What is the Difference between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics

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Do you have difficulties explaining the difference between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics to your client? If so, you are not alone because most of the website owners know nothing about Google Analytics.

Below are few of the reasons why anyone will ask about the difference between classic analytics and universal analytics:

  1. Your client has installed Google Analytics long time ago when there was only classic analytics and wants to upgrade to universal analytics
  2. Your client has tried installing Google Analytics before reaching out for help
  3. Maybe a general question of knowledge

The answer to the above question is very simple, and I have explained below few of the major differences.

Classic Analytics vs Universal Analytics

  1. Universal Analytics is the new operating standard for Google Analytics with a new tracking code.
  2. Universal Analytics comes with a lot of new features. With universal analytics, you can track a single user on multiple devices by implementing cross device tracking using user id which is not available in universal analytics.
  3. Universal Analytics users custom dimensions whereas Google Analytics uses custom variables.
  4. Universal Analytics allows you to define your own custom dimensions and metrics where as Google Analytics only provide built in dimensions and metrics.
  5. UA uses analytics.js javascript library whereas GA uses ga.js
  6. UA uses a single cookie while GA uses multiple cookies to store visitor information.

If you are using the old classic analytics, you can follow this guide to upgrade to universal analytics: Universal Analytics upgrade center. I hope the above differences are enough to convince your client to use Universal Analytics over Google Analytics.


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