What else is new?
Here are just a few other fundamental changes to how data is tracked and interpreted.
In UA, a Session is defined as a group of user interactions with your website or app that happen within a certain timeframe. For example, this used to ‘reset’ at midnight.
In GA4, a Session is defined as a continuous flow of user activity, regardless of the timeframe or device used.
This means that a Session in GA4 could potentially last for days or even weeks.
As before though, all Sessions timeout after 30mins of inactivity.
Users vs Total Users
UA had Users. But GA4 has split Users into two groups;
Users here are Engaged Users.
An engaged user is someone who’s had an engaged session. Meaning having completed one of the following:
- Time on site > 10 seconds
- 2 or more page views
- Scrolled to bottom of page
- Completed a conversion
Time on Site
In UA, Bounced Sessions (where people didn’t go on to click another link or visit another page) were classed as zero second visits.
Even if that person had been on your page reading an article for 20 minutes!
GA4 has a much better understanding of how long people are on your site. And so Average Engagement Time should be a much more accurate representation of how long people actually spend on your site.
Is how many of your Total Sessions became Engaged Sessions.
If you like maths, think Engaged Sessions / Total Sessions.
So if you have 100 sessions and 80 were engaged, your engagement rate would be 80%.
Kind of a defunct term in this latest version.
But for those still interested, Bounce Rate in GA4 is the other side of the Engagement coin.
So in the example above, where the Engagement Rate was 80%, your Bounce Rate would be 20%.
In UA, credit awarded via Attribution was always based on last click, non direct.
So, basically the last source that delivered the click to your site.
GA4 has the potential to be smarter now, using machine learning.
So it can cleverly assume, using robot magic, how much credit to give to several sources.
Reports are much more customizable now. With a bucket load of flexibility.
There’s a neat tool to help you pull together everything that is important to you and your business.
Well, any analytical event-based thing anyway!
And if you’re a data nerd, then Explorations is a new reporting tool that lets you really deep dive into a user data adventure.
If you liked the Behavior Flow reports in UA, you will want to check out Path Analysis in GA4 Exploration.
Gone. The horror! In UA, Annotations allow you to add short notes against your data to provide context.
For example, ‘We ran this campaign’, ‘Government grant made available’ Or ‘There was a heat wave!’
Shame, because it was one of the most useful features.
In fact, so disgruntled is the community that the rumor is Annotations may return.