GA4 brings new and acquainted ideas to the way forward for analytics

Lots of the identical ideas that you could be be used to from Common Analytics exist in Google Analytics 4. There are, nonetheless, a number of new ideas to GA4.

This text will element some acquainted and not-so-familiar ideas that GA4 brings to the desk.

When you’re new to GA4, I’d encourage you to first take a look at this article to stand up to hurry on a number of the variations between Common Analytics and GA4, in any other case, learn on. 

Comparable ideas, barely totally different software

Let’s begin with the acquainted by ideas that exist in each Common Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

However first, a small caveat: Common Analytics has the flexibility to filter knowledge in a sturdy method on the view stage. Google Analytics 4 solely has a number of filters presently accessible on the property stage (there are not any views in GA4), and so any variations you may even see in your knowledge ought to hold your present UA filters in thoughts. 

With that being stated, let’s dive into some acquainted metrics:


In Common Analytics, the Customers metric appears on the whole variety of customers through the chosen time interval. In Google Analytics 4, the Customers metric is definitely break up into two: Complete Customers and Lively Customers.

Lively Customers is the first Customers metric in GA4 and what you will notice used within the default stories throughout the GA4 UI. Lively Customers are the customers through the time interval which have had an interesting session in your website prior to now 28 days.

For many websites, these numbers will doubtless be shut. However in the event you see variations between UA and GA4, this might be a motive why.


In Common Analytics, a session is a time frame {that a} consumer is actively engaged together with your website. There are a number of issues that will finish a session, akin to an inactive 30-minute time interval, a change of UTMs or the session breaking at midnight.

In Google Analytics 4, a session is set by way of the session_start occasion. GA4 doesn’t restart a session with a change of UTMs and doesn’t break the session at midnight, however it does search for an inactive time interval of 30+ minutes to restart the session.

Because of the various methods a session is began between the 2 property varieties, whole session counts might look fairly totally different between UA and GA4 relying on how typically you might have been topic to the restart standards in UA – positively hold this in thoughts as you examine numbers between the 2 platforms. 


These must be fairly comparable ideas between UA and GA4. The most important distinction right here is that if you’re utilizing GA4 to trace each app and net, GA4 combines the pageview and screenview metrics into Views. In case you are solely monitoring net for each UA and GA4, the numbers ought to look fairly constant between platforms.  

Much less acquainted ideas


Conversions are the brand new Targets, however please be aware that they don’t seem to be equal.

A Conversion in GA4 is solely an occasion that has been marked as a conversion. This is so simple as toggling a button on or off to notice that the occasion is now a conversion. 

Two predominant issues to concentrate on right here for the variations between Targets in UA and Conversions in GA4:

  • Targets in UA counted solely as soon as per session. That implies that even when the aim occurred a number of occasions in the identical session, for instance, a aim fired every time a kind was accomplished, and a specific consumer accomplished three kinds in a single session, it could solely rely as one aim completion. In GA4, the conversion will hearth each time the occasion has been glad, so in the identical instance, it could rely as three conversions in the identical session. 
  • In UA, you can create a aim based mostly on a number of components: vacation spot, period, pages/screens per session, occasion and good targets. In GA4, Conversions can solely be based mostly on occasions. Which means that you’ll have to get inventive, akin to creating an occasion for a particular vacation spot/web page, to transform a few of your targets to occasions. Audience Triggers are one other factor to think about for issues like period targets. 

Engaged periods

This can be a new idea to GA4. An Engaged Session is outlined as “the variety of periods that lasted longer than 10 seconds, had a conversion occasion, or had no less than two pageviews or screenviews.”

This new metric lets you get a greater understanding of the periods which can be increased high quality and/or extra engaged in your website content material. Engagement Charge is the share of Engaged Classes. The inverse of Engagement Charge is Bounce Charge (see under). 

A mixing of the 2

Bounce Charge

I would like to start out this one off by saying that I have never been a fan of bounce rate (or time on website metrics for comparable causes). I feel that there are lots of locations the place the bounce charge calculation in Common Analytics can lead you astray in your evaluation. Simo Ahava even has a funny little website devoted to exhibiting you what a superb bounce charge is.  

However I do acknowledge that some companies (particularly verticals like Publishers) rely closely on Bounce Charge. And I do know SEOs have a tendency to love this metric.

Google acknowledges the necessity for this metric too. That’s the reason simply this month, they’ve released Bounce Rate again into the wild of GA4 (it had beforehand been thought of a deprecated metric for GA4/wasn’t constructed into GA4 initially). 

Right here is the place I have to stress that that is NOT the identical bounce charge that you simply had in Common Analytics.




In Common Analytics, Bounce Charge was “the share of single-page periods during which there was no interplay with the web page.” Each “bounced” session had a period of 0 seconds for the overall time on website calculation. This meant that even when a consumer got here to your web site, hung round for five minutes studying each phrase on your private home web page, however didn’t click on on something or trigger some other occasion or pageview to set off, they’d be thought of a bounce.

To say this metric was flawed is an understatement.

In GA4, Bounce Charge is an easy calculation that’s the inverse of Engagement Charge. Earlier, I discussed “Engaged Classes” – 10 seconds or multiple occasion or pageview. These are the premise of Engagement Charge. Which means that Bounce Charge is the share of periods which can be thought of to be not engaged.  

Why does this matter?

Bounce Charge is now a way more helpful metric to indicate you the way many individuals did not have interaction together with your web site. The individuals who got here, learn every thing in your homepage for five minutes after which left are actually thought of an engaged session, so they won’t be counted as a bounce. 

Whereas imperfect, it’s a a lot better definition of what a bounce really is, serving to you because the analyst to higher perceive who’s and who isn’t participating together with your website content material.

Hurray for improved metrics in GA4!

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially Search Engine Land. Employees authors are listed here.

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About The Creator

Krista Seiden is the principal digital analytics marketing consultant and chief teacher with KS Digital, an analytics consultancy she based in 2019, serving to companies benefit from their investments in digital advertising and analytics. Beforehand, Krista was VP, product advertising and progress at Quantcast. Previous to that, she was at Google for almost 7 years, the place she led product administration efforts throughout the Google Advertising and marketing Platform and served because the exterior evangelist for the Google Analytics suite of merchandise. Krista is a keynote speaker, practitioner, author on Analytics and Optimization, and passionate supporter of #WomenInAnalytics. You may be taught extra about Krista and KS Digital over at KS Digital.

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