Google announced the plan to sunset Universal Analytics and replace it with Google Analytics 4 on July 1 2023. This means the site owners & the marketers should get familiar with the operation of Google Analytics 4 and take advantage of the data GA4 provided to help you grow your business.

In this article, we will provide you with some information about Google Analytics 4. And we will point out some key differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics to help you better understand how Google Analytics 4 is structured.

1. What is Google Analytics 4?

Before knowing about Google Analytics 4, we should go back to the beginning of Google Analytics. This digital product from Google aims to help site owners and marketers track all the metrics measuring what happened on the website. By Google Analytics, we can see how many users go to our website per day, how many orders are purchased from our online store, and how much time users stay on your website…From the data provided by Google Analytics, we can analyse the behaviour of users to optimise the marketing campaign.

Most people working in the digital marketing industry are getting used to Universal Analytics (because it has been used for almost ten years). But it is time to change and adapt to the new data trend. And more importantly, the data is becoming more complex, and we need to generate more customised reports for our campaign. That’s the reason why GA4 was born.

Google Analytics 4 was released on October 14, 2020, as Google called it, “The next generation of Google Analytics”.

Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 is “The Next Generation of Google Analytics”

2. How to change from Universal Analytics to GA4?

To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in to your Analytics account, and then click Admin from the menu.

Step 2: Click Property Settings, and then select GA4 Set up assistant under the property you want to upgrade.

Step 3: Click Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 or later (recommended) and follow the prompts to complete the upgrade process for your site.

Set up Google Analytics 4

3. How to set up Google Analytics 4?

To add a Universal Analytics property to a site that already has Google Analytics, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in to your Google account.

Step 2: In the left navigation panel, click Web Property Management.

Step 3: Add Property page, enter the following information:

4. The key difference between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics

Here are some of the critical differences between Universal Analytics (Google Analytics 3) and GA4:

Measurement Model

The measurement model of Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics) is based on session & pageview. And Google Analytics 4 has the measurement model based on the eVents and parameters. This means in Google Analytics 4, and the “pageview” can consider the eVent.

Tracking IDs

In Google Analytics 4, we use the Measurement ID instead of Tracking IDs like we used to use with Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics). But if we use Google Tag Manager for adding Tracking IDs in Universal Analytics, we can still use Tracking ID.

View and data stream set up

As we know, there are three differences between views in Google Analytics property. But we can only set up View in Universal Analytics. But in Google Analytics 4, we can not create View. Or you can have an option to create data streams for the web & apps.


In Universal Analytics, we use the word Pageviews; instead of that, we only use Views in Google Analytics 4.

But there are some differences between the calculation of Pageviews in Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics. As we can see, the View metric recorded in Google Analytics 4 is the combination of pageviews & screen views. That’s why you can see the Pageviews in Google Analytics 4 don’t have the Unique Pageviews as in Universal Analytics.


There are some differences between the sessions in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. The phrase “Sessions” in Universal Analytics can be considered as “a period a user actively engaged with the website. And the sessions will end if there is any more than 30-minute inactivity. If a user returns after a session timeout, it will start a new session. The Session in Google Analytics 4 has the same concept as in Universal Analytics. But the Session Start in GA4 determine the session that each eVent comes from, the session_start eVent generates a session ID, and Analytics associates the session ID with each subsequent eVent in the sessions.

While ‘analytics’ may not be a word that everyone wants to hear, it is one that a successful website relies on.

By analysing the goings-on of your website and using the resulting data to improve user experience, you will have a higher chance of being recognised by Google and increasing site traffic.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks and reports on-site traffic to help you understand what visitors are doing on your website.

With Google Analytics, you can better understand your audience, analyse visitor behaviour and track total conversions, as well as access real-time data of user interactions with your site.

Understanding the Google Analytics Dashboard

Tracking your site data with Google Analytics is easy when you break it down into smaller steps. Luckily for us, that’s exactly what the popular search engine tool has already done.

Google Analytics For Beginners


The Real-Time feature enables you to see how many visitors are accessing your site as it happens – in ‘real-time’ – and what their interactions with the site look like.

Having access to a live view makes Real-Time an excellent marketing tool, as it reveals how users are responding to your current marketing campaigns.

Not only does Real-Time gauge how visitors to your site respond to marketing, but it also shows you how users are interacting with your website’s infrastructure. If it’s a positive user experience, visitors stick around. If not, they leave as quickly as they clicked in.


The Audience feature shows the total number of visitors to your site – and not just those visiting right now.

By selecting a time period (this could be anything from an hour through to a year), you can learn more about your site’s visitors and the interactions they have with your site while on it.

Amongst other things, this feature allows you to dissect and understand user demographics (like age and gender), as well as things like how long a user spends on your site and how many pages they visit.


Google Analytics’ Acquisition feature shows you where your website traffic is coming from and illustrates how visitors arrived at your site. It will also report on what users do while there, and the conversion rates linked to each different channel or platform of arrival.

The Acquisition tool also allows you to see where your users have clicked through to your site from. Whether they came directly (by typing in your URL) or from a search engine, social media platform, or email – just to name a few – you’ll be able to find out here.

By understanding where your visitors are coming from – or not coming from – you can direct your focus into improving the areas of low engagement and increasing the platforms that bring in most of your traffic.


The Behaviour feature shares insights on user engagement and their behaviour while visiting your site. This includes an overview of metrics like the total number of page views, the average time users spend on each page, and overall bounce rate.

It also highlights which pages people enter through and visit, an important factor in highlighting areas of interest, as well as which page of your site they exited from.

Analysing these metrics will help you understand the popularity of your web pages and whether or not the user experience is a positive one.


Using the Conversion feature, you can set various goals for your website and see when or if they are met. When utilising this tool, it is important for you to configure the goal properly with all of the necessary information in order for Google Analytics to report back with accurate results.

There are 4 different goal types you can choose from:

Setting up goals can help you to monitor your site and make incremental improvements to improve your conversions – whatever that may be for your site – which work to improve your bottom line in time.

What Google Analytics can do for you

Google Analytics hosts a huge number of metrics that can help you better understand your site’s overall performance. Using the free insights it provides, you have the power to boost your marketing and SEO efforts and increase your return on investment (ROI).

Tracking your site data with Google Analytics will enable you to identify any holes in your marketing campaigns or website infrastructure. With this knowledge, you can create an action plan to tackle and resolve any issues, improve user experience and increase your conversions.

Start tracking your site performance with Google Analytics >