Measurement is critical to marketing success. With the advent of AI and increased privacy requirements, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation Analytics tool that will replace Universal Analytics (UA aka Google Analytics 3) on July 1, 2023. GA4 works differently and GA4 reports track different information compared to Universal Analytics.
Once Google Analytics 4 is set up on your website, it will track and collect your website data. You can then use GA4 reports to track and get valuable insights about the performance of your website, SEO and marketing campaigns and make the necessary improvements to improve marketing success.
GA4 reports can help you answer marketing questions like:
• How much traffic your website is getting?
• Which are the chief marketing channels that bring visitors to your website?
• Which geographic locations are your users coming from?
• Which are the top website pages that users are visiting?
• What are the top conversions on your website?
These data insights can help you make improvements to your website, SEO and marketing strategy to improve your website and marketing performance.
What is Google Analytics 4 and why is it important?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest generation measurement solution from Google which enables you to track and collect data to measure the performance of your websites and apps.
GA4 works differently from Universal Analytics (Google Analytics 3), the current version of Google Analytics. With the increased focus on online privacy, GA4 is privacy-safe and includes privacy controls like cookie-less measurement.
GA4 supports cross-channel measurement across different marketing channels. In addition, GA4 uses event-based data instead of session-based data used in UA. GA4 is built to support Google’s AI products.
If you are using Google Analytics, you should install Google Analytics 4 right away. Google is retiring Universal Analytics (aka Google Analytics 3) on July 1, 2023.
After July 1, 2023, Google Analytics 3 will no longer collect and process website data. All website data after July 1 will be collected and stored only by Google Analytics 4. If you haven’t set up GA4 on your website, you should do so now.
How to Get Started with Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 must be set up on your website before July 1, 2023.
Google has announced that they will start automatically setting up a basic GA4 account in your Google Analytics account unless you opt out.
Google is strongly recommending that you manually migrate your Universal Analytics settings to GA4.This is because all Universal Analytics configurations do not map over directly to Google Analytics 4 so it is best to set up GA4 manually.
For details on how to set up Google Analytics 4, please read our post on What is Google Analytics 4? Plus How to Set Up Google Analytics 4 for Your Website
After you set up GA4 on your website, you will need to set up events and conversions in your GA4 property. The goals that were used in Universal Analytics will not transfer to GA4. UA goals have been replaced by events and conversions in GA4.
Our post on How to Set Up Events and Conversions in Google Analytics 4 provides a helpful guide.
Top GA4 Reports to Use to Track Website, SEO and Marketing Performance
Once Google Analytics 4 is set up on your website and events and conversions have been added, you can begin to use GA4 reports to track your website, SEO and marketing data.
- Log into your Google Analytics account
- From the Admin screen, Select your GA4 account under Properties
- In your GA4 account, Click on Reports in the left menu bar
The Main Reports in Google Analytics 4(GA4) are:
- Reports Snapshot
Each of these main reports has several sub-reports that provides a lot of additional information about your website.
1. Reports snapshot
The Reports snapshot will give you an overview of your GA4 account.
It will show a collection of different cards with information on your Users, Average Engagement time, Total revenue, Where your users come from, Top campaigns, Top Pages and screens, Top events, Top conversions and more.
You can click on the individual cards to access more detailed reports. You can also edit the cards that appear on your reports snapshot.
The Realtime report provides information on the number of users that visited your website in the last 30 minutes.
It provides the users in the last 30 minutes, users by first-user source, users by audience, views by page title and screen class, events, conversions, users by user property.
You can change the information shown in the Users cards by toggling the dropdown to view users by other dimensions like first user medium, first user source/medium, first user campaign and more.
The Realtime report is also a great trouble-shooting tool to use when you test new events and conversions to see if they are working correctly.
The Lifecyle reports are a set of important reports which provide information on each stage of the customer journey such as acquisition, engagement, monetization and retention.
The GA4 acquisition report is one of the most important reports that provides you with insights into which marketing channels are working to attract visitors to your website.
This report lists the traffic and the marketing channels that are the main sources of your website visitors including:
- direct traffic – the users who come to your website directly by typing in your website URL.
- organic search – the users who come to your site by clicking on an organic search result on the search engines.
- paid search – the users who come to your site by clicking on a paid search ad on the search engines (e.g Google Ads)
- organic social – the users who come to your site by clicking on a post in the social networks (eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- referrals – the users who come to your site by clicking on a link from a referring website.
- unassigned – the users who come to your site from other sources.
The Overview report shown in the figure provides metrics such as Total Users and New users, Users in the last 30 minutes, New users by first user default channel group, Sessions by session default channel groups, Sessions by Google Ads campaigns and Lifetime value .
The default channel groups are usually grouped into:
Direct, Organic Search, Paid Search, Organic Social, Referral, Email, Display, Unassigned and more.
• User acquisition
The User acquisition report provides graphs and a table of the first user default channel groups such as direct, organic social, organic search etc. with the corresponding number of new users, engaged sessions, engagement rate, engagement time, events, conversions and total revenue.
You can change the information shown in the table by changing the dropdown setting above the table from user default channel group to any of the other settings including first user medium, first user source and more.
• Traffic acquisition
The traffic acquisition report provides graphs and a table of the session default channel groups with the corresponding new users, sessions, engaged sessions, engagement rate, engagement time, events, conversions and total revenue.
You can change the information shown in the table by changing the settings in the dropdown above the table to see other values.
How the Acquisition Reports Help
The Acquisition reports can help you gain insights into,
- How much traffic is your website getting?
