If you’re a small business owner, blogger, or freelancer, you know that tracking your website’s analytics is key to understanding how it’s performing. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools out there to help you do just that.
Semrush and Google Analytics are two of the most popular choices. If you have been using Google Analytics, you may be aware that it’s being replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Google’s next-generation analytics tool.
According to Google, Universal Analytics stopped processing new data from July 1, 2023, and the customers will lose access to its interface and API from July 1, 2024.
Now, you may be wondering, “Semrush vs Google Analytics 4: what should be your choice?”
This blog post will provide a complete analysis of Semrush vs Google Analytics 4. I will compare the similarities and differences of the tools so you know how to use each tool to get the most out of your website analysis.
What is Semrush?
Semrush is a comprehensive digital marketing toolkit that provides data and insights to help you improve your website’s online visibility and performance. It is primarily popular for its on-page and off-page SEO features, but you can also use it for your social media efforts.
You can use Semrush to perform various SEO-related tasks and get detailed insights. These include:
- Keyword research
- Website traffic tracking
- Monitor backlink profiles
- Improve your site health
- Create skyscraper content
- Landing page optimization
- Video creation
- Keyword or phrase creation
Semrush also provides insights into your competitor’s online marketing strategies, giving you an edge in the market.
Lastly, Semrush has educational resources, such as e-books, webinars, and blog posts, to help you stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends and best practices.
With over 2 million users in 140+ countries, Semrush is one of today’s most popular digital marketing platforms. Get a 14-day free trial for Semrush and see how the tool works.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
Universal Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that provides detailed insights into your website’s traffic, traffic sources, and engagement. It is the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.
Universal Google Analytics is a tool for website owners that gives you information like:
- How your visitors found your site
- What your visitors did on your site
- Which content your website visitors consumed
- How long they stayed
- How many pages were viewed
- What keywords they searched for to find your sit
- Which country you got the maximum visitors from
Recently, Google announced the next generation of Analytics – Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – that gathers event-based data from your apps and websites.
With GA4, you can enjoy the features of the future. Google describes it as a new type of property for the “future of measurement.” These include:
- Gathering data from websites and apps to help marketers better understand the customer journey in the sales funnel
- Leveraging event-based data instead of session-based
- Ensuring privacy controls (cookieless measurement) and behavioral and conversion modeling
- Offering guidance without complex models’ predictive capabilities
- Driving actions on your app or website with direct integrations to media platforms
Google Analytics 4 will let you see all of this data in one place so that you can make informed decisions about your website’s design, user experience, and marketing campaigns. You can also use GA4, like Universal Analytics, to track the success of your online campaigns or optimize your website for better search engine ranking.One of the biggest aspects of Semrush vs Google Analytics is that GA provides data only for your website whereas Semrush provides data for other websites as well. #googleanalytics @semrush #seo Click To Tweet
Semrush vs Google Analytics 4: Comparison
Let’s start the analysis of Semrush vs Google Analytics 4 by summing up the differences and similarities of each tool from different aspects. Then we go into details.
The biggest differences between Semrush and Google Analytics 4 will primarily be the same as Semrush and Universal Google Analytics at the core. That’s because GA4 is an updated version of the original Google Analytics with a few more advanced features.
- Google Analytics only provides data about your website, while Semrush provides data on all websites.
- Google Analytics offers insights on visitor profiles and website engagement, whereas Semrush provides data on the market, industry, keyword, and backlinks.
- Semrush lets you do competitor research on traffic, keywords, backlinks, and PPC, but Google Analytics does not provide any data on competing domains.
- With Semrush, you can do competitive comparisons to find opportunities for new keywords and backlinks, but you cannot do any competitor comparisons with Google Analytics.
- You can analyze the technical health of your website with Semrush but not with Google Analytics.
- Google Analytics is a free tool, whereas Semrush is a paid one, starting at $108.33 monthly for annual payments.
- You can get instant, supportive customer service from Semrush but not Google.
Here is a visual chart of Semrush vs Google Analytics.
Google Analytics 4 Features and Data
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide a wealth of insights into your website traffic and performance. Here are 10 key data points that you can get from Google Analytics 4:
1. Audience information
Google Analytics can give you detailed information about your website and visitors, while GA4 collects data from both the web and the app. Some types of gathered information include:
- Users: The number of new and returning visitors and real-time data.
- Demographics: You can check if your website visitors are mostly men or women and predominantly from which age group.
- Interests: The key interests of your website visitors, for example, shopping/ technology/ beauty/ travel, etc.
- Location: The geographic location of your website’s visitors.
