Google Analytics 4: Understanding the Latest Features and How to Use Them

You can use Google Analytics 4, a free tool, to track your website’s traffic and engagement. It provides information about who visits your site, how they interact with it, and where they come from.
Google Analytics 4 features include:

  • Real-time reporting: You can see what’s happening on your site right now–who’s visiting and what pages they’re viewing. This can help you identify problems quickly so that you can fix them before they become big issues.
  • Customizable dashboards for each person who works on the site (or team): You can create custom dashboards based on roles or responsibilities, which makes it easy for everyone involved in managing the online presence of an organization to get the data they need without having to go digging through menus or reports every time there’s something new happening with traffic patterns or conversions rates. 

Google released Google Analytics 4 in October 2020 as the latest version of the analytics platform. The new platform offers a more advanced and comprehensive understanding of user behavior, allowing website owners and digital marketers to make more informed decisions about their strategies.

GA4 uses an event-driven data model, which is one of the most significant changes in GA4. This model focuses on user actions rather than pageviews, allowing for a more complete understanding of user behavior. GA4 tracks every action taken on a website or app, providing a more accurate picture of user behavior and engagement.

The integration of machine learning into the platform is another major change in GA4. This feature enables more accurate predictions of user behavior and provides more actionable insights. GA4 uses machine learning to identify patterns in user behavior and make predictions about future behavior. For example, the platform can predict which users are most likely to make a purchase, allowing marketers to create targeted campaigns to reach those users.

GA4 also offers cross-device tracking, which means that it can track user behavior across multiple devices and platforms. This provides a more complete picture of user behavior and engagement, as it tracks users as they move between devices and platforms. With cross-device tracking, marketers can create more targeted campaigns that reach users wherever they are. 

GA4 offers enhanced data controls, which is another major change in GA4. With GA4, users have more options to control their data and limit the use of personally identifiable information. This provides more privacy for users and gives them greater control over their data.

GA4’s user-centric reporting is another significant feature. This feature focuses on individual users rather than sessions, allowing for a more complete understanding of individual user behavior and engagement. With user-centric reporting, marketers can create more personalized campaigns that are tailored to individual users’ interests and preferences.

How to Set Up Google Analytics 4

To set up Google Analytics 4, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Create an account.
  • Create a property and data stream.

To know more about how to set up Google Analytics 4, check out here

Google Analytics 4 Reports

Google Analytics 4 has a lot of reports, and it can be difficult to know where to start. In this section, we’ll walk through some of the most important reports and how they can help you understand your website’s performance.

Google Analytics 4 Audiences

The Audiences feature of Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool that allows you to create custom segments of visitors. You can then use these segments as the basis for reports, or send them targeted emails based on their interests.

To get started with Audiences, go to the Admin section of your account and select Audience Manager from the left-hand menu.

From here you’ll be able to create new audiences based on any number of criteria such as location, device type (desktop/mobile), browser type (Safari vs Chrome), etc.

Google Analytics 4 Events

Google Analytics 4 Events is a powerful tool that allows you to track user interactions on your site. You can use this feature to understand how people are using your website and what they’re interested in.

You can use the Events feature of Google Analytics 4 to track events that occur on the page rather than conversions like purchases or registrations, which are similar to goals. You can create an event by clicking “Create Event” on the left side of your reporting panel.

Google Analytics 4 Conversions

Google Analytics 4 has a new feature called “Conversion Tracking.” This feature allows you to create and manage conversions in your account, which are used to track actions on your site that lead to revenue or other valuable outcomes.

You can define different types of goals and then track the number of people who complete those goals using Conversion Tracking. (e.g., sign up for a trial). You can also set up ecommerce tracking so that each time someone buys something from your store, it gets counted as an additional conversion in addition to whatever else they purchased during checkout.

Google Analytics 4 Dimensions & Metrics

In GA4, you can use a dimension, which is a property of your website, to segment data. For example, if you have an ecommerce site and want to see how many sales were made by country or state, those would be dimensions. A metric is any measurement that helps you understand the performance of your website or app. For example: number of visitors, bounce rate (percentage), time on site (average), pages per visit etc. Dimensions help organize your data into meaningful categories so you can analyze it more effectively with metrics like pageviews per session or average order value (AOV).

Google Analytics 4 Segments

Segments are a powerful tool for analyzing your data. They allow you to filter the information that is displayed in your reports so that only specific groups of users or sessions are shown. For example, if you have a website with multiple landing pages and want to know which page has the highest conversion rate, then using segments would be an excellent way of doing this. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) allows users to create segments manually or automatically. Manual segment creation allows for greater control over what data is filtered out but requires more effort than automatic segmentation. Automated segmentation is less effort-intensive but may not always produce accurate results due to its reliance on pre-defined rules which may not always apply correctly in certain situations. 

Cross-device tracking: With GA4, you can track user behavior across multiple devices and platforms, providing a more comprehensive view of user engagement. This is especially important in today’s mobile-first world, where users may interact with your brand on multiple devices before making a purchase.

For example, a user starts browsing your website on their phone, but then switches to their laptop to make a purchase. With GA4’s cross-device tracking, you can track this behavior and gain insights into how users interact with your brand across different devices.

Machine learning capabilities: You can use GA4’s machine learning capabilities to identify patterns and insights in your data that might otherwise be difficult to spot. For example, you can use machine learning to identify high-value users who are more likely to make a purchase or engage with your brand.

For example, let’s say you run a travel website that offers tours and activities. You can use GA4’s machine learning capabilities to identify users who have a high likelihood of booking a tour or activity, based on their past behavior on your website. This can help you create targeted campaigns to reach these users and increase your chances of converting them into customers.

User-centric reporting: GA4’s user-centric reporting allows you to create reports that focus on individual users rather than sessions. This provides a more complete understanding of individual user behavior and engagement, enabling you to create personalized campaigns that are tailored to their interests and preferences.

For example, you are running a revenue service that offers personalized financing options. You can use GA4’s user centric reporting to track individual user’s behavior on your website, such as which pages they click on or how often they log in. This can help you create a personalized plan and recommend options that are tailored to each user’s requirements. 

Advanced analysis and reporting: GA4 includes a range of advanced analysis and reporting features that can help you gain deeper insights into your data. This includes features like funnel analysis, user retention analysis, and more.

For example, let’s say you run a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that offers a free trial of your product. You can use GA4’s funnel analysis feature to track how users move through the trial process, from signing up to upgrading to a paid plan. This can help you identify areas for improvement in the trial process and increase your conversion rates.

GA4 is a valuable tool for website owners and digital marketers who want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior and engagement. While it has some limitations, its benefits make it a worthwhile investment for those who want to stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions about their strategies.

Google Analytics can seem overwhelming and complex to set up and utilize for those who are not experienced in data analytics. It requires technical knowledge and time to configure properly. However, you can make the process much simpler with Velocity Insights. By integrating your Google Analytics account with Velocity Insights, you receive daily analytics reports via WhatsApp, without extra cost and zero hassle. This makes it easier for businesses to keep track of their website or app’s performance without having to constantly log into multiple analytics dashboard. By using Velocity Insights, businesses can simplify the process of using Google Analytics. So why not give it a try and start making data-driven decisions to grow your business today?

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