GA4 vs Universal Analytics: Key Differences & Limitations

February 15, 2023
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The Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has changed the whole analytics epoch. This short article will explain how google analytics 4 replaces the goal with conversion events.

These events/goals are very special because we can share them with Google Ads to optimize the advertising spend. (for example, you’re aiming to optimize your campaigns for Lead Submission Event)

Both goals and conversion events utilize the same motive: to track a visitor’s activities that are key to your business.

Why GA4 is different?

Google Analytics 4 is an event-based tool, with the concept that any interaction can be captured as an event. On the other hand, Universal Analytics is based on sessions and the principle of a session is not highlighted in GA4 as it was in the legacy versions.

The motive of a goal is very simple just to provide you information about a specific action during a session. The legacy version of GA only shows you a count of goal completions against the sessions. Goals do not increase if the action was completed multiple times during the session.

In GA4 a conversion event describes the user action. If the action occurs multiple times within a session, the count of conversion events will increase with each. This aligns Google Analytics with the industry-standard approach for measuring conversions and the Google Ads conversion code already works this way (as you can see in the screenshot below).

Important limitations of Conversion Events:

In the Universal Analytics of Google Analytics, you could create 20 goals per view.

However, Google Analytics 4 does not have views. For that reason, google provide you to place 30 conversion events.

The Acquisition reports include a Conversions column that is similar to the Goal Completions column in Universal Analytics. However, we have a dropdown that allows us to choose a specific event.

Additionally, the conversion metric has been added to the Exploration Report. You can incorporate this metric with “Event Name” as a dimension to see all of your conversions in a custom report.

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