Google Analytics 4: What Is It?

Google Analytics 4: What Is It?

Google Analytics has been around for a long time. It's been with us through thick and thin, from the rise of mobile devices to the dominance of smartphones. And now, it's finally getting an upgrade.

The newest version of Google Analytics will be called "Google Analytics 4" or "GA4." The move to GA4 is coming sooner than expected: Google announced that GA4 was going live in March 2020; however, they've since pushed back this launch date until mid-2020 and added a migration path from UA to GA4 that you can use right now.

What is Google introducing Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics. As such, there's a lot to learn about what GA4 is and how it will affect your business. Let's start with some background information on GA4:

  • It's a complete redesign of the Google Analytics user interface.

  • It was built for mobile devices as well as traditional desktop browsers.

  • It was released in April 2019 (yes, 2019), so you can use it right now if you're ready!

What are the main differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

You may wonder what the main differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are.

GA4 is a single property, API, data model, SDK, user interface and reporting interface. This means that you can use it to track all of your website traffic with one code base and report on it using one toolset.

It also means that there are no longer separate GA accounts for each property - instead you have just one account for all of your websites (as well as any other devices that you want to track).

So does this mean that Universal Analytics is going away?

Will Universal Analytics be deprecated?  On July 1, 2023, the standard Universal Analytics code will stop registering new hits on your website.

Universal Analytics is still supported at this time, but Google Analytics 4 is the future.  It’s important to note that GA4 will become the default tracking method for new properties starting in June 2020, so now is the time to upgrade!

Does this mean that I have to stop using Universal Analytics immediately?

No, you can continue to use Universal Analytics until the deadline.

Google Analytics 4 will be the default next summer, but if you're happy with your current setup and don't need any of the new features, keep using Universal Analytics until it becomes too cumbersome. GA4 will add some extra steps to your workflow if you want to maintain your UA tags or switch between them and GA4 tags.

You can switch between GA4 and UA in the Admin Console:

  • Go to Admin > Property Settings > Tracking Info > Tracking Templates. Then select either Google Analytics or Universal Analytics as your default tracking template.

How to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4?

  • Log into the Google Analytics account that you want to import data into (either the new GA4 property or an existing one)

  • Click on Admin > Property Settings

  • Click on Migrate in the left-hand menu and then select Universal Analytics from the list of sources under Migrate to this property from:

  • Select a country as well as a time period for your migration data, if relevant

  • Hit Next Step under "Migration Type" and follow the prompts to complete your migration

You can upgrade from UA to GA4 via the admin console or by creating a new GA4 property.

You can upgrade from UA to GA4 via the admin console or by creating a new GA4 property.

To upgrade from UA to GA4 via the admin console:

  • In your Google Analytics account, click Admin in the top left corner of your screen.

  • Click Property -> Property Settings on the left side menu and select Get Started under Conversions settings.

  • Select “Create New Property” and name it “Google Analytics 4” as shown below:


If you are still unsure about the migration to Google Analytics 4, you can contact us today. We will be happy to help you!