Jason Angle

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity,

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity

If the thought of making the switch to GA4 feels like a thorn in your side, you’re not alone. Not only can the switch feel tedious, but the revised features that GA4 offers may ironically feel a bit lackluster. 

With Universal Analytics (UA) being discontinued on July 1, 2023, we’ve luckily already helped many brands make the inevitable switch and have streamlined a process that will help you maximize the utility of GA4 without the headache of unnecessary complexities. Here are our Top 4 Solutions in answer to some of the biggest challenges you may face in your transition to GA4.

Understanding The New Event-Based Methodology

The foundation of reporting in UA is session-based, whereas GA4 is event-based. In UA, a session represents all user interactions (or “hits”) during a single visit to your website. Events, pageviews, and transactions are all aggregated to a session level for reporting.

In GA4, user interactions are no longer aggregated at a session level. Instead, event-based data governs the reporting methodology with any user interaction being classified as an event. This process of reporting offers deeper insights on the engagement of users who make up the sessions.

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity

For a comprehensive look into how GA4 and UA metrics stack up against each other, you can refer to Google’s guide found here.

GA4 Solutions

How do I save my data from UA?

Since UA and GA4 use completely different models for collecting data, it is impossible to merge your historical data into GA4. However, it is possible to save your data from UA and leverage it in a comparative view to GA4 data.

Replicating Your Favorite Reports from Universal Analytics

Change is hard, especially when some of your most beloved reports from UA have seemingly disappeared in GA4. In the Acquisition Reporting section alone, Google has reduced the number of available reports from 30 to 4, UA to GA4 respectively!

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity

The new reporting interface in GA4 renames or replaces most of the reports found in UA. The graphic above provides a simplified comparison of where you might locate the same type of reports between UA and GA4.

GA4 Solutions

How do I customize reports in GA4?

If you’re looking to add back the functionality that UA afforded, the solution is to customize GA4’s built-in reports or use the Explorations tab to create reports like Path Exploration.

For example, one of the top utilized reports in UA was the Source/Medium Report, which helped users understand the comparative performance of each channel and the type of traffic they provided. By default, this report is missing in GA4, though it can be easily added back in by customizing the dimensions of the traffic acquisition report to feature Source/Medium. For a comprehensive tutorial, you can refer to this video.

Solving the Complexities of Conversion Tracking

Since GA4 is an event-based tool, all user interactions–including those we would deem as conversions–are now classified as events. The complexity lies in teaching GA4 that some events are more important than others.

This is especially relevant with tracking destination conversions. Tracking form submissions with a Thank You Page, for example, would take less than a minute to set up in UA. However, GA4 can only provide conversion metrics based on event data–not destination data–meaning that you’ll have to resort to creating a custom event that is based on incoming signals from the user.

This is accomplished by accessing Admin > Events page, and clicking Create Event. After naming the custom event (ie. thankyou_page_visit), you will need to configure the Matching Conditions with events that will specify when your conversion will be spotted.

Top 4 GA4 Solutions for Maximizing Utility, Minimizing Complexity

Leverage Kudos to Tap Into GA4’s Powerful API

If you’re still lost with GA4, fortunately there is an all-encompassing, one-word solution: Kudos.

GA4 Solutions

What is Kudos?

Kudos is our award-winning business intelligence platform made for your growth acceleration. Like GA4, the platform provides analytics about your digital ecosystem; drawing data from a variety of sources including GA4’s powerful API. However, the presentation of the data is much more intuitive than GA4’s interface because it was built for business stakeholders, not the digital marketer.

Kudos maps entire customer journeys in real-time and provides actionable insights for driving bottom-line business objectives. For example, Kudos revealed that one of our clients had accumulated a large number of abandoned carts in their online store. After implementing the suggested conversion rate optimizations, our client was able to achieve a 6X Return on Ad Spend as they watched abandoned carts soar across the finish line. 

To see more of the features that Kudos offers, click here to view our one-pager