Definition of Google Analytics (and explanation of its transition to GA4)

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In the world of website performance monitoring, Google Analytics is a true leader that has evolved considerably since its launch in 2005.

Over the years, this traffic analysis tool has added new features to meet the growing needs of webmasters and marketing professionals.

Today, we're going to explore what Google Analytics is and the evolution towards its new version, GA4.

Google Analytics

 

Definition of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free platform offered by Google that enables website owners and digital marketers to collect, analyse and display data about user traffic and interactions with their websites and mobile applications.

This tool makes it easier for companies to take strategic decisions by providing them with quantitative and qualitative data on their business. hearings and their online behaviour.

How Google Analytics works

The basic principle of the platform's operation lies in its ability to install a tracking code (also known as a "tag") on each page of a website.
This code enables Google Analytics to measure various information about visitors, such as :

    • The number of visits and unique visitors
    • Average session length and time spent on each page
    • The most popular pages and bounce rate
    • Traffic sources (referrers, social networks, paid advertising, etc.)
    • Demographic and geographical information about users
    • The type of devices and browsers used to access the site

Customisable parameters and reports in Google Analytics

Although the tool offers a wealth of useful 'out of the box' data, it is also possible to customise the tracking parameters to obtain information specific to each company or sector of activity.

For example, by setting specific objectives (conversions(e.g., registrations, downloads, etc.), analysts can accurately measure the success of their marketing campaigns.

Similarly, thanks to advanced functionalities such as market segments, multi-channel funnels or reports on the path of conversionIn this way, we can obtain detailed insights into user behaviour and their journey through the site or application.

The evolution of Google Analytics: GA4, the new version

In October 2020, Google announced the launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a new version of its data analysis platform that is more comprehensive, powerful and focused on protecting users' privacy.

This major update introduces a number of significant changes compared with previous versions, including :

  • Artificial intelligence-based reports and functionalities for more relevant and automated insights
  • Better integration with other Google products, such as Google Ads, Search Console or Firebase
  • .
  • A "user-centric" approach that enables the visitor's experience to be tracked across different devices and platforms (web & mobile)
  • Greater respect for users' privacy, by adapting to regulations such as the RGPD and offering options to limit data tracking

Comparison between GA4 and previous versions: advantages and new features

The transition to GA4 marks a significant step in the evolution of Google Analytics, as this new version offers a number of advantages and new features compared with previous editions:

    1. A redesigned data model : With GA4, Google is adopting a new event-driven approach. This provides a better understanding of users' interactions with the site and greater flexibility in data collection and analysis.

    2. Adaptive reporting thanks to artificial intelligence : Thanks to the use of AI, GA4 offers predictive reports and automated alerts, enabling it to identify new trends or anticipate changes in user behaviour.

    3. A more in-depth analysis of audiences : GA4 makes it possible to analyse data on different cohorts of users, as well as their retention and activity according to personalised criteria. This makes it easier to tailor marketing actions to the specific needs of targeted segments.

Challenges associated with the transition to GA4

Despite the improvements and new features brought by GA4, we can't ignore the fact that this update also represents certain challenges for users used to working with previous versions of the tool. Among the main points to bear in mind during the transition are :

    • The need to familiarise oneself with the new environment and the new relationships offered by GA4
    • The importance of carefully planning the migration of existing configurations (objectives, filters, monitoring parameters, etc.) so as not to lose essential information
    • The need to master the new possibilities offered by the event-based data model, particularly in terms of collecting and analysing information about user interactions with the site or application.

In short, the evolution of Google Analytics has been marked by numerous innovations over the years, culminating today in the launch of GA4, a revised and improved version of this web and mobile data analysis tool.

Whether in terms of performance, integration or respect for user privacy, GA4 aims to meet the expectations of today's market while offering analysts and marketers an even richer experience.

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