With more businesses moving online, the importance of data and analytics has drastically increased. Today, every dollar you spend on marketing counts, and analytics play a huge role in deciding marketing spends.
Millions of businesses around the globe use Google Analytics to track important metrics and drive game-changing business decisions. Google has recently released its latest 4.0 version with some new and exciting features that are quite different compared to older versions.
In this guide, we will dive deep into everything you need to know about Google Analytics. Specifically, we will take a close look at the latest version, Google Analytics 4.0, launched in October 2020. Here, you’ll get some useful insights on the setup and use of Google Analytics. In addition, you’ll also learn to make the most out of the latest version.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a data and analytics tool by Google that offers in-depth insights into your website and app performance. With Google Analytics, you can get access to use dashboards and insightful data that can help you drive important business decisions.
Google Analytics also connects with other Google Marketing tools such as Google AdWords and Google Search Console. These integrations work together to help you with your marketing efforts and accelerate your business’ growth.
How to Set Up Google Analytics 4.0
1. Sign Up for a Google Analytics Account
To set up your Google Analytics account, you will first need to log in with an existing Google account or create a new account for logging in. If you have an existing Gmail, AdWords, or YouTube account for your business, you should ensure that you use the same Google account to sign up for your Google Analytics account.
2. Fill Out Your Website Details
Next, you’ll be asked to create a property under your Google Analytics account. This property can be your website or your mobile app. Here, you can enter the relevant details, such as the name and URL of the property.
When you create a new property, it will become a Google Analytics 4 property by default. If you are already registered with the older version, then you can check out the next section to learn more about upgrading to Google Analytics 4 from the existing version.
Once you’ve entered all the details, you’ll get a unique Google Analytics tracking ID that you can add to your website. Once you have created a property, you’ll be redirected to your tracking code. You can also access it by navigating to Admin > Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.
3. Add the Tracking Code to Your Website
Once you have the Google Analytics tracking code, you will need to add it to your website. This step helps Google Analytics collect data from your property (such as your website or mobile app). To do this, you can add the tag after the <head> tag on every web page that you want to track.
If you are using a CMS such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, you have multiple options to add your unique tracking code. To do this, check your CMS dashboards for a way to add your Google Analytics tracking code.
4. Verify Your Tracking Code
Once you have added the Google Analytics tracking code to your website, you should verify it in Google Analytics. You can do this by using the “Real-Time” feature in your Google Analytics account. Then, when you open your website, you should be able to see some data in your Google Analytics Real-Time dashboard.
Note that Google Analytics might take some time to collect data from your website and curate it into analytics reports and dashboards.
How to Upgrade to Google Analytics 4.0
If you are an existing Google Analytics user, then you may have registered your property using previous versions. Though it is not necessary, you can gain access to the Google Analytics 4.0 account for the same property.
To do this, navigate to Admin > Property > GA4 Setup Assistant. Here, you will find the option to create a new Google Analytics 4 property. Click on “Get Started,” followed by “Create Property.” By following these steps, you will be able to connect your existing property to the new Google Analytics 4 account.
Next, click on “See your GA4 property” to open your new Google Analytics 4.0 dashboard. After the upgrade, you will be able to use both the old universal Google Analytics, as well as the new Google Analytics 4.0 dashboards.
How to Use Google Analytics 4.0
Once Google Analytics has collected enough data from your website or mobile app, you can generate reports and view dashboards. In this section, we will take a look at the various Google Analytics dashboards you can use to gain helpful insights.
The Google Analytics 4.0 dashboard is more focused on the monetization of your website or mobile app. In the “Home” section, you’ll find some useful insights that showcase data on metrics such as the average user engagement time, total revenue generated, user demographics, top conversions, and top events.
In addition, the “Home” section is meant to be an overview of your entire Google Analytics data. You can hop over to other sections to get a deeper understanding of each of these metrics.
What’s more, this tool also allows you to create and compare new audience segments. You can do this by selecting the “Add Comparison” option and adding specific conditions to create audience segments. This can be very helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of your audience.
The Real-Time dashboard provides real-time insights on the performance of your website or mobile app. Here, you can find details on the number of users who have visited your property in the last 30 minutes.
You can also find data on various events that occurred in the last 30 min. The concept of events was introduced as a part of Google Analytics 4.0 and refers to different types of hits that occur on your property.
“Page view,” “first visit,” “session start,” “user engagement,” and similar other hits are categorized as events. You can find details on all these events in Real-Time.
Under the acquisition section, you can find details on where your website/mobile app users are coming from and other relevant details. This is divided into three dashboards, namely “Overview,” “User Acquisition,” and “Traffic Acquisition.”
Under the “User Acquisition” section, you can find user data based on different categories such as sources, mediums, campaigns, and Google Ads network type. This section offers useful insights, including the number of sessions, engagement rate, and event count. All these metrics are aimed at giving you a detailed overview of how users interact with your website and/or mobile app.
