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The switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has been at the top of a lot of marketers’ agendas this year (reminder: you have until July 1st, 2023!). However, we know that switching reporting platforms isn’t an easy task. There’s a lot to take in and understand, and naturally, such big changes will come with questions. With this in mind we’ve collated some of the most frequently asked questions about GA4 from our clients.

1. Do I have to migrate to GA4 to continue analysing data?

The short answer is yes. You will have to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. 

As of July 1 2023, Universal Analytics will sunset, meaning it will stop collecting data and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will become the default reporting platform. It’s really important that you begin to migrate as soon as possible, not only to help you get comfortable with the new platform but also to start collecting that important YOY comparison data.

2. Will I still be able to see my data from my Universal Analytics property?

You will be able to see your historical data in your Universal property for at least 6 months after July 1, 2023. After that grace period, your data will be wiped.

3. Has the bounce metric changed in GA4, and where can I find it?

In Universal Analytics, a bounce is defined as a single-page session, with bounce rate calculated by dividing single-page sessions by total sessions. In GA4, however, bounce rate is defined as ‘The percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions’. This acts as the opposite figure to engagement rate which is calculated by dividing engaged sessions by total sessions. 

Bounce rate is not one of the out-of-the-box metrics on reports within GA4 like it is in Universal Analytics, therefore, if you would like to see bounce rate you will need to edit an existing report or create a new report and add it to the metrics list.

4. What’s the difference between a session and an engaged session in GA4?

An ‘engaged session’ is a slightly different metric from ‘sessions’. A ‘session’ is counted every time someone visits your website/app. For example, a user viewing a page on your website or opening your app on their mobile device would count as a session.

An ‘engaged session’, on the other hand, is defined as a session that lasts more than 10 seconds on your website/app, viewed 2 or more screens/pages, or had a conversion event

This could include a visitor opening your home page and moving to a product page, a visitor signing up to a mailing list (which counts as a conversion if configured correctly), or simply just having your app open for more than 10 seconds.

5. Why is my number of users higher in Universal Analytics than it is in GA4?

In Universal Analytics the ‘users’ count defaults to ‘total users’, whereas in GA4 the ‘users’ count defaults to ‘active users’, one of GA4’s new metrics.

Active users are defined as ‘users that had an engaged session’. Therefore, the total users count in UA will always be greater than the active users count in GA4 due to active users only being a subset of the total user count.

6. Where is the landing page report?

As of 14th December 2022, Google announced that the landing page report from Universal Analytics is now available within GA4, allowing you to identify the pages on you website that users first land on during their session.

The recently added landing page report can be found under engagement within the life cycle topic. If the report is not visible or if you have removed the life cycle topic from your property, you can find the report in your library where you are able to add the landing page report to any of your live topics.

By default, the landing page report will provide you with data on the following metrics:

  • Average engagement time per session
  • Conversions
  • New users
  • View
  • Total revenue

However, you are able to edit the metrics of the report by selecting the report customisation option.

These are just a select few of the questions that we have received from our clients. If you still have questions about GA4, don’t panic, this is a new platform and a new learning experience, and we will be sharing more content in the lead up to July 2023 to help answer your questions.

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