Five exciting new features of Google Analytics 4

Here at Effect, we aim to become a beacon of resources and knowledge surrounding GA4. Read on to find out what we are most excited about.

Recently, we have been researching and finding out everything there is to know about the eventual sunset of Universal Analytics and the introduction of Google Analytics 4.

We thought it would be helpful to list which features we are most excited to start using in the studio and what these could mean for you.

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1. Introducing artificial intelligence

GA4 is the first version of Google Analytics built with artificial intelligence at its core. Google’s machine-learning knowledge trickles down to their analytics platform to derive data-driven user insights.

With the addition of AI, GA4 will be able to include predictive metrics, behavioural modelling and data-driven attribution. For example ‘Last Non-Direct Click’ channel attribution is now a thing of the past.

By default, GA4 will use its AI to look at all paths of conversion before determining how much credit to assign to each channel & campaign based on the significance of the presence of particular touch-points. This will support marketers when making important decisions on strategic direction.


2. Better user identification in all reports

In GA4, multiple identity spaces exist together under a single property. GA4 will process data using the best method of user identification they have at their immediate disposal.

First attempting to identify by using your User-ID if you’ve hooked up your own sign-in dialogue, then; if unsuccessful, GA4 will use Google Signals which uses a range of Google accounts such as Gmail which has over 1.8 billion active users.

Finally, if these methods do not work, they will attempt to identify using your device. Overall, this will give a more transparent view than the limited Universal Analytics User-ID implementation.


3. Web + app measurement now available

It’s now possible to achieve cross-platform measurement to understand how your users move between your website and app.

This became absolutely necessary with the rise of mobile apps. This is a feature that Universal Analytics did not support previously. In the past, only websites could be tracked on Google Analytics.


4. Bounce Rate will be replaced with Engagement Rate

Bounce Rate has been retried in GA4. This is due to modern-day website users who are generally looking for a fast and helpful solution to what they are looking for and are becoming less likely to trigger any CTA’s or buttons, therefore this would count as a ‘Bounce’ (single hit session).

Engagement Rate flips the metric on its head by looking at the positive interactions rather than a negative ‘Bounce’. The Engaged Rate is the Percentage of Engaged Sessions. The Engaged Sessions metric is the number of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, had a conversion event, or had at least 2 page views or screen views. This is a more watertight measure of engagement than Bounce Rate ever was.


5. Improved data model for events

Google Analytics 4 events do not have the usual Category, Action, Label and Value, which was a one-size-fits-all approach to event data collection in Universal Analytics.

Having precise data collection will allow you to set up truly custom events with any dimensions and variables you need. You can create up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions and 50 custom metrics per property.

However; as GA4 develops, you could find that 50 is not enough variables and could become challenging in the future. Hopefully, Google will recognise this and raise the limit later in the product roadmap. 

If you have any questions or queries on the above, contact us here.