Under the “Traffic Acquisition” section, you can view data based on factors such as session source, session medium, and session campaign. This feature provides acquisition data for users’ sessions. Moreover, you can use the “Acquisition Overview” dashboard to get an overall view of collective data from user and traffic acquisitions.
As mentioned before, the new Google Analytics 4.0 was designed to provide helpful insights and a comprehensive understanding of your users across all platforms. Hence, the “Engagement” dashboard offers more information about how your customers are experiencing your website or mobile app.
Specifically, user engagement is based on the different events that can occur on your property. Here, you’ll find data on every event and the number of times the event occurred.
Some examples of such events include first-time hits, page views, session start, etc. In contrast, previous versions of Google Analytics have “Goals” instead of “Events.” However, “Goals” were much more difficult to track.
Under the “Pages” and “Screens” sections, you’ll find data on the number of users by page title and screen class.
You can also link your Google Analytics 4.0 account to your Google AdWords account to measure the total revenue of each type of event. This data can help you optimize the actions of your marketing campaigns that matter most to the users and are the most profitable for your business.
The “Monetization” section can be extremely useful for you if you are an eCommerce business owner or run Ads for your business. This section offers insights into the profitability of your property. In particular, you can use it to find data on the total revenue earned, the ways you are earning money, and how to make your property generate more revenue.
In the “Overview” section, you can find data on the total revenue generated, as well as the eCommerce revenue generated, and the total ad revenue generated. You can also find information on the total number of purchasers and the number of first purchasers. Furthermore, other details include average revenue per user and more information about eCommerce purchase revenues.
Under monetization, you’ll also find separate dashboards for eCommerce purchases, in-app purchases, and data on publisher ads.
As a business owner or marketer, it is important to know the importance of customer retention. Any data on user retention from your website or mobile app can be used to drive important decisions and generate more revenue for the business.
Under the “Retention” dashboard, you’ll find details on returning users to your property. You’ll also find useful data on user retention, user engagement, and user lifetime value.
Using the “Demographics” dashboard, you can find data on user location, sessions, user engagement, event counts, conversions, total revenue, etc. This data can help you understand your audience in more intricate ways. Moreover, the information provided can be used to optimize your website/mobile app to increase traffic and improve profitability by catering to your users’ needs.
Using the “Tech” dashboard, you can find useful insights on technicalities relevant to your website or mobile app. For example, you can find data on the types of platforms your audience uses, such as type of device, screen resolution, app version, and OS version.
You can also find information including the type of operating system, browsers, and app release versions used by your audience.
Google Analytics 4.0 allows you to create custom events. Accordingly, you can create any custom event, as well as track its conversions and profitability. For creating a custom event, click on “Create Event” and fill in the relevant details.
You can select from a list of custom event names or even add your own. These custom events can include any events that are relevant to your business, such as “add to cart,” “add to wishlist,” “login,” “search content,” “play video,” “add payment info,” and others.
Next, you can add the matching conditions for the event. For example, for a custom event, you can set the condition as “coupon equals ABCXYZ.” Moreover, you can also add more conditions if you want. You can also add modifications to your custom event and then click on “Create.”
The term “Conversions” refers to any activities taken by your users that attribute to success. For example, user actions such as making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, or filling out a form can count as conversions for your business.
Using Google Analytics 4.0, you can set up and measure conversions for your website or mobile app. In Google Analytics 4.0, you can mark any event as a conversion event.
For this, you can navigate to the “Events” dashboard and click on the “Mark as conversion” option for the corresponding event. You can then use the “Conversions” dashboard to track these conversion events after 24 hours.
In addition, you can also create a new conversion event that is specifically used for tracking conversions on your property. You can do this by selecting the “New conversion” event option under the “Conversions” tab.
Creating audiences is another crucial and useful feature offered by Google Analytics 4.0. This feature allows you to segment your audiences in such a way that makes the most sense for your business. For instance, you can segment audiences by dimensions, metrics, or events.
To do this, you can head over to the “New audience” option under the “Audiences” tab. Here, you can create a custom audience by selecting conditions related to dimensions, metrics, or any events. You can find a wide variety of parameters to select from and use these options to best suit your business needs.
You can also use the “Suggested audiences” feature to select a custom audience.
Creating custom audiences can prove to be extremely valuable for your business. As such, you can identify high-value customers and better understand their purchasing behavior. What’s more, you can understand the traits of the customers who like to spend more and use them to increase your total revenue.
Through custom audiences, you can reach your customers with more valuable and relevant experiences to make a lasting impression on them. You can also integrate your Google Analytics 4 account with other platforms such as YouTube and use the combined data to drive more informed decisions for your business.
Data and analytics are an essential part of success in any business. Currently, Google Analytics is one of the best tools for obtaining useful insights into your business website or mobile app. Its latest version, Google Analytics 4.0, was designed to make the data more customer-centric and aimed at improving conversions.
This comprehensive guide on Google Analytics 4.0 will help you understand and navigate through the setup and use of this valuable tool.