What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics, also known as GA4, is Google’s latest version of their analytics platform. After the transition from Google Analytics to Universal Analytics in 2013, Google began developing the next generation of analytics in 2017 with the initial release of ‘Google Analytics for Firebase’. 

The beta version was released in 2019 with the exciting code name…‘App and Web Properties’. Finally in October of 2020 Google released GA4, and 2021 has been filled with constant updates with new features. As a digital marketing agency in Surrey, we understand that this could change the way we report and analyse user data. Read our overview.


New Features GA4 Offers

We have taken a great interest in GA4 to find out the benefits that it could offer to our clients;


No More Bounce Rates

Bounce rates have always been uncertain and unreliable sources of information in regards to user engagement. Often users can visit a page and be engaged yet Universal Analytics will register them as bounced users. For instance, when a user reads an article on a news site then leaves, they may have been engaged with the article but because they left the page it won’t be recorded by Universal Analytics.

GA4 offers a replacement, Engagement Rate. However, before we delve into that, we should explain the new conditions required to count a user as ‘engaged’. The user must follow at least one of these conditions;

  • Actively engaged with your website or app in the foreground for at least 10 seconds
  • Fire a conversion event
  • Fire 2 or more screen or page views

Once a user is considered ‘engaged’, engagement rate is calculated by (Engaged Sessions) / (Sessions). This is a much more accurate way of calculating user engagement.


Propensity Audiences

A powerful new tool that GA4 offers is giving the ability to group audiences based on purchase or churn probability. This allows us to make predictions on what users will do on the website in the near future in regards to goal completions. This truly is a great feature that will allow agencies like ourselves to better predicate KPIs and understand user behaviour. 


UI Debug

This feature will get the developers attention. As a digital marketing agency we not only offer marketing services but websites and app development as well. This tool allows you to isolate real-time data from your own device and test code on the website. This means the less technical among us can debug issues without the need for Chrome Developer Tools expertise.

Moving Will Be Difficult 

With updates comes changes, whilst GA4 offers a large bank of new features there is the issue of moving over from Universal Analytics. Popular and commonly used features of UA such as default reports, dimensions such as “medium” and “bounces” will no longer exist. This could cause headaches for analytics trying to replicate the reporting they are used to. 


Contact Our Digital Marketing Agency In Surrey

Thunderbolt Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency that specialises in paid search and SEO. We’re only a phone call away from improving your web design or online marketing campaign! Get in touch today by calling 01252 413757 or email howdy@wearethunderbolt.com – we can’t wait to hear from you.