Google Analytics 4 (GA4) introduced a host of new features in the world of digital analytics. However, as with most free software, there are some limitations. This article highlights the main strengths and constraints of GA4’s free version.
Key Limitations of GA4 Free Version:
- Data Retention: GA4’s free version keeps data for 14 months, shorter than Universal Analytics (UA) which held onto data for 26 months. But remember, this only affects explorations, not the standard aggregated reports.
- Explorations: While offering deep insights, the free version limits explorations to 200 per user, and 500 per property.
- Conversions: Users can create up to 30 conversions. This means you’ll need to choose wisely which actions are deemed conversions. The good news is that GA4’s funnel exploration builder simplifies the process of tagging vital events.
- Custom Metrics & Conversions: There’s a cap of 50 for both custom metrics and conversions, but up to 100 custom audiences can be defined.
- Event Restrictions: GA4 doesn’t limit the number of unique event names for web data streams, but there’s a cap of 500 events for each app.
- Sampling & AI: With third-party cookies going away, GA4 relies more on sampled data and uses AI to fill in the gaps. The bright side? Standard reports display unsampled data no matter what you compare or filter. But advanced reports might use sampling if data exceeds 10 million.
Considering Analytics 360?
The free GA4 offers a lot, but larger sites or those needing advanced features might consider Analytics 360. But first consider if you would like a brand new 1000hp car or analytics 360 with prices of around $150,000 per year. Let me know if you want me to do a comparison of a Tesla Model S Plaid compared to Analytics 360 😉