA4?

In case you don't know, Google is switching to GA4 in June 2023 and all data collection in GA3 will be stopped. That's why you should start using GA4 in case you still didn't make the switch. GA4 also provides much more robust and reliable cross-device and cross-platform tracking than GA3.

How to switch to GA4?

You can follow Google guidelines on how to switch to GA4 which makes it quite simple. If your website is using any enhanced eCommerce tracking using GTM, you mind find yourself lost in the migration. That's why we offer a GA4 migration service to make this a hands-off experience. We are able to help you migrate while still keep data collection in GA3.