- How long are visitors engaging with your site?
- What are the top marketing channels that bring traffic to your site?
- What are the total conversions?
- What is the total revenue by marketing channel?
These insights can help you identify how much traffic your website is getting and which marketing channels are working for your marketing strategy and those that need to be added or improved.
The GA4 engagement report is another important report that gives you information on how visitors engaged with your site and the number of events and conversions.
The Overview report is shown in the figure. It provides the average engagement time, engaged sessions per user, average engagement time per user, total views, total event count, event count by event name, views by page title and screen class, user activity over time and user stickiness.
The Events report lists all the events that occurred on your website both in graphs and in a table. The table lists by Event name the corresponding Event count, Total users, and total revenue.
The events listed here are both the automatic events which are automatically recorded by GA4 as well as the custom events you have added. This includes scroll, page_view, user_engagement, session_start, first_visit, clicks and more.
The conversions report lists the conversion events on your site. Conversion events are important in GA4 because they list the marketing conversions that occurred.
The report will show graphs along with a table with the corresponding number of conversions, users and revenue for each conversion event.
• Pages and Screens
This report lists the top pages that were viewed on your website along with the number of views, users, engagement time, events, conversions and total revenue for each. This can help you identify the web pages that are getting the most traffic.
The Pages and Screens report is similar to the Behavior/site content/all pages report in Universal Analytics.
How the Engagement Reports Help
The insights from the Engagement Report can help you determine
- What are the top landing pages on your website?
- What are the top events and conversions?
- How to improve the conversion rate?
- How to increase customer engagement on your website?
- Which website pages need to be added or improved?
- Which new website content needs to be added?
- How to improve website performance?
The Monetization report is important if you sell items on your website such as on an ecommerce site, app purchase site, or if you run publisher ads.
The overview report provides the Total revenue, Total purchase revenue and Total ad revenue.
• Ecommerce purchases
This report lists by ecommerce item name, the items viewed, the items added to the cart, the items purchased, and item revenue.
• In- App purchases
The in-app purchase report lists by product id, the quantity, product revenue, and total product revenue.
• Publisher Ads
This report lists by ad unit, the publisher ad impressions, ad clicks and total ad revenue.
How the Monetization Reports Help
These monetization reports can help you determine,
- Total sales revenue on your website
- Total purchase revenue
- Total ad revenue
- Total purchasers
- Average purchase price per user
- Items purchased
- Product revenue by product id
- Improvements to make to increase conversions and revenue
The Retention report gives you an overview of how your website is performing to retain and engage visitors.
It provides you with information on New Users, Returning Users, User retention, User engagement, Lifetime value.
How the Retention Report Helps
These analytics insights can help you determine,
- How your website is retaining visitors
- How your website is engaging visitors
- How you can improve your website to increase customer engagement and dwell time.
- Identify new website content to add to increase customer engagement.
The User reports provide important information about the demographics of your users and the technology they used when they visited your website.
The Demographics overview report shown provides the users by country, users by city, users by gender, users by interests, users by age, users by language.
This report is similar to the UA report for Audience/demographics, Audience/interests, Audience/geo.
• Demographics details
This report provides graphs and a table listing the country with corresponding users, engagement rate, engagement time, events, conversions and total revenue.
You can toggle the dropdown above the table to get information by region, city, language, age, gender and interests.
The Tech reports show the technology used by users to browse your website.
• Tech overview
The Tech overview report provides the
- users by platform (eg. web)
- users by operating system (eg. Windows, macintosh, os)
- users by platform/device (eg. Web/desktop. Web/mobile)<.\/li>
- users by browser (eg. Chrome, safari, edge)
- users by device category (eg. Desktop, mobile, tablet)
- users by screen resolution
- users by app version
- users by device model
• Tech details
The graphs and table in this report shows the information by browser name of the number of users, engagement rate, event count, conversions and total revenue.
You can change the dropdown above the table to view more information by device category, device model, platform and more.
This is similar to the UA report for Audience/technology.
How the Tech Reports Help
The Tech reports can help you determine if your website users match your target users and make the necessary improvements to your website and marketing strategy.
- Which countries and cities your visitors are coming from?
- What are your visitor demographics?
- Are visitors using desktops or mobile devices to browse your website?
- Which browsers are they using?
- Is your website working correctly on the main devices and browsers
The library is where all your collections and reports are organized so you can customize them. You can also create new overview and detail reports here to add to your navigation.
Google Analytics 4 will soon replace Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. After July 1, only Google Analytics 4 will collect and store your website data. If you are using Google Analytics, you should set up GA4 now before UA is “sunset” to ensure a smooth transition.
GA4 is privacy-safe and supports the new Google AI products. GA4 reports provide a lot of valuable data insights about your website, SEO and marketing performance.
The insights from google analytics 4 reports should be used to make improvements to your website, digital marketing strategy and SEO campaigns. This will ensure that your website or app perform well on all your marketing channels to attract, engage and convert your website users to customers and increase sales.
We hope you found this article useful. Check back soon for more posts on Google Analytics 4 and digital marketing.
Related Articles on Google Analytics and SEO
- What is Google Analytics 4? How to Set Up Google Analytics 4 for Your Website /a>
- What are the Benefits of Google Analytics 4 for Your Website?
- How to Set Up Events and Conversions in Google Analytics 4
- Gold Mango Design, How to Use Google Search Console, Part 1: Adding your Website to Search Console
- Gold Mango Design, How to Use Google Search Console, Part 2: Using Search Console Reports to Manage Your Website
- Gold Mango Design, What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Why is It Important?
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