As a technical partner to B2B companies, we’re always monitoring the changing landscape of data analytics and reporting platforms.
With the ever-growing importance of first party data in an increasingly privacy-first, AI-enabled world, businesses that can identify and adopt the best tools to enable data-driven marketing, sales and service have a huge competitive advantage. More than ever, it’s critical to stay on top of what’s new and which leading platforms fit into your tech stack.
Last month we looked at the differences between PostHog vs Google Analytics and outlined the strength and uses cases of each. In today’s post, we’re looking at Google Analytics 4 vs HubSpot analytics, covering the differences between them and weighing in on whether HubSpot users need both.
Overview of Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the dominant website analytics service that helps businesses and website owners track and analyze just about every aspect of their website’s performance and user behavior.
We provided a more thorough overview in last month’s post, but as a quick summary, GA4 provides:
Comprehensive website and app performance data: from user engagement trends to traffic sources and conversion rates, GA4 provides flexible custom reporting and advanced segmentation to help you understand how your online presence is performing.
A user-friendly interface: while not everyone loves GA4, it is designed for both beginners and advanced professionals to easily navigate.
Conversion tracking: GA4 allows you to track which traffic sources, pages and users are driving conversions, from form fills to ecommerce activity through the Google Merchant Center.
Real-time data: monitor live website activity to stay on top of emerging trends and issues impacting your site.
A free entry-level version: good for small to medium-sized businesses, it offers a substantial range of features, making it an accessible choice for a broad market.
Overview of HubSpot Analytics
In the past, I wouldn’t have said HubSpot’s reporting tools and analytics features were among the main draws of the platform – but that’s changing.
In recent years, HubSpot has been adding to their custom report builder, and the new reporting features rolling out now include even more advanced, enterprise-friendly tools like datasets, formulas and summary functions.
Here’s an overview of the key analytics features and capabilities HubSpot offers:
Analyze the entire lifecycle of a contact from visitor to customer.
View individual contact timelines.
Monitor the source of leads and the effectiveness of lead generation efforts.
Monitor website analytics, traffic trends and sources.
Analyze the performance of landing pages.
Monitor user behaviors such as bounce rate, session duration etc. (note: there’s some overlap with GA4 metrics but this will be a more limited set of traffic analytics reporting options).
Monitor sales activity and productivity.
Analyze sales funnel performance.
Forecast revenue and track quotas.
Evaluate the effectiveness of blog posts, landing pages, social media and emails.
Understand which pieces of content are generating the most engagement and conversions.
Monitor open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates.
Measure the overall performance of email campaigns and individual emails.
A/B testing to determine which version of an email performs better.
Monitor the performance of paid ads across different platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
Measure ROI and conversion rates for each ad campaign.
Track and measure the overall performance of marketing campaigns.
Understand which channels and tactics are driving the best results.
HubSpot provides suggestions for improving on-page SEO.
Monitor the performance of keywords.
Video Analytics (if using HubSpot’s video features):
Track video views, engagement, and conversion metrics.
Understand which video content is most effective.
Understand which touchpoints in the buyer’s journey contribute most to conversions.
Track first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution models.
Clearly there’s some overlap, but these two analytics tools aren’t interchangeable. Let’s look at how they compare.
Core Differences Between GA4 and HubSpot Analytics
While GA4 and HubSpot both offer powerful and useful analytics, they each provide a notably different lens on your performance.
The primary purpose of GA4 is to provide a broad set of tools to measure user interactions across websites and apps, aiming to offer insights into user behavior trends, traffic sources and content performance. While it can track sales and conversions, GA4 has a more generalized orientation and isn’t inherently tied to a specific CRM or tech stack.
HubSpot, on the other hand, is better suited to providing businesses with insights related to their customer interactions throughout the entire lifecycle — from the moment a visitor lands on a website until they become a customer. While it doesn’t have the ability to slice and dice traffic and engagement in the same ways GA4 does, it is able to provide a more seamless line of sight into how contacts interact with marketing, sales and service teams because it’s fully integrated with the CRM data.
To oversimplify things a bit, GA4 is great at showing how your site is performing and HubSpot is great at showing how contacts are progressing through your customer lifecycle.
Which leads to my final thought…
GA4 and HubSpot Analytics Work Better Together
If your business is getting analytics from HubSpot, it doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from GA4. If you’re getting analytics from GA4, it doesn’t mean you won’t get more insights by incorporating HubSpot analytics.
When you use them together, you get both the full picture: GA4’s granular traffic and engagement trends tell the story of your website performance, and HubSpot’s contact-centric data highlights the microlevel view of how people are interacting with your content and turning into customers.
Charlie is the Chief Strategy Officer at Simple Machines Marketing. When he's not doing the marketing, he likes playing guitar, hanging with his family in Chicago and lots of other stuff too but this seems like a good amount for a blog bio.