Google Analytics FAQ
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It was launched in 2005 and the current version in use is called Universal Analytics.
Why is there a new version?
Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions, and more easily observable data from cookies. Now that apps are used much more widely, there is a whole swath of data that is not being measured by Universal Analytics. The new version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), is designed to address that gap.
GA4 is designed to measure apps and web metrics, and because of this change, Google has overhauled its units of measurement. The main unit going forward is called “Events”. Formerly, your website might be analyzed for things like clicks or pageviews.
As a result of this change, the recommended best practice is to install GA4 as early as possible to start collecting data from which to have a baseline. Since Universal Analytics and GA4 will not allow for an apples-to-apples comparison, the sooner GA4 is up and running, the sooner you can benchmark site performance.
How do we upgrade to GA4?
Prior to July 1, if your site already runs Universal Analytics, all that’s involved is having an account holder with editor access permission upgrade the account to the new version. From there, you can start collecting the new metrics.
If your site does not run Google Analytics, any install post-July 1 will install GA4 automatically.