- Devices: The type of device used by a website’s visitors (desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone).
2. Traffic sources
Google Analytics can also tell you where your website traffic is coming from. The key traffic sources are:
- Organic search
- Direct traffic
- Social media
This data can help you better understand which marketing channels are most effective for your website.
3. Content performance & user engagement
Google Analytics can tell you how well your website content performs and how engaged users are with it.
The key metrics it gives you are:
- Time spent on each page
- Bounce rate
- The number of pages viewed
This data can help you identify which content is most successful and improve accordingly.
Finally, Google Analytics can track conversions on your website.
The conversion data shows how many visitors are taking the desired action on a website – whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. This data is essential for measuring the success of a website in achieving its goals.
5. AI-powered predictions
If you use Google Analytics, you’d know it has AI-powered insights for quite some time. But with GA4, this feature is further enhanced. The new insights and predictions can automatically inform marketers about the latest data trends.
Here is an example of Google Analytics 4’s predictive metrics:
You can also use this feature to forecast the revenue you may make or your churn rate just from a group of customers. With these insights, you can anticipate your customers’ next steps and prioritize the higher-value segments.
6. Advanced Google Ads integration
With Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you can manage your audiences from the total number of visitors across your website and app for ad campaigns.
If a customer in the audience list takes the action and is removed from the list, GA4 will automatically remove them from the list of customers meant to be retargeted with ads. The action could be making a purchase or subscribing to the newsletter.
Moreover, you can have reports on YouTube engaged views on the web or within the app. Here is how the YouTube engaged views data looks when tracked alongside cross-network, Google search, and Google Display Network ads.
7. Customer lifecycle-focused reporting
The major update in GA4 is how reports are organized. Contrary to Universal Analytics, GA4 gathers all the reports from the app and web beta and organizes them around the customer lifecycle.
This feature allows you to learn about different aspects of the customer journey.
For instance, you can obtain a user acquisition report to find the sources directing prospects to your website or app. Then, you can use user retention and engagement reports to study these prospects’ actions.
In fact, you can also understand whether these prospects made purchases or how long they stuck around. Additionally, the GA4 also gives marketers a broad overview of customer engagement across different devices and channels.
Another benefit of customer lifecycle-focused reporting is that it allows marketers to enable Google signals or provide their own user ID to sort out duplicated users across different devices for ad targeting and reporting.
8. Expanded codeless event tracking
The expanded codeless features on Google Analytics 4 make tracking and optimizing website and in-app actions a breeze. You can track all these actions in real-time (like page scrolling) without setting up event tracking or adding any sort of code.
With the original Google Analytics, the event tracking feature had additional processing requirements. Mostly, the data remains unavailable until the next day.
9. More granular controls
The Google Analytics 4 also has more granular controls that allow you to ensure data regulation compliance with CCPA and GDPR. It comes with a consent mode for websites that ask for user consent for data collection. You will have many consent opt-ins for your data analytics and ads.
With this mode, you will also have better data deletion capabilities, which don’t require you to remove any type of data than what’s needed. You will also have a preview mode to authorize the data you’re about to remove.
Here is what creating a data deletion request within GA4 looks like:
10. Cookie-less analytics
Google believed phasing out third-party cookies might open doors for mixed data sets. It could lead to potential data gaps, so the company decided to fill them with machine learning modeling that supports various analytics modes.
The GA4 can provide different modes that focus on the behavioral side of the data more than the user analysis side.
Semrush Features and Data
Semrush is a comprehensive tool with many features perfect for both small businesses and enterprise companies. Here are the 5 most important data a business or website owner can get from Semrush:
1. Competitor Research
You can see how your competitors are performing in terms of their SEO and visibility on search engines.
Some of the key metrics it gives you are:
- Search engine ranks of the entire site
- Keywords and ranks for each page
- Website traffic
- Backlinks to each page
- Top performing pages
This data can help you adjust your own SEO strategy to improve your ranking and visibility.
2. Keyword Research
The Semrush keyword research tool gives you valuable data to help you decide which keywords and content topics to target.
- Average monthly search volume of a keyword
- Keyword difficulty (how easy or difficult it could be to rank for a keyword)
- Related and semantic keywords for a searched keyword
- Cost per click of each keyword
3. Technical site audit
Semrush scans your website for common SEO issues and provides step-by-step instructions on fixing them. This is great for keeping your website in tip-top shape and ensuring that Google can crawl it properly.
4. On-page checker
This checker is a great way to quickly optimize your web pages for specific keywords. Just enter the URL and target keyword, and it’ll show you where to make changes.
