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An Introduction to GA4 and What to Look For

A couple of months back we wrote a blog about the next generation of analytics -  Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - and how it was best to make the change as soon as possible to start collecting data in GA4. Now, if you are anything like us you would have happily switched over to GA4 as soon as the opportunity arose, making accessing your site statistics quick and easy right? 

Well, if you don’t know what to look for it can be anything but. Now we aren’t going to lie, with these new changes it can be hard to get a handle on things as GA4 is continually being developed as it is so new. But don’t close the browser in despair, we have put together this blog to show you where to look for your favorite statistics and help you feel more comfortable and confident while you navigate GA4. 

Finding Key Data in GA4

Once you have set up GA4 and started collecting data, it's time to discover what it’s telling you. Struggling with Google Analytics is common for most, as it shows a lot of data which can be overwhelming. But the key to understanding GA4 data is to focus on what you want to know.

Who is visiting the website?  - Understanding who is visiting your website is key. Especially because you want to be sure they are the right people. If you target a specific audience, you can see if those people are finding your website. With GA4 you’ll be able to see this, as well as the location of your website visitors, and other demographics such as age and gender.

To find out more about your audience, log into your GA account and select Reports > Demographics > Overview.  

What device does your audience use to access the website? - These days, all websites should be mobile optimized, but you may wish to discover what percentage of your users use each device so you can adapt your website or inbound marketing plan accordingly.

To find out more about how your audience access your website, log into your GA account and select Reports > Tech > Tech Overview.

What platform drives the most website traffic? - It’s essential to understand which channel drives the most traffic, leads, and sales so that you can invest more time and money in the platforms that impact the business’s bottom line. 

To find out more about which social platforms drive traffic to your website, log into your GA account and select Reports > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition or User Acquisition.

What do visitors look at on the website? - Identifying your most popular web pages will help you understand the customer journey. In addition it can give you ideas for future content on and off the website, and also help you learn how to optimize those pages for the better.

To find out more about what your visitors are looking at on your website, log into your GA account and select Reports> Engagement > Pages and Screens.

What can Marketers do with GA4?

GA4 provides marketers with a wealth of information and intelligence. By creating custom reports in GA4 marketers can see the information they need and hide data that isn’t of use at that moment in time. Effectively allowing them to predict metrics, measure engagement, and fine-tune their marketing strategy.

Predicting Metrics - GA4 enables you to predict several metrics that are important to marketing campaigns. GA4 will look at the current and past behavior of your users and use that information to predict what the future might look like.

Measuring Engagement -It’s finally time to kiss bounce rate goodbye! As digital marketers and business owners who operate online, we’ve spent a great deal of time talking about bounce rates. This isn’t a particularly useful metric. Think about how you interact with website content in your personal life. News articles, dinner recipes, funny videos, and more; all of which you watch or read, yet still lead to a “bounce.” Enter GA4, which replaces the idea of a “bounce” with what is now called an Engaged Session. To qualify as an engaged session, the following must be true: the session ended with 10 seconds or more of engagement time, or had 1 or more conversion events, or had 2 or more page views. This is much more sophisticated than bounce rate, and as marketers in the 21st century, we are happy to leave bounce rate behind.

Need Help Transitioning?

The sooner you make the switch to GA4, the sooner you can take your data analysis to the next level and gain deeper insights into your website's user behavior. With GA4, the sky's the limit! So what are you waiting for? Contact us to schedule an initial consultation if you’d like help updating your Google Analytics installation to the new GA4. We can help you with the migration process, so you can focus on unlocking the full potential of your website's user data!

Erica Follette
About the Author
Erica is a Content and Customer Service Specialist at Vendilli. In her free time, you can find Erica binge watching Netflix shows, practicing martial arts, drinking way too much coffee or tending to the needs of her spoiled dog and reptiles.
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