Google Analytics is a widely-used web analytics service that allows website owners and marketers to track and analyze user behavior on their websites. In October 2020, Google announced a major update to their analytics platform, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which offers several new features and improvements over the previous version, Classic Google Analytics. Today, we’ll explore the differences between Classic Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 and help you decide which one is right for your business.

  1. User Interface and Navigation:
    One of the most significant differences between Classic Google Analytics and GA4 is their user interface and navigation. Classic Google Analytics has a complex and overwhelming interface, with multiple menus and submenus that can be difficult to navigate. In contrast, GA4 has a more streamlined and intuitive interface, with a single menu that provides easy access to all of the platform’s features.
  2. Data Collection: Another major difference between the two analytics platforms is how they collect and process data. Classic Google Analytics uses cookies to track user behavior, while GA4 relies on a new data model that collects data from multiple sources, including mobile apps and websites. This allows GA4 to provide more comprehensive data on user behavior, including cross-device tracking and user journey analysis.
  3. Event Tracking: In Classic Google Analytics, event tracking is a separate process that requires custom coding or the use of a third-party plugin. In GA4, event tracking is built-in and requires no additional setup, making it easier for website owners and marketers to track and analyze user behavior.
  4. Data Analysis and Reporting: GA4 offers several new features for data analysis and reporting that are not available in Classic Google Analytics. For example, GA4 includes a new Analysis Hub that provides advanced data analysis tools and templates for creating custom reports. It also includes a new Data Studio integration that allows users to create custom dashboards and visualizations.
  5. Machine Learning: One of the most exciting features of GA4 is its use of machine learning algorithms to provide deeper insights into user behavior. For example, GA4 can automatically identify important events and trends in user behavior, such as changes in conversion rates or unusual spikes in traffic.

Conclusion: While Classic Google Analytics is still a valuable tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic, Google Analytics 4 offers several new features and improvements that make it a better choice for many businesses. With its more intuitive interface, advanced data analysis tools, and built-in event tracking, GA4 provides a more comprehensive view of user behavior that can help businesses make better data-driven decisions. Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing professional, it’s worth taking a closer look at Google Analytics 4 to see how it can help you better understand and optimize your website’s performance.

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