Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics: Know the difference!

Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics: Know the difference!



Learn more about GA4 and Universal Analytics. In this article, learn about the similarities and differences between these models.

The goal of both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics is to increase user engagement. However, there appear to be major disparities in the two tools’ approaches. Therefore, this post discusses the distinctions between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics, as well as their advantages and drawbacks, to help you comprehend them better.

So without further ado, let’s begin with the fundamentals of each.

Google Analytics 4: What is it?

A Google-based analytics program called Google Analytics 4 (or GA4) offers information and data about the user management and traffic on your website. GA4 enables marketers to interact with their target audience and correctly analyze their goals by using a variety of metrics and alternatives. The study also revealed that by July 1st, 2023, GA4 will take the position of Universal Analytics.

The definition of Universal Analytics
One of the most well-known analytical tools that aids marketers in thoroughly comprehending the viewpoints and problems of their users is Google’s groundbreaking Universal Analytics. One theory holds that GA4 will be an improved or expanded version of Universal Analytics.

The distinction between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics
There are numerous variations between the two tools, despite the fact that they are both used to obtain various user perspectives. Here are the main variations between GA4 and Universal Analytics based on several criteria:
How are users measured by GA4?
Users are evaluated by GA4 using the distinctive User IDs they manually create at login. These User IDs are regularly monitored for predictive analysis and to better understand their mentality.

Here is how GA4 gauges user behavior:


Once user IDs have been made, they must be sent for tracking.
In order to identify the people with these user IDs, make sure your analytics have a reporting identity.
Users are classified as either signed in or non-signed in users by GA4 each time they log in.
Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4
For further research, GA4 offers a number of metrics under “user exploration” such as the timeline of their activities, user acquisition time, etc.
In order to help you with remarketing, GA4 analyzes the frequency of visitors accessing your website based on user ID.
Categories of GA4 events
The GA4 event categories are listed below:

Events with improved measurement
This automatically initiates based on predetermined user activity if you have enabled Enhanced measures. For instance, a user activity is initiated when they fully scroll your website, click your CTA, etc.

event evaluation
automatic events collection
Events are automatically triggered with specific predetermined tasks without any enabling required.

automatic events collection
custom occasions
Depending on the needs of your website for event triggering, you can design unique events. The steps to generate custom events are as follows:

Go to your GTM account and select “Tags.”
Create an event name by selecting “New”
Google Analytics: GA4 Event can be chosen by clicking on “Tag Configuration”
If you have any configuration tags, choose them by clicking on them. If not, choose “None-Manually Set ID.”
Enter your measurement ID by clicking on “Measurement ID”
Select “Event Parameters” after entering the event’s name.
Give the necessary information for this event, then click “Trigger.”
After selecting the trigger type for this event, click “Save.”
Recommended activities
Google provides certain suggested events to help you with advanced analytics, and if you have enabled them, triggers are triggered appropriately.

Problems with GA4
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of GA4 vs. universal analytics, which are similar to those of all other tools:

These are GA4’s shortcomings:

No primitive functions exist.
GA4 lacks the fundamentals of an analytics tool even though it is gearing up to become the leading analytics solution with a variety of metrics and features. Many critical features for marketers are missing from GA4.

Still in its infancy
It is merely a supposition that GA4 develops into a superb analytical tool. It is clear that GA4 is still in the development stages and that there are many areas that might use serious improvement. The good news is that Google continuously updates the platform based on user feedback.

substantial UI change
The user interface of Universal Analytics is familiar to marketers, and the tool works well for tracking websites. The disadvantage of GA4 is a completely populated UI, even though it includes too many complex features to make marketers’ duties simple. Since there have been so many new features added to the UI, it can take marketers longer to adjust to this shift.

Migration is not easy.
Directly registering into GA4 is a simple process for new users. However, moving from Universal Analytics to GA4 requires a lot of effort and time.

Universal Analytics’ problems
The shortcomings of Universal Analytics are as follows:

Aims are not completed
The broad nature of analytical goals causes them to overlook minute subtleties. The less goals that are defined, the less effectively they are tracked. Because of this, goal management in Universal Analytics is unreliable and lacking.

zero filters
Every organization’s website is evaluated using different criteria, therefore analytics tools must be flexible enough to just display pertinent website metrics. Since there is no way to filter data in Universal Analytics, it cannot be depended upon totally.

No modifications
Custom events, custom dimensions, and other features must be exploited to help marketers and make their jobs easier. Marketers can only utilize Universal Analytics for general reasons because it does not provide modifications.

Multiple entities are not taken into account
Marketers must get a comprehensive understanding of their website analytics in order to boost user engagement. However, without performing any in-depth behavioral research, users in Universal Analytics are grouped based on a single view. As a result, it cannot be fully relied upon to support marketers in user management.

Frequently Asked Questions comparing Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4
When should I stop using UA, then?
By July 1, 2023, GA4 will formally replace UA, according to Google. Users can continue to use UA to help with migration even after this date. So, you have this window of time to organize your migration.

Is Universal Analytics superior to Google Analytics 4?UA is superior to GA4 when it comes to basic functionalities. However, GA4 has sophisticated capabilities and is constantly being improved to make the duties of marketers simple.

Is it possible to use GA4 in addition to Universal Analytics?
Adding a GA4 property is possible while using Universal Analytics. The steps for adding GA4 property are listed below.

Can I transfer my data from Universal Analytics to Ga4?
You can move UA data to GA4 in fact. To migrate, follow the instructions here.


We can see that there are differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics’ features and methodologies. Therefore, marketers can select the strategy that works best for them based on the website goals and campaigns.


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