The GA4 update
Google has now released GA4, the newer version of Universal Analytics. GA4 has an improved event-based approach focused on user engagement and provides advanced and predictive metrics for both the website and the app. For example, rather than giving only the total and new user metrics, GA4 gives the active users metric that provides insight into users who are actively engaged with your website. For a comprehensive read on the enhancement, refer to this Google article.
Our Organic Traffic module periodically pulls data from Google Analytics, and we now support the GA4 connection. This way, if you have set up GA4 on your website, you can connect it to your SEOmonitor campaigns and have the improved GA4 data in your Organic Traffic module.
How do I connect GA4 to my campaign?
You can see the connected GSC and Analytics accounts by clicking on the Settings icon under the Traffic tab.
On the sidebar, select the Analytics account to make changes to it (change to GA4 or add a new account).
If you have a Universal Analytics account and would like migrate to GA4, click on the + to add the GA account. If you do not have any Analytics set up, you will be asked to login to your GA4 account when you click on + before you can add it. Enter your credentials and ensure that you grant the necessary permissions.
Note: If the email address you're using is not associated with SEOmonitor, you will have to first connect the Google profile using the GSC before you move on to set up the Analytics account.
From the dropdown, select Google Analytics 4.
Should you reprocess traffic?
If you are moving from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4, you can choose to have your historical traffic data reprocessed (pulled from GA4). If you do, we pull data from GA4 for the past three months by default for the reprocessing. If there's UA data missing beyond these three months, we try to fill the gap by pulling GA4 data for that period as well (upto 6 months in total). If you choose to not have your historical data reprocessed with GA4 data, simply choose to not reprocess.
On selecting the dropdown for your profile, you can see the account you just added. Select it, and further select the Stream ID.
1. If you added your account and cannot see it on the dropdown, ensure that the account has admin access to the specific campaign you're trying to connect to.
2. Ensure that the URL of the GA4 property matches the URL set in SEOmonitor's campaign.
To complete the connection, click on Connect Analytics 4.
You can further configure the traffic properties in SEOmonitor. Go to the Traffic module and open the Configuration sidebar (Settings). For example, here you choose the conversion type to be displayed in the interface, and can select the Goals from GA4 that you want to measure traffic for.
How does GA4 affect SEOmonitor data?
There is no change in what we extract from GA4 for our Organic Traffic module. We extract data for the same fields and metrics (sessions, conversions or transactions, and revenue for keywords and landing pages) from GA4 (instead of UA) once it is connected. We take what we get from GA4 and segment it into brand and non-brand across devices.
What's really changing?
You might notice that the data itself might change due to the way Google interprets and collects it. For example, previously, a session ended after 30 mins of inactivity and was reset at midnight, but GA4 does not limit the time of a session and does not reset it at midnight. This might improve the accuracy of the sessions metric itself but has no impact on any of SEOmonitor's calculations. This holds true for all other data as well. As always, you can create custom segments and set forecast scenarios and objectives based on the data from the Organic Traffic module.
A note on Objectives
If you have an ongoing objective when you connect GA4, the inertial traffic (calculated at the time of setting the objective) will remain the same, but the current traffic for all months of the period will be pulled from GA4 every month. In short, the inertial traffic is unchangeable through the objective period but the current traffic is pulled every month. If you have historical GA4 data, you can get in touch with our Customer Success team to check if a reprocessing is possible for the period before you connected your GA4. This will still not change the inertial traffic for the ongoing objective, but you can now set new scenarios and objectives based on the historical GA4 data.