This helps to fine-tune your on-page SEO.
5. Backlink checker
The Semrush backlink checker tool lets you see backlink information for your website and your competitors.
You can analyze where your most powerful links are coming from.
It can help you to identify opportunities for link building. For instance, if you see that a particular website is linking to several of your competitors but not to you, this could be an opportunity to get a link from that site.
Besides these above tools for SEO, Semrush also provides toolkits for Advertising, Social Media, Content Marketing, and Local SEO.
Semrush vs Google Analytics: Data Collection
Semrush and Google Analytics collect data in different ways.
How does Semrush collect data?
Semrush collects data through its own algorithms and third-party providers to get the latest results from Google, the only search engine for which it provides data.
How does Google Analytics collect data?
Google Analytics 4 collects data through a piece of code placed on your website and the app. This code collects data about the behavior of visitors to your website and then sends this data to Google Analytics.
However, when reviewing Semrush vs Google Analytics, it is essential to note that Semrush does not provide data on individual users, while Google Analytics does.
This means that Semrush is better suited for measuring overall traffic trends, while Google Analytics is more helpful in understanding the behavior of individual users.
Semrush vs Google Analytics 4: Pricing
When we compare Semrush vs Google Analytics 4 for pricing, the biggest difference, as we saw in the table above, is that:
- Google Analytics and GA4 both are completely free tools, but you can avail of more features with the paid version called Google Analytics 360 (previously known as Google Analytics Premium). These include advanced data limits and support.
- Semrush is a paid tool that starts at $108.33 per month for an annual subscription, though it does offer free trials.
Related: Semrush 30-day free trial
When it comes to online marketing tools, Semrush is one of the best SEO tools for businesses, if not the absolute best. It has some alternatives, but they don’t really provide the full extent of features as Semrush does.
But you might be wondering if you really need it. Is it worth the investment of almost $100 per month?
Semrush has its pros and cons, so whether you need to get Semrush depends on your needs and goals. If you’re just starting out in online marketing, you might not need all of the bells and whistles that Semrush has to offer.
However, if you’re serious about SEO and looking for a comprehensive tool that can help you with keyword research, competitor analysis, SEO auditing, and more. In that case, Semrush is definitely worth it.
I personally use SEMrush daily, and it’s helped me to grow my business significantly. If you’re serious about online marketing, then I would definitely recommend giving Semrush a try.
You can get a 14-day free trial (only with this link) to check out the Semrush features and see if it works for you.
Semrush vs GA: Competitors or partners?
If you are using Google Analytics, do you really need Semrush as well? Is it really a question of Semrush vs Google Analytics, or Semrush AND Google Analytics?
The truth is, while Semrush and GA are both essential tools for any website owner, they have different strengths.
Google Analytics or GA4 is best at providing internal data for your website. For example, where your traffic is coming from and what users do on the site.
Semrush, on the other hand, is fabulous for providing external data.
For example, data about your competitors and which keywords have the best potential to rank your website high in search engines.Semrush and GA are not competitors, but rather partners that work together to give website owners a complete picture of their website's traffic and performance. #seo @semrush #googleanalytics Click To Tweet
You can also connect your Semrush account to your Google Analytics profile. By doing that, you can analyze all of your website’s data from one central location within Semrush.
How to connect Google Analytics to Semrush?
You can connect Semrush to Google Analytics Universal for specific tools within Semrush:
- Position Tracking
- On-Page SEO Checker
- Backlink Audit
- Organic Traffic Insights
- Site Audit
- Content Analyzer
- My Reports
- Link Building
- Marketing Calendar
- Social Media Ads
You can connect Semrush to GA4 for the following Semrush features:
- Organic Traffic Insights
- SEO Dashboard
- My Reports
How you connect each tool will depend on the features of that specific tool.
For example, On Position Tracking, you can integrate Google Analytics with Semrush by importing the keywords from GA. For Site Audit, you simply go to the Site Audit tool in your dashboard and click on Google Analytics in the menu.
You can check out the step-by-step directions on how to connect each tool in this post.
You can disconnect Google Analytics from Semrush anytime by following a few simple steps.
Semrush vs Google Analytics 4 – Conclusion
We can complete this post on Semrush vs Google Analytics 4 with the conclusion that if you’re looking to boost your website traffic with a customized SEO strategy, I recommend using both Semrush and Google Analytics. You can also use a Semrush 14-day free trial to get a closer look at how this tool can help improve your SEO.
What do you think about Semrush vs Google Analytics 4? Do you use one tool or both? Or something else? Would love to know in the comments!