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BBP 085: Why You Need to Utilize Both Versions of Google Analytics with Lanie Lamarre


So you’ve heard that there are two different versions of Google Analytics out there, but which one should you be using? The truth is you should be using both. In today’s episode, we are going to tell the differences between the two versions of Google Analytics and how both can help you grow your blogging business!

Guest Info

Lanie Lamarre is the host of the OMGrowth podcast and she loves using business visualization tools to show you – literally! – how your processes, projects and marketing strategies are performing. Learn More.

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[00:00:00].190] – Liz

So you may have heard that there are two different versions of Google Analytics out there. Or maybe you haven’t heard it, but you want to set up a Google Analytics account, and it looks nothing like the example tutorial showed you. So you’re trying to figure out which one you should be using. The truth is, you should actually be using both. So each version is going to tell you different but important information to help you grow your blog. G4 is the new one. The old original Google Analytics, Universal Analytics is going to be phased out.

[00:00:26].130] – Liz

So this is why you want to use both. In case we haven’t met, I’m Liz Stapleton. I’m host of the Blogger Breakthrough Summit. It’s an annual virtual summit offered for free at the beginning of every year. This is a Blogger Breakthrough Summit podcast where I share some of the incredible tips and tricks that our speakers shared during the summit. In today’s episode, you’ll be learning from Lanie Lamarre, the host of the OmGrowth podcast. Let’s get to it.

[00:00:50].050] – Lanie

Another must have is the new version of Google Analytics. It’s called GA4. If you’ve been online for a minute, you probably have the version called Universal Analytics installed on your website and its assets. But at this point, you want to have both versions of Google Analytics installed on your website and your assets, like your sales pages. Why? Because these are two totally different data models, which is basically a fancy way of saying they’re not even measuring the same thing, and you’re not going to be able to transfer the data from one version to the other.

[00:01:22].170] – Lanie

So all your past website visitor information is just no longer going to be accessible from one version to another. Now, the difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 is kind of like the equivalent of planning a road trip where one person is counting the distance in hours and the other person is counting in miles or kilometers. It’s similar, but you’re talking about and measuring two totally different sets of information. And while 1 may correlate to the other, doesn’t necessarily. Now another difference is that Universal Analytics is like the old way of doing things. You remember that Nokia phone you had?

[00:01:56].150] – Lanie

Yeah, it’s about as old as that. And it’s focused on hits and page views. If you remember those page view counters from back in the days of the GeoCities websites and stuff like that. Metrics that Universal Analytics collects is basically as outdated as that, because that’s when it came out. But now we’re moving more towards those engagement focused metrics that we were talking about last week, things like clicks and events. Those are the priorities.

[00:02:18].790] – Lanie

Now, the Google powers that be are still working on GA4. There’s a lot of improvements and features being worked on at this point, and most analysts are actually still using the universal version for reporting. But the benefit of installing GA4 on your website now is that when it is ready for its close up you will have all kinds of retroactive data collected because you had the sense to install it on your website early. So all that past website visitor information that you’re going to lose when universal analytics is no longer active isn’t going to be a total wash for you if you have GA4 on your site. Now, I mentioned those old school page view counters we used to slap onto our website to essentially provide new visitors with social proof that hey, our stuff is worth seeing.

[00:03:01].390] – Lanie

Those vanity numbers used to matter like a lot, but everyone and everything is moving away from attributing value to those types of numbers. I mean even social media platforms like Instagram arguably the pinnacle of fronting social proof. They don’t even show the number of likes anymore. Using your numbers to identify trends is way more meaningful than the actual value of the numbers.

[00:03:23].870] – Liz

Okay. So hopefully this episode has helped you better understand the differences between universal and G4 analytics and why it’s a good idea to start using both today. Be sure to join me next time when we jump into how to optimize your content to rank. I’ll catch you then. Bye.

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