Google Analytics (GA4) is the newest version of Google Analytics and is set to replace Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. At that time, UA will stop collecting new data, and GA4 will be required for all Google Analytics tracking purposes moving forward.
In this blog, we’ll reveal all the latest news you need to know about the transition to GA4 and how your brand can be prepared. Bookmark this article so that you can stay up-to-date with the most current information on GA4!
Scope & Lookback Windows in GA4
Scope describes the extent to which a metric or dimension is applicable in GA4. It allows advertisers to see what generated an event or a session and then zoom out to see where the user came from.
There are three main types of scope in GA4 reporting, each with an assigned attribution model that is used when a dimension of the corresponding scope is applied to a report:
- User scope: First non-direct interaction model (e.g. first user Google Ads campaign)
- Session scope: Last non-direct interaction model (e.g. session Google Ads campaign)
- Event scope: The attribution model selected in the property settings (e.g. Google Ads campaign)
Lookback windows are one of the main offerings that will change with the switch from Universal Analytics to GA4.
Lookback windows dictate how far back in time Google Analytics will consider an event for attribution credit. Once a lookback window is determined, the attribution model is applied within that timeframe. Scroll down to our last update for more on GA4 attribution models!
The key differences with GA4 lookback windows are:
- Maximum lookback window of 90 days – compared to Universal Analytics at two years
- Offers preset options of 30, 60, and 90 days – compared to Universal Analytics with full down-to-the-minute customization
- Introduces concept of acquisition conversion events with preset options of 30 or seven days
As with Universal Analytics, changes to lookback window are not retroactive in GA4.
What You Need to Know About GA4 Attribution Models
In GA4 reporting, an attribution model can be a rule, a set of rules, or a data-driven algorithm that determines how credit for conversions is assigned to touchpoints on conversion paths.
In all attribution models, direct traffic is ignored and isn’t considered for attribution credit unless the entire conversion path is made up of direct visits.
Let’s explore the different types of GA4 attribution models!
- Data-driven: Disseminates fractional conversion credit based on data for each conversion event – organic, paid search, email, or direct. This model uses actual data from your account to determine the best fit attribution credit for each click interaction or touchpoint.
- Last click: Attributes 100% of conversion value to the last channel the customer clicked through before converting.
- Ads-preferred last click: Attributes 100% of the conversion value to the last Google Ads channel that the customer clicked through before converting.
- First click: Gives all credit for the conversion to the first channel that a customer clicked before converting.
- Linear: Distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all the channels that a customer clicked before converting.
- Position-based: Attributes 40% credit to the first and last interaction, with the remaining 20% credit distributed evenly to the middle interactions.
- Time decay: Gives more credit to the touchpoints that happened closer in time to the conversion. Credit is distributed using a seven-day half-life, meaning that a click eight days before a conversion gets half as much credit as a click one day before a conversion.
ROI Revolution has an entire team of experts who are dedicated to analytics. We’ve transitioned nearly 100% of our clients to GA4, meaning no year-over-year data will be lost. Being ahead of the curve in adopting the changes means that we’re able to help brands like yours take serious advantage of all of the capabilities the new platform has to offer. Reach out to our team today to explore how we can help you discover untapped profitable growth opportunities with GA4!