Third & GroveThird & Grove
Jun 22, 2020 - Rob Browning

A New Type of Google Analytics Property: Exploring Google Analytics 4

A New Type of Google Analytics Property: Exploring Google’s New App + Web Property

Google Analytics has launched a new property type called Google Analytics 4, formerly known as "App + Web". As the name suggests, this type of property is appropriate to use on both websites and/or mobile applications. Unlike other properties, this script can be installed on-site or app as a standalone tracking tool, or on both to create unified tracking between your app and website.  It comes with built-in event tracking, new reporting, and conversion-tracking options, and support for more cross-device analytics.

You can even implement without retagging if you already use gtag.js or Tag Manager on your site. The good news is that this property can be installed in parallel with your current Google Analytics / Google Tag Manager setup.  Here’s what you need to know about this new property type and some of our favorite features.

Enhanced Measurements in the new Google Web + App Analytics Property

Feature 1: Built-In Event Tracking and Easy Conversion Definitions 

The new behavior report paints a complete story of the user journey, specifically by focusing more on event tracking.  This also includes built-in event tracking, such as form submissions, scroll tracking, and link clicks.  

In the new property, the tracking code automatically collects events to provide insights around user activity on your website or app. This is similar to the custom event tracking typically set up with Google Tag Manager. 

One significant difference is the lack of category, action, and label definitions. Instead, the new property introduces the concept of event parameters, opening the door for more detailed tracking from external website channels. 

What is even easier is that events can easily be tagged as conversions in the reporting interface - this is as simple as a button click, which is a much more natural, streamlined process than in the current Google Analytics.\

Feature 2: New Metrics to Better Align With Business Objectives and KPIs

There are a few new metrics in Google Analytics 4, formerly known as App + Web Properties. These changes are a refresh and give new meaning to what we understand as a session or a bounce rate. 

Engaged Sessions

As opposed to traditional sessions, an engaged session is a session where a user stays on the site for more than 10 seconds.  If they leave the site within 10 seconds, they are defined as a bounce.  This is an entirely different approach to characterizing bounces and engaged sessions. 

Engagement Time

This section of the report adds reporting elements for mobile previously unavailable. These metrics measure the time a user engages with your content but takes into account additional features, for example, sleep screen time. 

Engaged Sessions / User

This is the ratio of how many engaged sessions a user typically has on-site.  This number indicates the quality of engaged sessions users have on site. 

There are many other changes, but these new metrics are consistent across the many reports in the latest Google App + Web property. 

Feature 3: Cross-Device, Unified Reporting

Reports for this new property use unified metrics, making it possible to see integrated reporting across app and websites. This unified set of analytics also unlocks more details for mobile devices and cross-device tracking. 

The new Analysis module enables you to examine this data in a completely new way. One of the standout reporting capabilities is the funnel's feature. The funnels tool allows us to analyze essential steps to conversion and understand how users navigate through the website and/or app, including where they start, where they fall off, and even more. 

The Takeaway

We’ve only briefly begun to explore the power of the new Google Analytics 4, formerly known as App + Web Property, and are excited to unlock it’s analytics capabilities.  While the property type is still improving, Google is recommending brands take advantage of the new property by installing it concurrently with their existing Google Analytics implementation. Start tracking this new data today, and if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.